By Tom Degun

ellie-simmondsJanuary 20 - London 2012 champion Victoria Arlen (pictured left) has been named as one of the 16 athletes in the US Paralympics swimming squad for 2013. 

The 18-year-old from Boston, who lost the use of her legs and was left in a coma for two years due to the rare viral disease transverse myelitis, won a gold medal at three silvers at London 2012 but it was her rivalry with British star Ellie Simmonds (top right) that proved one of the highlights of the Paralympics.

The pair both managed to beat each other and the renewal of their rivalry at this year's International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Swimming World Championships in Canada in August is likely to be one of the highlights of the competition.

Arlen is one of eight London 2012 Paralympic gold medallists named in the team, with the formidable Jessica Long also included.

Long, a 20-year-old from Maryland, was the most decorated American swimmer at London 2012 where she collected eight medals in nine events, five of which were gold, to see her named US Paralympic Sportswoman of the Year for 2012.

JessicaLongJessica Long, who won five gold medals at London 2012, has been named as part of this year's US Paralympics squad

Also named one the women's side are Kelley Becherer, Cortney Jordan, Rebecca Meyers, Noga Nir-Kistler, Susan Beth Scott, Elizabeth Stone and Mallory Weggemann.

They are joined by seven male swimmers who are Tucker Dupree, Rudy Garcia-Tolson, Lantz Lamback, Roy Perkins, Ian Silverman, Brad Snyder and Justin Zook.

"We are hoping to see the number of athletes who make both the national team and emerging team grow toward the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, plus increase the number of developmental athletes we identify," said US Paralympics swimming high performance director Queenie Nichols.

"We plan to have several emerging and developmental camps across the country to help increase the strength of Team USA over the next four years."

American swimmers won a combined 41 medals at the London 2012 Paralympics, 14 of which were gold, as they finished fourth on the swimming medal tablebehind China, Australia and Ukraine.

"Many of our national team athletes are returning," Nichols added.

"We are excited to see how the athletes that were new to the London Games perform this season.""

The squad is due to begin the 2013 season with the CanAm Championships in Minneapolis from April 4 until 6, an event that will act as a qualifier for the World Championships.

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