World record for Para swimmer Newkirk /Canadian women fourth at goalball worlds
MALMO, Sweden – Canada’s national women’s goalball team fell just short in its bid for an early ticket to the 2020 Paralympic Games on Friday finishing fourth overall at the world championships.
The top three in both men’s and women’s play qualified for Tokyo.
The Canadian women opened a busy day with an 11-5 loss to Russia in the semifinals. That set up the battle for the bronze and the Paralympic spot against Brazil. Again the Canadians fell 7-2 to their Pan Am rivals.
‘’We worked hard to try and finish on the podium and we came close,’’ said Canada’s Nancy Morin. ‘’We made some errors that really cost us. The teams here are very strong so there are areas we need to improve.’’
The other Canadian team members were Whitney Bogart of Ottawa, Meghan Mahon of Timmins, Ont., Emma Reinke of St. Thomas, Ont., Ruby Soliman of Lethbridge, Alta., and alternate Brieann Baldock of Edmonton.
Trent Farebrother of Castor, Alta., is the head coach.
The Russians won the gold medal defeating Turkey 4-3 in the championship game.
Saskatchewan’s Shelby Newkirk breaks world record
BERLIN – Shelby Newkirk of Saskatoon showed why she is one of the brightest new stars in Para swimming on Friday as she broke the world record in the S7 women’s 50-m backstroke at the sixth and final stop on the World Series circuit.
She won the silver medal in the multiclass race, her first international podium.
The ranking is based on which swimmer is closest to the world record in their disability category. The winner Hannah Russell of Britain beat the world record in her S12 category by a wider margin than Newkirk to win the gold.
‘’I was really happy with my technique,’’ said Newkirk, whose disability is a neurological disorder called dystonia that affects her four limbs. “I had a good start to the day in the preliminaries and I looked at what I needed to do to improve in the final. I really put that into place.’’
Russell clocked 31.61 followed by Newkirk at 38.00, which eclipsed the previous S7 world mark of 38.32 set by China’s Keting Li at the 2016 Rio Paralympics.