“Super Sunday” as Canada wins half of all swimming medals

The Toronto 2015 hosts won 15 out of 30 medals, including five golds on a memorable evening at the Parapan American Games. 09 Aug 2015
Canada's Morgan Bird in action at London 2012.

Canada's Morgan Bird in action at London 2012.

ⒸCanadian Paralympic Committee

It certainly was “Super Sunday” for Canada on Sunday (9 August), the second night of swimming at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games with the hosts winning 15 out of 30 medals, including five golds.

In the first race of the evening, Morgan Bird gave Canada a flying start winning a thrilling 400m freestyle S8 which set the tone for the session. Trailing at the 200m mark to the USA’s Mallory Weggemann, Bird (5:19.33) upped the pace in the second half of the race to win in a new Games record time. Weggemann (5:24.84) took the silver whilst another Canadian Sabrina Duchesne (5:26.87) claimed the bronze.

Just over an hour later, Bird (32.00) won her second gold of the night in a sensational women’s 50m freestyle S8 which saw just 0.05 seconds separate the medallists. Weggemann (32.04) took silver again, fractionally ahead of Brazil’s Cecilia Jeronimo (32.05).

"I am so happy with both my results today," said a delighted Bird. I didn't expect it at all. It feels surreal.

"The crowd helped me a lot today. Their energy was overwhelming and their support certainly got me to the wall first."

The evening’s second race saw Canada perform a clean sweep of the podium in the men’s 100m breaststroke SB9. James Leroux (1:11.51) broke the Games record to finish ahead of teammates Isaac Bouckley (1:12.57) and Alexander Elliot (1:14.09).

Swimmers from the host nation did the same again soon after in the men’s 100m backstroke S13. Nicolas Turbide (1:01.64) set a new Americas record to top the podium for the second consecutive day. His teammates Devin Gotell (1:06.71) and Tyler Mrak (1:11.18) completed the medal positions.

“I'm pretty happy that my teammates made it on the podium as well. We will celebrate tonight,” said Turbide. "The past two days were my biggest events, 200 IM and 100m backstroke, so now we have fun and try to do our best in events we normally don't swim as much and try to make the podium as well.

Zack McAllister (27.69) lowered the Americas record by 0.06 seconds as he won gold in the men’s 50m freestyle S8. Mexico’s former record holder Armando Andrade (27.81) took silver, just ahead of Canada’s Christopher Sergeant (28.88).

"I feel like I still made a couple of mistakes. Like, my touch wasn't very good, I slowed down by the wall. My start was very good and my first 35 metres were very good," said McAllister.

Argentina’s Daniela Gimenez (1:21.36) was the first non-Canadian winner of the evening with victory in the women’s 100m breaststroke SB9 in a Games record. She had to hold off the challenge of two Canadians however with Aurelie Rivard (1:21.90) and Sarah Girard (1:24.15) taking silver and bronze.

Roberto Alcalde (1:35.47) won Brazil’s first of four golds of the night in the men’s 100m breaststroke in a Games record time. Silver and bronze went to the Mexican duo of Pedro Rangel (1:37.02) and Humberto Romero (1:42.58).

Raquel Viel (1:16.33) won Brazil’s second gold after she fought off two Argentinians to take the Parapan title in the 100m backstroke S13. Ana Pellitero (1:20.66) and Anabel Moro (1:21.86) took the other medals.

Camille Rodrigues (5:04.33) completed a quick fire hat-trick of wins for the Rio 2016 hosts, topping the podium in the women’s 400m freestyle S9. Canada’s Katarina Roxon (5:06.72) claimed silver and bronze went to the USA’s Anna Johannes (5:09.46).

In the final race of the night, Brazil (2:31.55) led home by Daniel Dias won the mixed 4x50m freestyle relay 20pts. The USA (3:10.87) took silver whilst Canada (3:19.36) took bronze, their 15th and final medal of a historic evening for the hosts.