Abi Tripp, during a photo shoot for Swimming Canada

Abi Tripp breaks two Canadian records in one day at nationals

Kingston para-swimmer betters mark set in 2002

TORONTO – Canadian para-swimmer Abi Tripp broke a 14-year old record earlier Thursday night – and then broke it again hours later.

The Kingston Ont., native participated in the SM8 classification heats for the 200m women’s individual medley, where she broke Andrea Cole’s 2002 record of 3:03.04 with a personal best of 3:00.98.

In the final race of the day at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre, Tripp set a new standard of 2:58.77 – a mark sure to boost her efforts in making the Canadian Paralympic swim team.“I definitely swam better than this morning, which is always good,” said an elated Tripp. “I just feel tired, but really excited.”

After getting out of the pool for the final time that night, Tripp only had glowing words for her competitors.

“It’s so much fun racing with these girls, they’re just so supportive,” said Tripp. “It’s just a really cool experience being here at the swim trials and competing.”

The 15-year old is no stranger to intense competition – she last participated in the 2015 Parapan Am Games, where she swam the 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 100m breaststroke and 200m IM. All four of those events also took place at the Toronto Pan Am Sport Centre, a pool that she has come to know well.

“We don’t have these kinds of pool in Kingston,” said Tripp. “But it’s not that far away – I always look forward to swimming here.”

Despite her relatively young age, Tripp has developed a mature outlook on participating in sport at such a high level.

“I’m young, so it’s really important to go out there and have fun,” said Tripp. “My coach is really supportive, and my family just wants me to have a good time while I compete.”

With the accomplishments come the accolades, and Tripp also enjoys the support from all aspects of her life – even ones she did not expect.

“Everyone has been really supportive, friends from everywhere,” said Tripp. “Even people I don’t know have come and congratulated me, it’s really cool.”

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