LONDON – Canada’s Tess Routliffe captured a silver medal and reclaimed her National Record in the Women’s 100M Breaststroke (SB7) Wednesday at the World Para Swimming Championships in London.
By placing second, Routliffe’s nomination to the Canadian Olympic Committee to represent Canada at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo has been secured.
The SB7 athlete classification includes swimmers who have lost either both hands or one arm or with severe restrictions in the joints of the lower limbs competing in this class.
The 20-year old posted a time of 1:32.39, besting teammate Abi Tripp’s mark established in the Canadian Swimming Trials from earlier this year.
Routliffe, who was set to compete in five events (tied for the most of any Canadian athlete in London) was more than satisfied with her performance Wednesday evening.
“I’m thrilled with that race, I couldn’t have asked myself for any better,” said Routliffe. “I gave it my all and I felt like it was everything I could have given the water tonight.”
The Caledon-native started her week in London with a personal best time in the 50M Butterfly, pushing her record-setting streak to multiple races.
“I think the tone has been set,” said Routliffe. “I think I’m in it now and I’m in it to do well.”
Even more impressive was her courage and calm after a distressing medical incident moments before her race, when she witnessed her best friend, roommate, and fellow Canadian team member Aurelie Rivard being carried off on a stretcher from the pool deck.
Rivard had just won a silver medal in the 400m freestyle. She was later reported as “OK” and still in the stadium, by a team official.
“[Tess] was there, she felt the emotion for sure,” said Team Leader Wayne Lomas. “But she also knew she had a job to do.”
Routliffe’s silver capped off the most successful day for Canada at the 2019 World Championships thus far.
In total four medals were won, the three others included a bronze from Alec Elliot and a pair of second-place finishes from Aly Van-Wyck Smart and Rivard.
Next up for Routliffe is the 100M backstroke (S7) Thursday morning, an event that will feature teammate and world record holder Shelby Newkirk.
“I like to have fun with the backstroke because it’s a no-stress event for me, said Routliffe. “And after a few stressful days, I’m happy to just go in and have some fun with it.”