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Vachon breaks Canadian record on opening night of the Para-swimming Canadian Open

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TORONTO – Philippe Vachon posted a Canadian record time of 1 minute 6.39 seconds in the men’s 100-metre butterfly on the first night of the Para-swimming Canadian Open at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre.

“I’m really happy with that, I felt really great in the water,” said Vachon, of Blainville, Que. “I think the altitude from the training camp in New Mexico helped a lot. My breathing was way better than normal.”

Despite setting a record in the pool tonight, Vachon is already looking ahead.

“The big thing for me is the 100-m backstroke tomorrow since it is a selection event for the Commonwealth Games,” he said. “It’s also my best event so I really want to do a good job in it.”

Canada had four swimmers in the women’s 400-m freestyle. Aurélie Rivard, the world record holder in the women’s S10 400-m freestyle, finished the race with a time of 4:34.08.

“It felt good. It was a good swim,” said Rivard of St-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, Que. “It’s been a challenging summer. We’ve had so much happen in the last two weeks so I’m very pleased with that race, it was a good icebreaker event.”

High Performance Centre – Quebec’s Tess Routliffe was just off her best time as she posted a 5:41.14. Katarina Roxon of Kippens, N.L., put up a time of 5:16.59 and Sabrina Duchesne of St-Augustin, Que., swam 5:24.67.

Zach Zona competed in the men’s 400-m freestyle where he posted a time of 4:48.69. Zona, of Waterford, Ont., is excited for Wednesday’s 200-m individual medley where he hopes to qualify for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

“It was pretty good. I’m happy with the time, it was my best all year,” said Zona. “I want to make the Commonwealth Games team in the 200-m IM, which is my last race of the meet.”

Justine Morrier of the C.N. du Haut Richelieu was 0.01 short of her personal best time as she swam 1:13.04 in the women’s 100-m butterfly. Morgan Bird of the Cascade Swim Club swam in the same heat as Morrier and put up a time of 1:21.00.

Samantha Ryan posted 1:10.92 in the second heat of the women’s 100 fly.

“I’ve had a little bit of a tough year training wise. I think my execution and process was done the way I wanted to so I’m happy with the time under the circumstances,” said Ryan, a Saskatoon native. “I stayed focused and followed my race plan. I just want to stay focused and keep the momentum through the rest of the meet.”

In Routliffe’s second race of the night, the 19-year-old finished the 50-m butterfly in 39.93. Her teammates Tammy Cunnington and Shelby Newkirk sprinted to 52.75 and 41.72 in the same race.

Alec Elliot of Kitchener, Ont., swam the 100-m butterfly in 58.39.

“Tonight was kind of a mixed bag,” said Vince Mikuska, Swimming Canada’s Senior Coach, Paralympic Program. “We had a Canadian record and some best times. This group often gets better as the meet goes on so we hope that we gather some momentum and keep rolling into tomorrow.”

The 2017 Para-swimming Canadian Open continues through Wednesday at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre. Finals begin at 6:15 p.m. ET every night.

Full results available here: