Canadian Paralympians setting the stage for strong Games

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WINNIPEG – Canadian Para swimming veterans Benoit Huot of Montreal and Donovan Tildesley of Vancouver showed their preparations are on track for the Paralympic Games with double victories last Saturday at the 2012 Speedo CAN/AM Para-swimming Championships.

Huot, preparing for his fourth Paralympics, earned a decisive victory in the men’s 200 IM in the S10 disability class. The eight-time Paralympic champion broke the world record in the event at the Games trials this past spring and clocked a solid 2:16.55 on Saturday.

”The 200 IM is one of my top priority races for the Paralympics and I was very happy with how it went today,” said Huot, also the 100 backstroke winner Saturday. ”Now that we are in the midst of some heavy training I wanted to get under 2:17. All four strokes were solid.”

Tildesley collected victories in the same two events in the S11 category for the visually impaired as did Adam Rahier of Nanaimo, B.C., in the S14 division.

Other victors in men’s competition included Nathan Stein of Surrey, B.C., and Devin Gotell of Antigonish, N.S., in the 50 freestyle. Stein came within a second of the world record. Brian Hill of Montreal was also first in the 100 backstroke.

On the women’s side, Summer Mortimer of Ancaster, Ont., came within a half second of her world mark in the 50 freestyle finishing in 28.63. Amber Thomas of Drayton Valley, Alta., and Jana Murphy of Victoria were also victors in their respective 50 free.

In the women’s 200 IM, Brianna Nelson of Victoria , Morgan Bird of Calgary, Aurélie Rivard of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., and Thomas all won their races.

Valérie Grand’Maison of Montreal also had a strong night finishing second in the 50 freestyle and 200 IM in the S13 disability class for visually impaired.

”Both Americans that beat me in those races are in the top-two in the world so it was great for me to have those kinds of intensive races at this point in the season,” said Grand’Maison, a triple Paralympic Games gold medallist in 2008 . ”I made some errors but I have a lot to build upon towards the Games.”

Full results at:

Christian J. Stewart
Christian is a professional photographer and media professional based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Currently working as the Assistant General Manager for Victoria HarbourCats Baseball Club, a Senior Contributing Editor and photographer at Independent Sports News (ISN) and operating his own freelance photography and media/pr company.