Notre Dame Prep rising junior Becca Meyers won the gold medal in the 200-meter freestyle Sunday at the World Deaf Swimming Championships in Choimbra, Portugal.
Meyers, who was born deaf, defeated Russia's Luiza Marushkina by less than a second to win the gold in 2 minutes, 11.83 seconds. Hers was one of two gold medals won by the United States team on the first day of competition and the only one by an American woman.
This is Meyers' second international medal. A club swimmer with Loyola Blakefield Aquatics, she took bronze in the 800-meter freestyle at the 2009 Deaflympics in Taiwan.
On the World Deaf Swimming Championships website, she is also listed as planning to swim the 800 freestyle on Wednesday and the 400 freestyle on Saturday, the final day of competition.
Meyers was born with Usher syndrome, which also affects her balance and is slowly claiming her vision. She received a cochlear implant at age 2 and has been able to hear ever since.
However, she cannot wear the external device for the implant in the pool, so she cannot hear anything during the meets. In February, she helped NDP win the IAAM A Conference swimming championship.
Baltimore Sun photo of Becca Meyers by Gene Sweeney Jr. / Jan. 31, 2011