Weekend wrap: 13 Para athletes confirmed for World Para Swimming Championships

Canadian Paralympic Committee

April 03, 2023

Shelby Newkirk lowers two Canadian records at trials


TORONTO – Five Canadians, including multiple champion Aurélie Rivard, are heading to the World Para Swimming Championships to defend their titles.

Rivard, Danielle Dorris, Shelby Newkirk, Tess Routliffe and Nicolas-Guy Turbide highlight a group of 13 confirmed qualifiers announced Sunday evening at the conclusion of the Bell Canadian Swimming Trials.

The complete Canadian delegation for the 2023 worlds in Manchester, England (July 31 – August 6) will be announced at a later date.

Rounding out the confirmed contingent are Nick Bennett, Alec Elliot, Nikita Ens, James Leroux, Katarina Roxon, Abi Tripp, Philippe Vachon and Aly Van Wyck-Smart, all returnees from Madeira 2022.

Turbide, who trains alongside Rivard, Tripp and Elliot at CNQ in Quebec City, has been dealing with back issues in recent years. He skipped the 100-m backstroke, the event in which he’s won two Paralympic medals.

“Personally, I came here this week with one goal in mind and that was to do the best 50 free possible. So I’m very pleased,” said Turbide. “I’m very happy to go home with the A standard and start working on the little things we can improve.”

The 50 free was the event he missed at worlds, after injuring his back in his 100 back victory at worlds. Later that summer he won gold in the 50 free at the Commonwealth Games.

Newkirk shines at trials

In the pool at trials, Saskatoon’s Newkirk wrapped up an exceptional meet by winning the women’s 100 backstroke multi-class final in 1:21.96, just off her own S6 national mark of 1:20.76 set at last year’s trials.

The 26-year-old Paralympian, who won gold in the event at last summer’s world championships, set a pair of S6 Canadian records earlier this week, in the 50 and 100 free.

“It’s been really, really good,” said Newkirk. “I’m going into it like I always want to improve on the previous year’s trials and just kind of see where I’m at. I was able to break two records that aren’t typically mine but I’m definitely getting closer in the world rankings and just super excited to race in the summer.”

Dorris (50 fly) and Bennett (200 IM) claimed the swim of the meet awards for the Paralympic program.

“Right now we’re just setting ourselves up,” said Bennett, the Tokyo Paralympian who captured silver in the event at Madeira 2022 worlds. “It’s really just indulging me for worlds.”

Mel Pemble Continues to shine with personal best at Para cycling track nationals

Two-time world champion in the women’s C3 category, Mel Pemble, set a personal best in the individual pursuit with a time of 4:15.775, while Tarek Dahab won his first-ever Canadian Championship, earning the jersey in both the time trial and individual pursuit at the Para cycling track nationals held this past weekend in Bromont, Que.

Tokyo 2020 Paralympic medallists Kate O’Brien and Keely Shaw both took wins in the C4 women’s category, while Alexandre Hayward (C3) and Lachlan Hotchkiss (C4) became champions in their respective category.

Saskatchewan wins Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championships

Armed with two members of Canada’s silver medal winning world championship team, Saskatchewan took the gold medal at the Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championships held on its home ice in Moose Jaw.

Worlds team members Gil Dash, the skip, and Marie Wright defeated Northern Ontario 6-2 in the final. They were joined by second Darwin Bender and lead Moose Gibson.

“What can you say?” said Dash, fresh from his worlds debut, to the Moose Jaw News. “On home ice? Huge. Marie coming up with her best game in the final? Huge. Then there were all the volunteers and fans that were here all week, it was great facility, and it was just a great week.”

Alberta won the bronze at the 12-team tournament.

With files from Swimming Canada, Cycling Canada and Moose Jaw News

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