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Three record-breaking swims for Jacob Brayshaw on opening night of Ken Demchuk International Invitational

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Jacob Brayshaw served notice he will be a swimmer to watch leading into the Paris 2024 Paralympics with three Canadian record-breaking swims during Friday’s opening night of competition at the Ken Demchuk International Invitational meet in Vancouver.

Brayshaw won the S2 100-metre backstroke in three minutes, 43.31 seconds. During the morning heats he swam 3:45.71, obliterating his old record of 4:10.98.

He also won the 200-m freestyle in 7:37.02, slower than the Canadian record time of 7:33.78 he swam in the morning.

“It was a crazy morning,” said the 20-year-old from Vernon, B.C., who swims for the KISU Swim Club in Penticton, B.C. “I don’t know what I ate for breakfast.”

Brayshaw, who lives with muscular dystrophy, was disappointed he didn’t break the 200 freestyle record again.

“I wish my 200 was a little bit quicker,” he said. “This morning was a crazy time. I went out super quick.”

Hunter Helberg and Emma Van Dyk also broke Canadian records.

Helberg, a visually impaired athlete who swims for the Fort McMurray Mantas Swim Club, won the S12 100-m backstroke in 1:16.94. That broke his own record of 1:17.65 he had set in July.

“I wasn’t overly confident but was hopeful and confident,” said Helberg, who also won the 400-m freestyle in 5:14.59.

“I just put that little extra effort to move my arms with my legs.”

Van Dyk, who swims for Brock, won the S14 women’s 100-m backstroke in 1:12.12. The old record of 1:13.26 was set in 2019 by Angela Marina.

“I did more underwater work than I usually do,” said Van Dyk, who has an intellectual impairment. “I just tried to keep my strategy the best I could. It turns out I had a great race.”

Van Dyk also finished second in the 200-m freestyle in 2:19.19.

Michel Bérubé, Swimming Canada’s Paralympic NextGen and Pathways coach, was thrilled with the results.

“The big word for me is excitement,” he said. “People were very excited to come here and race.”

“We’ve seen it in the way the clubs and provinces were preparing for this event.”

The meet, being held to Sunday at the UBC Aquatic Centre on the University of British Columbia campus, has attracted around 60 competitors, making it the largest Para swimming competition held in Canada in four years.

Formerly known as the Can Am Para-swimming Championships, the meet has been renamed to honour Ken Demchuk, a Canadian swim official from Regina who developed a points system that allowed swimmers from different classifications to compete in the same race.

For full results go to

Étienne Boutin-Côté of Team Quebec won a pair of S4 races. He took the 200-m freestyle in 4:39.73 and the 50-m butterfly in 56.50.

Nicholas Bennett of the Ravensong Aquatic Club from Qualicum Beach, B.C., won the 200-m free S14 race in 1:57.05 then got back in the water to take the 100-m backstroke in 1:02.49.

Sebastian Massabie of the Pacific Sea Wolves won the men’s S6 400-m freestyle in 7:27.67 and the 50-metre butterfly in 45.47 seconds.

Lysandre Lepage of Team Quebec won the women’s S7 in 400-m freestyle in 6:55.05 and the 100 backstroke in 1:41.82.

Ali Diehl of the Prince Albert Sharks Swim Club was the top swimmer in the women’s 400-m freestyle S9 class in 6:54.32 and the 100-backstroke in 1:41.68.

Jaime Cosgriffe of Swim Ontario won the women’s S10 400 freestyle in 4:58.96 and the 100-back in 1:13.75.

Tatiana Nault of Team Quebec won S8 400-m freestyle in 6:32.51.

In other results:

In the women’s 200-m freestyle, Nikita Ens of Saskatoon Lasers won the S3 race in 4:51.25. Jordan Tucker of Swim Ontario won the S4 class 4:25.47 while Jessica Tinney of Variety Village won the S5 race in 3:36.21. Angela Marina of Swim Ontario won the women’s S14 in 2:18.24.

In the men’s 200-m freestyle S5, Tyson Jacob of Team Quebec won 3:43.77.

In the women’s 400-m freestyle, Morgan Cathcart of Edmonton’s Steadward Bears won the S6 class in 7:56.00.

In the men’s 400-m freestyle, Marian Catalin Barbu of Team Quebec topped the S6 class in 5:35.12. Zach Zona of the Norfolk Hammerheads won the S8 in 4:57.94 and Reid Maxwell of the Edmonton Keyano Swim Club took the S9 in 4:44.36.

Nathan Luscombe of the Gander Lakers won the S10 class in 5:03.88 while Team Quebec’s Gabriel Martel won the S11 in 6:36.59.

In the women’s 50-m butterfly, Jordan Tucker of Swim Ontario won the S4 class in 54.25 seconds. Hannah Ouellette of the Saskatoon Lasers was the S5 winner in 59.72 seconds while Tess Routliffe of the High Performance Centre- Quebec won the S7 in 37.48 seconds.

In the women’s 100-m backstroke, Shelby Newkirk of the Saskatoon Lasers won the S6 class in 1:25.53. Ruby Stevens of Variety Village won the S8 class in 1:33.87.

In the men’s 100-backstroke, Leo Zheng of Flatland Swimming won the S7 class in 1:35.10. Felix Thomas Cowan of the Samak Club took the S8 group in 1:17.50 while Reid Maxwell of the Edmonton Keyano won the S9 in 1:17.64. Jagdev Gill of McGill won the S10 in 1:15.19 and Team Quebec’s Gabriel Martel the S11 in 1:37.02.

The 34-point, mixed 400-m freestyle relay team of Zach Zona, Tess Routliffe, Reid Maxwell and Breanna White won in 4:41.76.

The meet is the first step in determining the size of Canada’s swim team at the Paris 2024 Paralympics.

To compete at the Paralympics, countries must earn qualification slots which determine the total number of swimmers that can attend the competition. These slots can be earned by performances at sanctioned meets in a period beginning from October of this year until February 2024.

Once it’s determined how many Para swimmers Canada can send to Paris, the final team will be selected at the Paralympic trials set for Montreal in May 2024.