Aurélie Rivard: double world champion

He had been advised not to take part in the 100 meters freestyle after his withdrawal from another event on Tuesday. Aurélie Rivard (S10) wanted to participate in order to defend her world title, which she did on Friday by winning her second gold medal at the Para-swimming World Championships in Portugal.

Crowned champion of the 50m freestyle S10 last Saturday, the Quebecer had not been able to complete the final of the 400m freestyle three days later. The athlete from Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu was in the lead until the halfway point and suddenly stopped. She finally turned around and got out of the pool, immediately surrounded by rescuers who provided her with a blanket and an oxygen mask.

« I wasn’t sure I was ready. I was advised not to do it, but I thought it was important to break it, “said Rivard in the mixed zone, speaking of a day high in emotions.

Without pressure

The Quebecer was the fastest in qualifying in the morning with a time of 1 min 0.26 s. She started in the fourth lane of the final, where she had a very good start. At the halfway point, she was ahead of the Dutch Lisa Kruger by only 14 hundredths of a second.

Rivard then managed to outrun her rivals to set a World Championship record with a time of 59.43 seconds, breathless, sporting a slight smile, but without exploding with joy.

“Honestly, a lot of things were going through my mind before the start of the race. The primary goal was simply to finish it, said the gold medalist. […] It’s been tough the last three days. I tried to take as much pressure off myself as possible about results and focus on what I had to do. I think it went well, so I’m happy!”

Hungarian Bianka Pap finished second (+1.76 seconds), while Kruger completed the podium, 6 hundredths of a second behind Pap.

This is the 14th medal for the Canadian team since the start of these World Championships, equaling the harvest of 2019. It remains to be seen if Rivard will swim the S10 100m backstroke on Saturday. The mixed 4×100 freestyle relay will also be presented at the conclusion of these Worlds.

A final top-5

Camille Bérubé swam her last lengths at the World Championships on Friday, in the final of the 100m breaststroke SB6. The Gatineau resident has already announced that she will be retiring at the end of the season. Third in her heat during qualifying, she finished fifth in the final with a time of 1 min 44.10 s.

A few days ago, Bérubé had won the first medal of his career at the Worlds, that of bronze in the 200 m 4 medley.


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