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Canadian Para swimmers set nine world records

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MONTREAL, Quebec – Canadian Para swimmers broke nine world short-course records at the International de Noel meet hosted by Neptune Natation this past weekend in Montreal.

Eight of those came from High Performance Centre – Québec swimmers, including four by S14 swimmer Nicholas Bennett. The 16-year-old from Parksville, B.C., went 4:48.47 in the 400-m individual medley, 2:22.48 in the 200-m breaststroke, 1:53.30 in the 200-m freestyle and 4:02.96 in the 400 free.

Bennett was most proud of his performance in the 200 free, nearly two seconds faster than the 2014 mark set by Jon Margeir Sverrisson of Iceland.

“I honestly didn’t think 1:53 was possible for me in 200 freestyle,” said Bennett.

He also took more than six seconds off the 200 breaststroke mark held by Adam Ismael Wenham of Norway, and became the first Para-swimmer to go under the record mark of 5:01.31 set by World Para Swimming.

Meanwhile, Aurélie Rivard added records in the S10 200 and 400m freestyle. Already the record holder in both distances in the long-course pool, Rivard’s times of 2:05.38 and 4:26.69 gave her the short-course marks as well.

Their teammates Tess Routliffe (1:23.86 in the SM7 100IM) and Zach Zona (9:39.48 in the S8 800 freestyle) also set world records on the weekend.

“This is the fastest I’ve been early in the season ever. I’m feeling really good about things,” Routliffe said.

“I’m really proud of my group and we need to understand that this isn’t and end point of any sort,” said HPC-Québec Head Coach Mike Thompson. “Our focus is still Trials and Tokyo 2020. Records are awesome. Now we need to use that momentum to push us towards key performances in April and August.”

Matt Cabraja of Brampton, Ont., was the other Canadian to set a world record (30.65 in the S11 50-m butterfly) on the weekend.