Montreal, July 6, 2017 (Sportcom) – Aurélie Rivard amazed herself on Thursday (July 6) by breaking the 200m freestyle S10 world record during the World Series taking place in Berlin, Germany, her first major competition since the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
The 20-year-old athlete swam the distance in 2 minutes and 10.98 seconds during the finals, and rewrote the record books in her category. She lowered the old mark of 2:11.17 set by France’s Elodie Lorandi in August 2016 in Berlin.
“I am a little bit surprised. We arrived two days ago and we felt tired. I did not quite know what to expect, so the competition is off to a good start. It hurts, but at least it was worth it,” Rivard said after the race.
Upon her return from Brazil last September, Rivard decided to take a break from training. She felt the need to spend time on her own away from the swimming pool.
“I dove in much later than my opponents, so it is quite surprising that I achieved such a great time at this time of the year. That being said, I trained very hard these last few months with swimmers that are much faster than me. It allowed me to push myself every day,” explained the swimmer from Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que.
This rest period allowed her to find her balance again, but Rivard doesn’t deny that her comeback was no easy ride.
“At first I regretted it when I went back into the water in January, because I was completely out of shape! I even almost drowned! It took me a long time to get back into shape, but I can say today that it was the best decision I have ever made. I needed to rest mentally and physically to get back onto a stronger footing for another four-year cycle.”
Because the World Series races held in Berlin group athletes from multiple categories together, Rivard was not on the first step of the podium. The rankings are adjusted according to a point-based system depending on the impairments of each swimmer. In the race, she finished seventh.
She was, however, the fastest in her category (S10) and will therefore receive a medal.
“It sure is difficult sometimes to perform well when the races group athletes from various categories together. I am a racer. I find it incredibly difficult to swim side-by-side with girls who are much slower than me. At the same time, however, there are also swimmers from S13 and S14 categories, who are much faster than I am. In those instances, this helps.”
For the rest of the weekend, Rivard has humble goals.
“I just want to swim as fast as possible and finish as close to my personal bests as possible, so I can adjust my training for the World Championships, which are starting in three months from now.”
Camille Bérubé, who competed in the 100m breaststroke C finals, finished with a time of 1 minute and 45.26 seconds and placed 25th in the overall ranking.
For the men, James Leroux stood out by breaking the record of the Americas as well as his own Canadian record in the SB9 category (1 minute, 09.76 seconds) in the 100m breaststroke. In the overall ranking for distance he came in eighth.
Philippe Vachon (S8) ranked 26th in the 100m butterfly with a time of 1 minute and 07.77 seconds.
Other Canadian Results:
- Alexander Elliot (S10) – 9th in the 100m butterfly (1 min 00.39 s)
- Tess Routliffe (SB7) – 13th in the 100m breaststroke (1 min 40.05 s)
- Danielle Kisser (SB6) – 24th in the 100m breaststroke (1 min 46.88 s)
Redaction: Alexandra Piché
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