By Swimming Canada
MADEIRA, Portugal – Making his fourth career appearance at Madeira 2022, long-time national team standout Nicolas-Guy Turbide finally reached the top of the world championship podium on Wednesday night thanks to a sensational triumph in the men’s 100-m backstroke S13 at the Penteada Olympic Swimming Complex.
The Quebec City native had previously claimed silver in his favourite event at last summer’s Paralympic Games in Tokyo and at the 2019 Worlds in London, as well as bronze at Rio 2016.
Turbide, who trains with coach Marc-André Pelletier at Club de Natation Région de Québec in Quebec City, posted a winning time of 1:00.17 to edge Thomas van Wanrooij of the Netherlands (1:00.55) by 38 hundredths of a second.
Oleksii Virchenko of the Ukraine took bronze in 1:00.95.
“It was probably the toughest race of my life physically. I’ve had lower back problems since the 2019 Worlds,” Turbide said. “I think that once again today, it was my experience that paid off. I was able to perform when it mattered. To be honest though, I think I have a limited number of races like this left in my body.”
Just as he did in Tokyo, when he moved up from fourth to second after the first 50, the 25-year-old turned it up a notch on the way back to capture his maiden world title. He was trailing van Wanrooij by 65 hundredths midway through the race.
“I tend to turn behind everyone a bit. But it's pushing a little harder and wanting it a little more in the last 50 that counts. That's what helped me reach the top of the podium today.”
Also standing on the podium for Canada on Day 4 was 19-year-old Danielle Dorris of Moncton, N.B., who matched her Paralympic result from Tokyo with a silver medal in the women’s 100 back S7.
The two-time Paralympian was in the lead at the turn but was caught down the stretch by American Julia Gaffney, who triumphed in 1:21.03. Dorris followed in 1:23.00.
Making her fifth and final world championship appearance, Camille Bérubé of Gatineau, Que., missed the podium by seven hundredths of a second, clocking 1:24.49 compared to 1:24.42 for McKenzie Coan of the United States.
“It was amazing. I had a lot of fun,” said Dorris, who moved to Montreal last fall to train under coach Mike Thompson at the High Performance Centre-Quebec. “I couldn’t really see where Julia was the entire time, up until 15 metres left when she caught up to me. Which I’m totally OK with. I’m ecstatic that I got silver again. It’s all that I could really ask for.”
Bérubé, who was fifth in the 100 back in Tokyo, claimed her first-ever Worlds medal on Sunday when she placed third in the 200 individual medley SM7.
“I arrived at the championships in fifth position and I finished fourth,” said the 27-year-old national team veteran. “It’s an improvement from my time in Tokyo. I couldn't have asked for better. Finishing fourth is part of the game. I'm really proud of my teammate Danielle, who’s taking over in the 100 back.”
For Thompson, senior coach of the Canadian contingent in Madeira, the theme of the day was “gutsy swim”.
“Gutsy swims, not being afraid. Young folks again like Félix (Cowan), who stepped up against the big boys, and Clémence, who had an amazing swim to take her Canadian record back in her first international meet besides Parapan Ams. Kat Roxon, third fastest time she’s ever done. And the relay was the same way. They were not afraid. Everyone was full of courage today and went after it. I loved it.
“And of course Nic. Again, not afraid. He’s been dealing with a back injury, and he had a lot of pressure to do well, without a prelim. He knew he was going to have some back pain at the end, he put himself in a position where he had to push hard to win, and he won. He got the job done.”
Canadians competed in seven other finals on Wednesday evening.
In the women’s 50 back S3, Nikita Ens of Meadow Lake, Sask., finished just off the podium, in fourth place, with a time of 1:08.70, while fellow Tokyo Paralympian Aly Van Wyck-Smart of Toronto placed eighth in 1:16.67.
Another fourth-place finish was produced by the mixed 4x100 freestyle S14 relay of Nicholas Bennett of Parksville, B.C., Tyson MacDonald of Tillsonburg, Ont., Angela Marina of Cambridge, Ont., and Emma Grace Van Dyk of Port Colborne, Ont.
It marked Canada’s first-ever participation in an S14 relay at world championships.
“I’m extremely proud of the team’s performance tonight,” said MacDonald, who was selected to the Canadian squad as a relay specialist. “I have to thank Swimming Canada for believing in me and for believing in this relay. That’s the most important part. I’m at a loss for words. I’m truly honoured.”
In the women’s 200 individual medley SM5, 19-year-old Clémence Paré of Boucherville, Que., set a Canadian record of 4:45.69 en route to a fifth-place finish, while Jessica Tinney of Scarborough, Ont., also went under the previous national mark to place sixth in 4:46.87.
“It’s awesome. It had been a long time since I last beat my best time. I’m really happy,” said Paré, who had recorded her previous best of 4:51.96 back in February of 2018. “The Worlds are very different from meets in Canada. It’s very exciting and motivating.”
In the women’s 100 freestyle S8, two-time Paralympian Abi Tripp of Kingston, Ont., clocked 1:11.48 to finish sixth, an improvement of three positions from London 2019.
In the men’s 100 free S8, Félix Cowan of Brossard, Que., placed eighth in a personal best time of 1:01.51. The 19-year-old was competing in his second final in as many individual events in his Worlds debut, after finishing sixth on Sunday in the 100 back.
In the women’s 50 back S4, Worlds rookie Jordan Tucker of Guelph, Ont., was seventh in 1:11.65. The 20-year-old has been the busiest Canadian swimmer so far in Madeira with seven finals in four days, including five individual events.
In the women’s 100 free S9, four-time Paralympian and six-time Worlds participant Katarina Roxon of Kippens, N.L., was eighth in 1:06.36, just 16 hundredths from her personal best.
Two other Canadians swam in the preliminaries on Wednesday, both in the men’s 100 free S8.
Zach Zona of Simcoe, Ont., placed 10th thanks to a personal best time of 1:03.48, while Philippe Vachon of Blainville, Que., was 14th in 1:04.23.
The seven-day competition runs until Saturday, with preliminaries set for 9 a.m. local time (4 a.m. ET / 1 a.m. PT) and finals starting at 5 p.m. (noon ET / 9 a.m. PT) daily.
All finals are livestreamed on the Canadian Paralympic Committee’s Facebook page and Paralympic.ca as well as CBC Sports digital platforms: the free CBC Gem streaming service, cbcsports.ca, and the CBC Sports app for iOS and Android devices.
Full results: https://www.paralympic.org/madeira-2022/schedule-results