By Vitaliy Yusufov
SIOUX FALLS, SD, August 15, 2011—The United States had its best showing ever in a swimming world championships when they tallied 22 total medals behind Marcus Titus and Rebecca Meyers. Titus led all international competitors with nine medals tallied, five gold, one silver and three bronze.
The World Deaf Swimming Championships, which took place from August 7 through 13 in Coimbra, Portugal, featured 167 athletes from 29 countries. The United States won the gold medal tally, with 11 medals, three ahead of Russia, who finished tied with the United States with 22 total medals. Titus and Meyers earned nine of the 11 gold medals won by the United States.
Titus, 25, a graduate of the University of Arizona, broke two Deaf World records in 50m freestyle and the 50m butterfly. Meyers, a junior at Notre Dame Prep in Baltimore, Md., was accompanied by her USA teammate, Peggy Liang, who earned six medals of her own.
Meyers set two Deaf Championship records in the 400m free, clocking in at 4:31.70, and another record in the 800m free at 9:16.22. The women’s team also set a Deaf World record in the 4x200m freestyle, with 8:49.55.
Titus is no stranger to fierce competitions. Having swam against the best United States swimmers in the likes of Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte, Titus placed fourth in the 100m breaststroke at the 2010 ConocoPhillips National Championships and third in the same event in 2009. Titus also finished second in the 100m breaststroke at the 2009 U.S. Open.
As a country, USA Deaf Swimming won 11 gold, four silver and seven bronze. The overall results of the United States puts them on top of the pack in preparations for the 2013 Summer Deaflympics.