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Summer Mortimer wins gold, breaks world record at Paralympic Games
September, 05, 2012

LONDON – For the second time at these Paralympic Games, Para swimmer Summer Mortimer of Ancaster, Ont., won a gold medal in world record time, prevailing Tuesday in the women’s 100-metre backstroke.  Benoit Huot of Montreal added a bronze in the men’s 100 backstroke.

In the women’s 100 backstroke for the S10 disability category, Mortimer won in spectacular fashion with a sizzling second length to lower her world mark to 1:05.90.  Her previous standard was 1:06.47 set at the 2010 world championships.

Sophie Pasco of New Zealand, who led Mortimer by a half second at the turn took the silver in 1:06.69 while Shireen Shapiro of South Africawas third at 1:09.02.  Aurélie Rivard of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., clocked a personal best 1:11.92 for fifth spot.

‘’This feels absolutely amazing,’’ said Mortimer, the 50 freestyle champion and also a silver medallist in the 200 IM so far at the Games.  ‘’I haven’t been that fast since I was abled bodied.  To be able to beat my times from when I was 14-15 years-old is amazing.  I wasn’t expecting it but the race went perfectly.’’

The 19-year-old seriously injured her feet in a trampoline accident four years ago.

Mortimer was fully aware of how Tuesday’s final was unfolding.

‘’I need to see the clock when I swim backstroke and I saw that Sophie was ahead of me at the split and I just went for it.’’

In the preliminaries, Mortimer ranked third which left her fans a bit worried.  However she was simply following her game plan.

‘’I went easy in the prelims,’’ she said.  ‘’I was trying to strategically place myself a couple of lanes over so I wouldn’t be beside the main people and be able to focus on my own race.’’

In the men’s S10 100 backstroke, Justin Zook of the U.S., won the gold medal in a world record 1:00.01.  Former world record holder Andre Brasil of Brazil was second in 1:00.11 and Huot lowered his Canadian record to 1:00.73 for his second medal of the Games.  He was the 200 IM champion last Thursday.

‘’It wasn’t easy but it worked out well for me,’’ said Huot, now with 18 career Paralympic medals through four Games.  ‘’This isn’t the race I feel the most comfortable in and at the end I wasn’t sure I was in the medal contenders.  I was really hurting in the last 25 metres.’’

Double silver medallist Brianna Nelson of Victoria and Sarah Mehain of Vernon, B.C., were sixth and seventh respectively in the women’s S7 50 freestyle.  Nelson and Mehain both complete a six day stretch of racing.

Devin Gotell of Antigonish, N.S., was seventh in the men’s S13 400 freestyle.

Competition continues Wednesday. 

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