International showdowns on menu at Can Ams

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EDMONTON – Some of the biggest international showdowns are on the schedule for the 2014 Can Am Para-swimming Championships Friday to Sunday at the Kinsmen Sports Centre in Edmonton.

Nathan Stein of Surrey, B.C., and Aurélie Rivard of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., recently named Team Aquatic Supplies Male and Female Para-Swimmers of the Year, lead the Canadian charge.

Stein and 19-time Paralympic Games medallist Benoit Huot not only face each other but eight-time Paralympic champion Andre Brasil of Brazil in the S10 disability category.

In 2014, Stein returned from injury to win gold and silver medals at the Para Pan Pacific Championships, lowering Huot’s national marks in both events.

‘’This meet will be a good indicator on where we stand early in a new season,’’ said Huot. ‘’The Can Am meet is always a key event for us. It’s an opportunity to face a strong American team and we always have a presence from other countries as well which is really good.’’

Other Canadians to watch in men’s competition include Alec Elliot of Kitchener, Ont., Adam Purdy of London, Ont., and Jean-Michel Lavallière of Quebec City.

Rivard marched to the podium seven times at the Para Pan Pacs including three trips to the top step. France is sending a handful of swimmers to the meet including multiple Paralympic medallist Elodie Lorandi. Rivard and Lorandi are seeded 1-2 in the 100-m freestyle and 400-m freestyle in the S10 category.

The Canadian women’s side also includes world championship medallists Morgan Bird of Calgary, Sarah Mehain of Vernon, B.C., and Brianna Nelson of Victoria.

‘’This is an event at which our Canadian swimmers need to step it up and show they are serious about competing at the Parapan Am Games and world championships next year and ultimately the Paralympic Games in 2016,’’ said Craig McCord, Swimming Canada’s para-swimming head coach.

Preliminaries are at 10 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m. on all three days of competition.

Live results are available here: https://www.swimming.ca/liveresults/2014canam/

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