Paralympics

Canada's medal count continues to soar at para swimming championships

Canada’s medal count at the world para swimming championships stands at 12 after James Leroux and Aurélie Rivard swam to medals at the biennial event being held in London, England on Saturday.

Swim vets James Leroux, Aurélie Rivard capture 2 more medals

Canada's James Leroux won silver in the men’s 100-m breaststroke SB9 at the world para swimming championships on Saturday. (paralympic.ca)

Canada's medal count at the world para swimming championships stands at 12 (two gold, six silver, four bronze ) after James Leroux and Aurélie Rivard swam to medals at the biennial event being held in London, England on Saturday.

Thanks to the veteran swimmers, the team has equalled its performance from four years ago when the event was held in Glasgow, Scotland.

"As we head into the final day, I'm very pleased overall with the team's performances," said Wayne Lomas, Swimming Canada's associate director of high performance and para swimming national coach. "Overall, we've stuck to our plans and with one day to go, although our job isn't done yet, I'm confident that our team will leave their mark in London."

James Leroux Tokyo bound

Canada won silver in the men's 100-m breaststroke SB9, thanks to Leroux's second place finish.

The 21-year-old from Repentigny, Que., posted a time of 1:08.56, eclipsing his own national mark of 1:09.24, which he set at the Canadian trials back in April.

It's Leroux's first-career medal in his second championship appearance. Only Italy's Stefano Raimondo proved faster, taking gold with a lighting quick 1:05.58.

"It feels great. I beat my personal best by almost one second, I didn't expect that," said Leroux

WATCH | Leroux's silver-winning performance:

James Leroux claims 100m breaststroke silver at para swimming worlds

3 years ago
Duration 2:25
Canada's James Leroux breaks the Americas in the 100m breaststroke with a time of 1:10.07.

The podium performance also earned Leroux a nomination to represent Canada at the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo.

"I was kind of thinking about a medal, but I didn't want to focus on that," said Leroux. " I just wanted to focus on my race. The strategy was to control my aggressiveness in my first 50 to have more energy coming back, and obviously it worked."

Aurélie Rivard wins 4th medal

Aurelie Rivard took home her fourth medal of the week, after edging Australia's Jasmine Greenwood for bronze in the women's 100m backstroke S10 final.

It was the 13th championship medal in Rivard's already storied career, but her first in this event.

"I couldn't believe it when I saw I got bronze. This is crazy. I rarely practice the 100 back. To be honest, I was kind of hoping for fourth, I would have been ok with that," said the 23-year-old native of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que.

WATCH | Aurelie Rivard captures 4th medal:

Aurélie Rivard wins 100m backstroke bronze at para swimming worlds

3 years ago
Duration 3:05
Canada's Aurélie Rivard places 3rd with a time of 1:10.69.

Earlier in the week, Rivard triumphed in the 50 and 100 freestyle, while also netting a silver in the 400 free.

The results also helped Rivard earn her spot in Tokyo next summer.

"For sure, 13 career medals at worlds is impressive. I never would have thought I'd get there. The thing I'm most happy about though is that after 10 years, I'm still this competitive, and I'm even able to claim a medal in a new event."

The championships, which also serve as the first qualifying opportunity for Tokyo 2020, run until Sunday at the London Aquatics Centre. The finals will be streamed daily beginning at 1 p.m. ET on cbcsports.ca.

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