LONDON — Alec Elliot came from behind to grab bronze in the men’s S10 400-metre freestyle on Wednesday night at the World Para Swimming Championships.
In his last event of the world meet, the Canadian improved his time from the morning qualifying session by six seconds with a 4:08.34, nearly eclipsing his personal best set at the national trials in April.
The S10 classification describes swimmers with the minimal standards of physical impairment. Eligible impairments would be loss of a hand or both feet and a significantly limited function of one hip joint.
Following the race, the 23-year-old summarized his feeling on the result.
“It wasn’t as fast as I had hoped for, but I got the result I wanted,” said Elliot, who earned one of Canada’s six medals at the London Aquatic Centre on Wednesday. “It honestly feels really good to bring home some hardware.”
The Kitchener, Ont., native knew he was going to have to finish strong as his pre-race strategy outlined a rally from behind. Once he pulled into third with less than 200-metres to go, Elliot was sure he’d claim a podium spot.
“I knew I’d be in fourth or fifth at the 200 mark,” said Elliot. “That was always the strategy. It was also exactly like in training, finish the last 200 strong, and as fast as possible.
“Once I took (third) I wasn’t letting anyone have it back.”
After earning two medals in the first two days of competition, Canada exploded with four on Wednesday. Team Leader Wayne Lomas said the team’s focus isn’t on the final result.
“We haven’t been talking about medals at all,” said Lomas. “Our team goal has been about improving. A medal is a reward of sticking to the process, hard work, god given talent and some luck.
“That happened tonight.”
Day Four on Thursday sees nine Canadian athletes competing in seven events including world record holder Shelby Newkirk in the women’s 100m backstroke.