LONDON – Canada capped off a strong performance at the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships in style on Sunday night, closing out the meet with a bronze medal in the women’s 4 x 100m freestyle relay, the final event of the week.
Abi Tripp, Katarina Roxon, Aurélie Rivard, and Tess Routliffe combined for a time of 4:30.09, good enough for third place, 6.19 seconds behind the second place USA.
The bronze is Rivard’s fifth medal of the meet, Routliffe’s third and Roxon’s second. Roxon won a silver medal earlier in the night while it was Tripp’s first ever medal at the world championships.
“It feels incredible getting that,” Tripp said, “It’s exciting watching Tess complete that last 100m with everyone cheering loud. We did an incredible job. I’m so happy to be a part of it.”
The Canadian found themselves far outside a medal position after two legs in the relay, only for Rivard, who won the gold medal in the individual S10 100m freestyle, to drag the team up to first going into the final leg. From there, Routliffe hung on to keep Canada on the podium.
Routliffe was one of Canada’s standouts during the week, claiming three medals of her own and improving four personal bests.
But despite a long and tiring week, the 20-year-old was happy with how it ended, saying, “I’m honestly exhausted, but I’m really happy we finished off the event that way.”
For Rivard, who led the team with five medals, two gold, a silver and two bronze, this final race was the perfect ending to a very successful week.
“This race was the best one,” she said. “We’ve been fourth for a while, we’ve been trying different ways to get on the podium but tonight we finally did it.
“We asked our staff and team to put more time in this relay because we thought we had a shot so it’s great to see it’s paid off after all these years.”
Overall, Canadians won 14 medals at the world championships, the highest total since 2013, and won at least one medal every day. It was Roxon who got Canada to that mark, with both her medals coming on the final day.
“I’ve been waiting all week for this,” Roxon said. “Ending the meet off like this was amazing. We were so psyched for this event and we wanted to be contenders and fight for it and we did.
“We’re looking to do that and even more in Tokyo next year.”
The dramatic relay win capped off an exciting and successful week for Canada in London, one that saw the team win two golds, seven silvers, and five bronze, as well as have 10 national records fall.
Most of Canada’s medallists in London will compete next summer at the 2020 Summer Paralympics in Tokyo.