CAIRNS, Australia – Nicolas-Guy Turbide of Quebec City set an Americas record for the second straight night while Danielle Kisser of Delta, B.C., and Danielle Dorris of Moncton, N.B., also set new Canadian standards Sunday on Day 4 of the 2018 Pan Pacific Para-Swimming Championships in Cairns, Australia.
The Canadian team racked up 10 medals (3-4-3) for the second consecutive evening and ended the penultimate day of the competition with five more personal-best-times.
Twenty-four hours after he broke his own Americas and Canadian marks in the men’s 200-metre individual medley SM13, Turbide repeated the feat in the 100 backstroke S13, winning the final in 59.28 seconds to best his 59.55 time from the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, where he claimed bronze.
As was the case Saturday in the 200 IM, the 21-year-old, who trains at Club de Natation Région de Québec with coach Marc-André Pelletier, wasn’t at his best in the morning preliminaries, posting a 1:00.99, but came back strong in the evening session to prevail by almost five seconds over Australia’s Jacob Templeton (1:04.01).
“I had the same goal as yesterday. In the morning, I had a pretty back breakout in my first underwater,” said Turbide. “It was nice to get another PB and another Americas record tonight. Everything fell into place, I just felt great in the water. Having two PBs in my two best events is an awesome thing.”
Other Canadian results in the men’s 100 back included Alec Elliot of Kitchener, Ont., winning S10 gold in 1:02.39, Matthew Cabraja of Brampton, Ont., claiming S11 silver (1:21.70), Philippe Vachon of Blainville, Que., capturing S8 bronze (1:12.33) and Zach Zona of Waterford, Ont., taking seventh place, also in the S8 category (1:17.78).
“It wasn’t as good a swim as I would have liked tonight. It was a bit slower than my best, about a second off,” said Elliot, a 2016 Paralympian from the Region of Waterloo Swim Club who had set personal bests on each of the first three days of the championships in the 400 freestyle, 100 free and 200 IM. “I’m keeping strong going into Day 5. Tomorrow is my big day. I have the 100 fly and 50 free so it’s going to be two really good races and hopefully two more best times.”
In the women’s 100 back, Kisser broke her own S6 Canadian record twice, going 1:43.90 in the morning and 1:43.57 at night, while Dorris, who is only 15, touched the wall in 1:23.59 in the final to shatter the previous S8 national mark of 1:23.73 set by Camille Bérubé back in 2014.
Both merited silver medals for their efforts.
“It was a really good race,” said Kisser, who trains at CHP-Québec in Montreal and who held the previous S6 standard of 1:45.27 since 2016. “It was nice to be going fast again, and the atmosphere is really fun to race in.”
Her CHP-Québec coach, Mike Thompson, was thrilled for his protégée, who has dealt with her share of injuries in recent years.
“Danielle had a fantastic race tonight. She wasn’t feeling great this afternoon but she came back and had a very solid race. I’m extremely pleased with that. The signs of having something moving in the right direction is really good for her and for everyone.”
In addition to Kisser and Dorris’ second-place finishes, the women’s 100 back produced three more Canadian medals, including gold for Shelby Newkirk of Saskatoon in the S7 division (1:20.66), silver for Aurélie Rivard of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que. (S10 – 1:10.13) and bronze for Angela Marina of Cambridge, Ont. (S14 – 1:14.14).
Justine Morrier of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu (S14 – 1:17.80) and Abi Tripp of Kingston, Ont. (S8 – 1:26.83) were fourth and fifth in their respective categories.
“I was only .53 away from my world-record time. I’m really happy with it,” said Newkirk, a 22-year-old from the Saskatoon Laser Swim Club who posted a spectacular 1:20.13 on July 17 at the 2018 Canadian Trials in Edmonton. “I went the fastest I’ve ever gone in my first 25. I kind of died out at the end but I’m still really happy with my race. It’s my first medal at an international competition so it’s very exciting.”
Last but not least, in the women’s 50 butterfly S7, Paralympians Tess Routliffe of Caledon, Ont., and Sabrina Duchesne of St-Augustin, Que., both achieved personal bests, the former taking bronze in 36.80 and the latter finishing sixth in 39.14.
“I’m really happy with that swim. We’ve been working on the 50 fly since before the Commonwealth Games. I was kind of forced to do it at Commonwealth and we opened a new door, looking at what I could do. I’m really happy with how that’s going and it’s becoming one of my better events,” said Routliffe, who trains at CHP-Québec and had set her previous PB of 37.48 on June 2 at the British Para-Swimming International in England. “It feels good to come out faster than a few of my competitors, just because they’ve always been faster than me in that race. It gives me a lot of confidence to be able to come back and beat some of them.”
“Tess’ race was unbelievably good,” added Thompson. “We weren’t really sure what to expect because all four of the American girls were faster than her best time going into tonight. But the one thing I know about Tess is she never doesn’t race and she never doesn’t catch somebody. That’s just the type of person she is.”
Duchesne, a 17-year-old from Club de Natation Rouge et Or in Quebec City, lowered the 39.91 she posted on July 21 at the Canadian Trials.
“I’m very pleased with my race. This morning was my second best time of the season. Then tonight, I had my best time ever. It’s nice to end my individual races at this competition with a best time. After a tough season, it’s a positive note for me.”
For the fourth day in a row, Wayne Lomas, Swimming Canada’s Associate Director of High Performance and Para-swimming National Coach, was thrilled with the number of personal bests set by Canadian swimmers.
“Personal-best times were the order of the day again. With one more day to go, we’ve now had 11 of our 18 swimmers record a PB, which is a terrific reflection of the way the whole team, including the coaches back home in Canada, have worked toward peak performance at these championships.
“I’d like to congratulate our coaching staff of Vince Mikuska, Mike Thompson, Michel Bérubé and Charles LaBrie, supported by Canadian Swim Coaches and Teachers Association mentor coach Ryan Allen, who have combined their skills and experience to support each other and the swimmers in striving to improve and swim faster than ever before.”
The 2018 Pan Pacific Para-swimming Championships continue through Monday at Tobruk Memorial Pool in Cairns. Finals begin at 5 p.m. local time every night (3 a.m. ET).
Full results available here: http://liveresults.swimming.org.au/SAL/2018PARP/