Canada’s Shelby Newkirk sets world record, then wins gold in the para backstroke

National swimming championships open on high note for Saskatoon native

Shelby Newkirk does the backstroke at the Toronto Pan Am Centre for Sports on Wednesday. The Saskatoon native broke her own record with a time of 1:19.99.  SWIM CANADA PHOTOS

After setting a world swim record Wednesday morning, Shelby Newkirk didn’t think the day would get better.

It did.

Newkirk won the S7 gold medal in the 100m backstroke multi-class, with a time of 1:20.49, in the evening finals at the 2019 Canada Swim Trials at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre (TPASC).

The S7 category is on a scale from S1 to S10, depending on the level of disability.

Newkirk, from Saskatoon, was not able to hold back her smile when talking about breaking the world record with a time of 1:19.99.

“Yeah it’s been crazy, awesome day, and to be able to break the record this morning was really exciting,” said Newkirk, in the mix zone after her finals victory.

She knows that her gold medal winning swim could have been better but remains optimistic.

“I came back this afternoon, my race was not quite as clean as it was this morning, but I was still happy with it.”

After a successful 2018 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships, where she captured gold and bronze, the 22 year-old understands that she can still make improvements and said she has been concentrated on technique.

“I’ve been working really hard finishing off my stroke because I do a really good first 50 [metres]. I kind of die on the last little bit so after that first 50, I was like okay I’ve made it this far, I need to focus.

“I need to remember what I need to work on, I need to kick into the wall, and I really tried to put those in my mind all the way through.”

Canada’s 2018 female para-swimmer of the year is no stranger to breaking records, as she previously held the record in the 100m backstroke.

She achieved this feat in a familiar place.

“This is actually the pool (TPASC) I broke my first world record at, so to be able to return and break it again is really exciting for sure.”

Next event for Newkirk will be the 100m long course freestyle, where she is seeded with a time of 1:14.62, followed by the 200m long course individual medley with a seed time of 3:10.67.

She finishes the week competing in the 50m long course freestyle with a seed time of 34.17.


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Posted: Apr 4 2019 10:18 am
Filed under: Sports Swimming