Zack attack adds to swimming medal count at Parapan Am Games

August 9, 2015

TORONTO _ It was the attack of the Zacks during Sunday morning’s swimming at the 2015 Toronto Parapan American Games.

Zack McAllister and Zach Zona finished second and third in the S8 400-meter freestyle to increase Canada’s medal haul in the pool. They will be looking to add more hardware when they swim in the 50-meter final during the evening session.

McAllister, of Lethbridge, Alta., grabbed the silver in a time of four minutes, 47.88 seconds. Zona, of Waterford, Ont., took bronze in 4:52.36.

Brazil’s Caio Amorim Muniz won the race in an America’s record time of 4:33.10.

"I could have gone faster,” said McAllister. “I kind of just knew I was going to get silver so I was playing it safe.”

Canada’s swimming medal count increased to nine (one gold, five silver, three bronze).

Zona’s time was a personal best.

“I was really happy with that swim,” he said. “I went my best time for the first time in a while and I swam a lot better than I swam at worlds.

“It gives me a big confidence boost going into the 50-meter finals tonight and other events during the week.”

Earlier in the morning McAllister swam a personal best time of 27.75 seconds and tied for an America’s Record with Mexico’s Armando Andrade in the 50-m free preliminaries.

There’s a chance for a Canadian medal sweep in the final. Chris Sergeant-Tsonos, of Kingston, Ont., qualified second with a time of 28.90 while Zona was third with a personal best time of 30.22.

McAllister, who has bone tumours which restrict the growth and range of motion of his arms and legs, said his racing needs some tinkering.

“I started well but kind of died off at the end,” said the University of Lethbridge student. “We will try to fix that.

“It’s going to be a close race tonight.”

In another final, Andrew Cooke of Penticton, B.C., was fourth in the S4 breaststroke in 2.29.88.

Sabrina Duchesne, of Quebec City, leads four Canadian women into the S7-8 400-m freestyle final.

Duchesne, who at 14 is the youngest member of the team, swam a person best time of 5:25.54 to be the fastest in qualifying. She was given extra energy after watching her teammates reap medals during Saturday’s opening day.

“A lot of people won medals so it’s an inspiration for me,” she said.

Morgan Bird, of Calgary, had the second fastest qualifying time of 5:26.95 while Sara Mailhot of Quebec City was fifth in a personal best 5:33.44. Tess Routliffe, of Caledon, Ont., was seventh in 5:53.336.

The competition has attracted 228 athletes from 19 countries to the Parapan Am Aquatic Centre and Field House. For full results go to

In other evening events Nicolas Turbide will be looking for his second medal. Turbide, who won gold in the S13 200-m IM for the visually impaired Saturday, will be looking for a return trip to the podium in the S13 100-m backstroke.

Also racing for medals will be Aurelie Rivard of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., in the S10 100- breaststroke, and Alec Elliot, of Kitchener, Ont., in the S9 100-m breaststroke.