Bronze medalist Anastasia Pagonis of Team United States poses in...

Bronze medalist Anastasia Pagonis of Team United States poses in the podium of Women's 200m Individual Medley - SM11 at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre on August 30, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. Credit: Getty Images/Lintao Zhang

Garden City’s Anastasia Pagonis won her second medal at the Tokyo Paralympics.

Pagonis, a 17-year-old swimmer, claimed the bronze medal in the women’s 200-meter individual medley SM11 Monday night at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre. She finished in 2 minutes, 45.61 seconds.

Ma Jia of China won gold in a world-record time of 2:42.14 and Cai Liwen of China took the silver in 2:42.91.

Pagonis made her major international debut last week in Tokyo. She gave the United States its first gold medal of the Paralympics by winning the 400-meter freestyle S11 in a world-record time of 4:54.49, finishing 10.85 seconds ahead of the second-place swimmer. She broke the previous world record of 4:56.16, which she set in the final of the U.S. Paralympic Trials in June.

"For me, this was better," Pagonis’ father, Peter Pagonis, told Newsday in a phone interview from Garden City on Monday. "Because she was kind of favored to win that 400 [meter freestyle]. This one she had to grind out. She’s not a breaststroker.

"So we knew she would be ahead in the free and ahead after the backstroke, and she would go into the breaststroke and she’s not as gifted at it ... She got the bronze and I was just over the moon. I was more excited than I was for the gold medal and world record."

After beginning swimming lessons at 11, Pagonis progressively lost her central vision over the next several months because of genetic retina disease and autoimmune retinopathy. She lost all of her usable vision at 14.

According to World Para Swimming, the prefix "S" is the classification for freestyle, butterfly and backstroke events, and "SM" is for individual medley events. S11 and SM11 is a sports class for athletes with a vision impairment.

Pagonis can win a third medal in the women’s 100-meter freestyle S11 Friday. Pagonis will swim in the first of two heats on Friday morning (Tokyo time). The final is scheduled for Friday night.

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