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 That eclipsed the previous S7 world mark of 38.32 set by China’s Keting Li at the 2016 Rio Paralympics.
‘’It’s been a lot of hard work since I made the national team last year but I’m really happy with how I’ve improved,’’ said Newkirk, a second-year education student at the University of Saskatchewan. ‘’I’m going to keep working hard until Tokyo 2020.’’
Aurélie Rivard of Swimming Canada’s High Performance Centre – Quebec, added a bronze in the women’s 100-m freestyle in 59.85. Rivard also broke a world record Thursday in the S10 200-m freestyle for the gold.
Competition continues through to Sunday.
Full results: IDM Swimming – Entry lists