Confirmed qualifiers for 2023 World Para Swimming Championships announced
TORONTO – Five Canadians are heading to the World Para Swimming Championships to defend their titles
Aurélie 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-Aug. 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.
“I start by congratulating each swimmer and their respective coach on tonight’s selection,” said Wayne Lomas, Swimming Canada’s Associate High Performance Director and National Para Swimming Coach. “The swimmers, and their coaches, supported by strong family and community networks, should be very proud to meet the standard for selection on Canada’s team.
“The athletes we have named tonight are highly experienced, elite swimmers who have once again demonstrated their qualities through their performances this week.”
Lomas said he sees the upcoming worlds as a key part of the preparation for the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris.
“We are approaching these WPS World Championships very much with a lens toward Paris, racing the best in the world, rehearsing processes and fine tuning our performance in advance of the Games.”
Newly appointed Senior Team Coach and National Performance Manager, Mike Thompson, will be Team Canada’s head coach in England.
“I’m looking forward to working with each swimmer, along with their coaches, to continue to build toward peak performance in Manchester this summer and to improve the quality of our team,” said Thompson, himself a world championship gold-medal winning coach.
“In this new role, a lot of my focus has gone towards enhancing the team experience as a tool to enhance performance.”
Last summer in Portugal, Canada achieved its best medal haul at worlds since 2010 with 18 podium finishes, including six titles.
The 30-athlete team also set three championship records, 14 national marks and 22 personal best times.
Rivard, a five-time Paralympic champion who trains at Club de Natation Région de Québec, led the way with a pair of triumphs, in the women’s 50 and 100-m freestyle S10. The native of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., also claimed bronze in the 100 backstroke to up her remarkable career total to 17 medals (6-6-5) across five world championship appearances.
Dorris was crowned in the women’s 50 butterfly S7, Newkirk won women’s 100 back S6, Routliffe prevailed in women’s 100 breaststroke SB7, while Turbide captured gold in the men’s 100 back S13.
Routliffe of Caledon, Ont., and Turbide of Quebec City both won their first career world title in Madeira.
“My times this week were not exactly where I wanted them to be but I was able to do what I needed to do. I got the job done,” said Routliffe, who qualified for her fifth world championships.
“There’s definitely room for improvement. Last year’s worlds were quite successful for me, so the Trials were a stepping stone towards getting back to that level and achieve more success in Manchester,” added the Rio 2016 Paralympian from Montreal’s High Performance Centre – Quebec, who had missed the Tokyo Games due to a serious back injury but made a remarkable recovery to claim three medals in Portugal. “Honestly, I’m as excited as I was for my first worlds. It was quite exciting to see a lot of people step up this week and it bodes well for this summer.”
Turbide, who trains alongside Rivard, Tripp and Elliot at CNQ, has been dealing with his own back issues in recent years. After winning the 100 back at last year’s worlds, he was forced to miss his other event, the 50 free, which was set for the next day.
A few weeks later however, in Birmingham, England, the 26-year-old won Commonwealth Games gold in the 50 free.
“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.”
“We made the decision not to swim the 100 backstroke to protect my back and save it for future opportunities. It was the right thing to do,” said the two-time Paralympic medallist in the event. “As for worlds, I won’t make a hasty decision. For sure, the 100 back is my baby. It’s the event in which I’ve had the most success in my career. But I’m aware that in my current condition, the goals I can set for myself in terms of improvement are perhaps more interesting in the 50 free.”
Turbide is optimistic about the team heading to Manchester.
“This year we’re going back to a slightly smaller team and that’s probably a good thing. It’ll be up to each of us to deliver top performances when it counts the most.”
|Last Name / Nom de famille||Hometown / Ville||Club||Coach of Record /Entraineur personnel|
|Danielle||Dorris||Moncton, NB||Club de natation Bleu et Or||Allen, Ryan|
|Nicholas||Bennett||Parksville, BC||Ravensong Aquatic Club||Bennett, Haley|
|Nikita||Ens||Saskatoon, SK||Saskatoon Lasers||Jones, Ryan|
|Shelby||Newkirk||Saskatoon, SK||Saskatoon Lasers||Jones, Ryan|
|Aly||Van Wyck-Smart||Toronto, ON||Variety Village||Keith, Vicki|
|Philippe||Vachon||Blainville, QC||Club de Natation Megophias de Trois Rivieres||Labrie, Charles|
|James||Leroux||Repentigny, QC||Centre de haute performance – Quebec / Rouge et Or/Université Laval||Lavallière, Jean-Michel|
|Tess||Routliffe||Caledon, ON||Centre de haute performance – Quebec / Rouge et Or/Université Laval||Lavallière, Jean-Michel|
|Alexander||Elliot||Kitchener, ON||Club de natation Région de Quebec||Pelletier, Marc-André|
|Aurélie||Rivard||Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, QC||Club de natation Région de Quebec||Pelletier, Marc-André|
|Abi||Tripp||Kingston, ON||Club de natation Région de Quebec||Pelletier, Marc-André|
|Nicolas-Guy||Turbide||Québec, QC||Club de natation Région de Quebec||Pelletier, Marc-André|
|Katarina||Roxon||Kippens, NL||Aqua Aces Swim Club||Roxon, Leonard|
|STAFF / PERSONNEL|
|Wayne||Lomas||Team Leader / Chef d’équipe|
|Emma||Van Steen||Assitant Team Leader / Chef d’équipe adjointe|
|Marika||Kay||Manager / Gérante|
|Mike||Thompson||Head Coach / Entraineuf-chef|
|Ryan||Allen||Coach / entraineur|
|Haley||Bennett||Coach / entraineur|
|Michel||Bérubé||Coach / entraineur|
|Ryan||Jones||Coach / entraineur|
|Jean-Michel||Lavallière||Coach / entraineur|
|INTEGRATED SUPPORT TEAM / ÉQUIPE DE SOUTIEN INTÉGRÉ|
|Dr Andreane||Bourgeois||Physician / médecin|
|Kathleen||Smith||IST Lead & Physiotherapist / Responsable ÉSI & physiothérapeute|
|Simon||Deguire||Physiologist / physiologue|
|Alexandre||Clark||Strength & Conditioning Coach / Entraineur conditionnement|
|Jessica||Seasts||RMT / massothérapeute|
|Stephanie||Coughlan||RMT / massothérapeute|
|Evelyne||Dube||Race Analysis / Analyse de course|
|Marie-Pier||Couillard||Media Attache / Média attaché|
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