Aurelie Rivard opens strong at Para Swimming World Championships

Rivard headlines three Canadians advancing to the finals on Day One.

Aurelie Rivard awaiting the results from her 50-metre freestyle race at the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships. (Courtesy Swimming Canada/Ian MacNicol)

LONDON — Aurelie Rivard has a chance to make history in Monday evening’s women’s S10 50-metre freestyle final on Day One of the 2019 Para Swimming World Championships here in Britain’s capital.

The 23-year-old will swim for supremacy in her event, as she already holds an S10 world record time of 27.37 seconds, set at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games. She’s been attempting to break the record ever since setting it.

Rivard is confident in her ability to beat her personal best, after falling just short with a time of 27.50 in the qualifying heats to lead the competition.

“It’s the fastest race I’ve had since that world record in Rio”, said Rivard inside the mixed zone. “I know I made some mistakes, so if I can fix that for tonight I don’t see why I can’t go faster than that.”

The St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., native knows the most difficult task remains ahead of her tonight, despite clocking in 1.23 seconds faster than the next closest swimmer.

“It doesn’t make it easier,” said Rivard. “I’m heading into the finals with a boost of confidence, but after 10 years, I’m just as nervous (about tonight’s race.)”

Mike Thompson, head coach of the Para-swimming Intensive Training Program – Quebec, believes this showcase is where Rivard will shine before the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.

“(World Championships) are where she’s really going to take advantage and see how close we can get to a world record pace, if not break world records,” said Thompson, last April, following the 2019 Canadian Swimming Trials.

The women’s S10 50-metre freestyle final will begin at 8:25 p.m. GMT (3:25 EST).

Two additional Canadian swimmers, Tess Routliffe and Alexander Elliot, also advanced to the finals and will be racing for podium positions in their respective events. Routliffe will swim in the women’s S7 50m butterfly, while Elliot battles in the men’s 50m freestyle.

Marcus Rebelo recaps Day One’s morning at the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships in London, Eng.

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Posted: Sep 9 2019 8:58 am
Filed under: Parasports Sports Swimming