Canadian Swimmer Katarina Roxon prepares for her swim at the 2015 IPC Worlds.

Canadian Paralympian continues her swim to success

Katarina Roxon wants to improve on Parapan gold this fall at Rio

UPDATE: Roxon will represent Canada at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio this September. 

TORONTO – For Canadian Paralympian Katarina Roxon it’s time to take the next step.

The 23-year old, who won gold in the 100-metre breaststroke at the Toronto 2015 Parapan Am Games, wants to capitalize on the high of winning in front of a home crowd last year.

“It was great. Winning gold on home soil was absolutely amazing,” said Roxon, minutes after winning her section in the breast on Wednesday night at the Paralympic swim trials.

“As soon as I’d touch the wall, all I would hear is the crowd screaming. It was nice being able to win a gold on home soil and it really puts things into perspective for me to want to push forward and make my country proud.”

The S9 classification swimmer, (joint restriction or amputation), swam a 1:24:25 in the 100-metre trials, allowing her to reach the world standard.

Though the team isn’t announced until Sunday, Roxon is in good shape for a trip to Brazil in September.

“I made the standard for Rio so I’m happy about that. I still have four more races to go, so I’m still going to give it my all for that,” said Roxon, on the pool deck of the Toronto Pan Am Aquatic Centre.

“Today was not the best look at my performance, my best is 1:21:97. So, I’m a little upset with that. But I have to deal with it so I’ll just move on to the next one.”

More work, more training, more improvement are on the menu for the summer.

“Hopefully, I can make up the difference before Rio.”

The native of Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador, had a breakout performance at the 2012 Paralympics in London, where she finished fifth in the 100-metre breaststroke.

“London was great. It was an amazing experience,” said Roxon. “From Beijing (at the 2008 Paralympics) to London, I improved a lot. I came fifth in the world in London, so I’m happy about that,” said Roxon.

“Since then, I’ve been improving. Last year at the world championships, I came third. I was so ecstatic about that.

“Now it’s about moving forward and pushing on towards Rio, seeing if I can make it to that podium.”