Canadians made the most of the 2021 World Para Swimming World Series season finale, setting three national records and one Americas mark at the international meet held June 17-20 in Berlin.
Competing for Canada in the German capital were Nikita Ens of Meadow Lake, Sask., James Leroux of Repentigny, Que., Sarah Girard of Montreal and Caleb Arndt of Newmarket, Ont., who underwent Classification Review, Meghan Calhoun of Owen Sound, Ont., and Gabriel Martel of Saint-Lazard, Que., who attended International Classification for the first time, as well as Tammy Cunnington of Red Deer, Alta., who raced as an eligibility requirement for Tokyo 2020.
Ens, Leroux and Cunnington have all been nominated to the Canadian team for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, set to get under way on August 24.
Each of the new Canadian records were set on Day 1 in Berlin.
Ens clocked 5:00.58 in the women’s 200m freestyle S3 to obliterate her own previous mark of 5:45.11 and posted a time of 3:39.85 in the 100m breaststroke SB2, again lowering her own national standard, which stood at 3:41.11. Her performance in the 100 breast also established an Americas record.
For his part, Martel touched the wall in 1:25.01 in the men’s 100m breaststroke S11 to better the time of 1:25.62 posted almost four decades ago by Tim McIsaac, back at the 1984 Paralympic Games.
“Eighteen months ago, coming out of a successful World Championships and pushing onwards to Tokyo 2020, I could not have imagined that we’d still be preparing,” said Michael Edey, assistant coach at the High Performance Centre – Quebec in Montreal and one the Canadian coaches in Berlin. “As so many have lost so much in the last year and a half, I feel extremely privileged and honoured to have been in a position to facilitate our athletes’ pursuit of their dreams to represent Canada this summer.
“The Berlin World Series stop has, once again, proved a pivotal piece of our team preparation and our outcomes here is a testament to the vision and professionalism of athletes and staff.”
Over 450 athletes from around the world competed at the event, which was the last classification opportunity this year for athletes from all countries vying for Tokyo 2020 eligibility.