Danielle Dorris caps Paralympic swimming trials with Canadian record

Canadian Paralympic Committee

May 20, 2024

Sebastian Massabie emerges as one to watch for Paris 2024

Danielle Dorris

TORONTO – Danielle Dorris started and ended the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Trials with record performances.

The 21-year-old Paralympic Games champion from Moncton, N.B. concluded the week-long event Sunday breaking her two-year-old Canadian record twice in the women’s S7 50-metre freestyle. She bettered her 33.80 to 33.50 in the preliminaries then to 33.40 in the final.

‘’I just came in with the confidence that I’ve done it before, I can do it again,’’ said Dorris, born with only a portion of her arms. ‘’It’s a great way to cap the week, I’m really pleased with all of my performances.’’

Back on Monday she opened the competition matching her 32.99 world record in the 50-metre butterfly, the event in which she won Paralympic Games gold in 2021.

It was also a big week for Sebastian Massabie of Surrey, B.C. He broke six Canadian records including both the men’s S4 50 free and 200 free on Sunday. His other marks were in the 100 freestyle, 50 backstroke, 50 fly and 150 IM.

His 33.68 in the 50 fly was also a world record and his 50 free time was his second A standard of the meet.

‘’It was great to improve on my performances from earlier this season,’’ said Massabie, 19, who has cerebral palsy. ‘’My coach and I have a great plan and a great work ethic. I can’t wait to see what I can accomplish this summer.’’

The other world mark in Para swimming was set on Friday by Nicholas Bennett of Parksville, B.C. in the S14 200 IM. The world champion once again looked strong in the 200 freestyle Sunday night clocking 1:54.78 and meeting the ‘A’ standard.

‘’The time is a little disappointing, but I expect to be back stronger than ever in Paris,’’ said Bennett, 20. ‘’There were some positive parts to the race for me and I’m going to take the good with the bad. It’s not the most fun way to end a meet with an endurance race but you have to deal with it.’’

Canada’s biggest star in the sport, Aurélie Rivard of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., was ranked first in the women’s 50 free multiclass race clocking 27.99, just over a half second off her S10 world record to clock a third A standard.

‘’I certainly have a lot of work to do to prepare for Paris,’’ said Rivard, 27, a 10-time Paralympic medallist. ‘’But this week really showed me what I’m missing right now in my swimming and what I need to work on.’’

Rivard, Bennett and Tess Routliffe of Caledon, Ont., led the competition posting A standards in three races.

Shelby Newkirk of Saskatoon notched her second A standard with her performance in the S6 50 free.

Wayne Lomas, Swimming Canada’s Para Swimming National Coach, was delighted with the performances.

‘’It’s an incredible achievement to have 11 athletes reach the ‘A’ standard in races (totalling 21 events), which is basically a top-five time in the world,’’ he said. ‘’We’re really excited. Veterans like Aurelie Rivard and Katarina Roxon came through once again, Nicholas Bennett continues to grow in stature internationally and youngsters like Reid Maxwell and Katie Cosgriffe assure our team will be in wonderful shape for Paris.’’

On Sunday evening after the races, the 20-member Canadian Para swimming team was nominated for Paris 2024.

 Full story here.

Can Crew Newsletter

Receive the latest news, athlete stories, and behind-the-scenes access directly to your inbox.

"*" indicates required fields