Abi Tripp is ready for her other events after progressing to the finals in the Women's S8 400m freestyle.

Abi Tripp shatters backstroke PB at Paralympic swim trials

Though 15, she has eyes firmly on Rio berth

UPDATE: Tripp made the Paralympic team at the trials in April and will be in Rio this September.

TORONTO – Abi Tripp set a new personal best in the 100-metre backstroke on Saturday evening to improve her standings on the road to Rio this September.

The 15-year-old was thrilled after her swim, clocked in at 1:24.43 – a full three seconds faster than her previous best time. This follows a pair of Canadian records in the 200-metre individual medley, set earlier in the meet.

Being one of the youngest athletes on the team, Tripp has a positive outlook on her experiences so far, especially after her backstroke race, and what is to come in her swimming career.

“I feel pretty good about it. It’s the best time, it was great, and it was so much fun,” she said. “That’s really the important part, to go and have fun, and enjoy the race.

“The atmosphere is fantastic in here, the stands were packed, and it’s good to be here.”

Tripp was impressed with the attendance and support Canadians have shown during the swim trials this week. Prior to this meet, her largest was the 2015 Parapan Am Games in Toronto. In her opinion, the two events do not compare.

“It’s the Canadian trials, the biggest meet I’ve ever been to other than the Para Pan Am Games,” she said. “It’s just a different atmosphere, but it’s great having Canadians out here too because it’s great to see the support we are getting from Canada and para-swimming.

“It’s great to see so many people here to cheer us on.”

Although Tripp’s first goal is to qualify for Rio 2016, something she’ll find out about on Sunday night, having fun and being the best swimmer she can be follow closely behind.

Being 15-years-old, she has had a role model to guide her in her quest to the Paralympic Games.

“Camille Bérubé, she is an amazing swimmer,” Tripp said. “She’s an S8 too, so she’s in the same class as I am and we race the same events together.

“She is just such a great leader and she’s a great team member too. When I first made the team, she was there to tell me what to do and really get a feel of what I needed to do to be the best I could to be.”