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Final four swimmers nominated to Canadian Paralympic Team

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Swimming Canada announced Thursday the final four swimmers nominated to the Canadian team for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, set to get under way on August 24.

As announced last month following the cancellation of the Paralympic Swimming Trials due to the global COVID-1, in order to fill the remaining four of Canada’s 19 positions, eligible athletes were invited to demonstrate competitive readiness via submission of training logs and data as well as a video-recorded time trial performance.

Nicholas Bennett of Parksville, B.C., Matthew Cabraja of Brampton, Ont., Tammy Cunnington of Red Deer, Alta., and Angela Marina of Cambridge, Ont., earned the coveted nods, thus completing an unusual nomination process that started back in September 2019 at the World Para Swimming Championships in London.

“Nicholas, Matthew, Tammy and Angela along with their coaches have each demonstrated through their performances at the end of May their talent, tenacity, adaptability and ability to perform on demand,” said Wayne Lomas, Swimming Canada Associate High Performance Director and Para Swimming National Coach. “Off the back of these performances, I am confident that they will be in even better shape to perform for Canada in Tokyo this summer.

“I’d also like to pay tribute to the PSOs, technical officials and the countless other volunteers who all assisted our swimmers to submit their performance for demonstrating competitive readiness. While it is our swimmers and coaches who work so hard together for these performances, the opportunity to submit these time-trials required the support and assistance of many other unsung heroes.”

On the nomination list, Bennett, Cabraja, Cunnington and Marina join Alec Elliot, James Leroux, Shelby Newkirk, Aurélie Rivard, Tess Routliffe, Katarina Roxon, Nicolas-Guy Turbide and Aly Van Wyck-Smart, all of whom were nominated in September 2019 after medalling at the WPS Worlds.

Seven more swimmers were then provisionally added to the Tokyo 2020 squad a month ago based on their performances at London 2019, where they all competed in finals. That list included Camille Bérubé, Morgan Bird, Danielle Dorris, Sabrina Duchesne, Nikita Ens, Abi Tripp and Zach Zona.

Recognizing the three-stage process used to finalize the names of the 19 athletes, each swimmer nominated has achieved a 2019 WPS Championship medal or final or the Canada C Time as outlined in the January 2021 version of the Swimming Canada Swimmer and Coach Nomination Criteria for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

The provisional roster includes 12 veterans from Rio 2016, led by reigning Paralympic champions Rivard (50-100-400m freestyle S10) and Roxon (100m breaststroke SB8) as well as fellow medallists Routliffe and Turbide.

“This is the conclusion of a very challenging and different process, far from what we have been accustomed to in our sport,” said Lomas. “I’d like to congratulate every swimmer who the Para Swimming Selection Committee has chosen to nominate, as well as their coaches, families and the countless other friends and supporters who have been part of this process.”

“These have been difficult times and this was a challenging process,” added Swimming Canada’s chief executive officer, Ahmed El-Awadi. “In the end, we’re confident this is the best team to represent Canada. We know they will all do us proud.”

Due to a date conflict with the World Para Swimming event in Berlin, Swimming Canada’s Paralympic Program was not able to take part in the rescheduled Olympic Trials, which were moved from May 24-28 to June 19-23 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic situation in Ontario and other provinces.


Name Hometown Club Coach
Nicholas Bennett Parksville, B.C. CHP-Quebec / RAC Mike Thompson
Camille Bérubé Gatineau, Que. Natation Gatineau Craig McCord
Morgan Bird Calgary, Alta. CHP-Quebec / Cascade Mike Thompson
Matthew Cabraja Brampton, Ont. Cobra Swim Club / U of T Ian Roopnarine
Tammy Cunnington Red Deer, Alta. Red Deer Catalina SC Mandi Smith
Danielle Dorris Moncton, N.B. CHP-Quebec / CN Bleu et Or Ryan Allen
Sabrina Duchesne St-Augustin, Que. Rouge et Or Johanne Girardin
Alec Elliot Kitchener, Ont. Club de Natation Région de Québec Marc-André Pelletier
Nikita Ens Meadow Lake, Sask. Saskatoon Lasers Swim Club Eric Kramer
James Leroux Repentigny, Que. CHP-Quebec / UL Mike Thompson
Angela Marina Cambridge, Ont. Brantford Aquatic Club Paul Armstrong
Shelby Newkirk Saskatoon, Sask. Saskatoon Lasers Swim Club Eric Kramer
Aurélie Rivard St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que. Club de Natation Région de Québec Marc-André Pelletier
Tess Routliffe Caledon, Ont. CHP-Quebec / UL Mike Thompson
Katarina Roxon Kippens, N.L. Aqua Aces Swim Club Leonard Roxon
Abi Tripp Kingston, Ont. Kingston Y Penguins Aquatic Club Vicki Keith
Nicolas-Guy Turbide Quebec City, Que. Club de Natation Région de Québec Marc-André Pelletier
Aly Van Wyck-Smart Toronto, Ont. OSA / Variety Village Don Burton
Zach Zona Waterford, Ont. CHP-Quebec / NHAC Mike Thompson