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September 10, 2008
Swimming Canada

Third gold, second world record for swimmer Valérie Grand’Maison at Paralympic Games

BEIJING – Valérie Grand’Maison of Montreal won her third gold and established a second world record with a victory in the women’s 100-metre freestyle for visually impaired on Wednesday in swimming action at the Paralympic Games.

Grand’Maison clocked 58.87 seconds to better her previous world mark of 59.57 set at the 2006 world championships where she won five gold medals. Chelsea Gotell of Antigonish, N.S., took the silver in a personal best 1:00.26 and Kirby Cote of Winnipeg was fourth in a personal best 1:02.95.

‘’One of the keys to my success at these Games is how I’m managing myself at the Games,’’ said Grand’Maison, 19, competing at her first Paralympics. ‘’I’m eating and resting properly and I’m not letting myself be bothered by any distractions. I’ve been pretty nervous for the races but the crowd has been absolutely great.’’

Gotell collected her third medal of the competition to bring Canada’s swimming total to nine in swimming.

‘’After the preliminaries I knew I had a lot left in me,’’ said Gotell. ‘’I’ve been practicing a lot at holding my breath longer underwater and that has really paid off for me here.’’

In the women’s 100 backstroke in the S7 disability class Brianna Nelson of Calgary and Laura Jensen of Fort St. John, B.C., were sixth and seventh respectively. Drew Christensen of New Westminster, B.C., was eighth in the men’s S8 100 backstroke.

Canadian national team coach Craig McCord of Vancouver is pleased with the performances of the Canadian swim team.

‘’We’re swimming at the level we expected,’’ said McCord. ‘’The world has taken a big step forward at these Games. Times that were worth medals four years ago wouldn’t get you into the finals this year so we’ve really stepped it up. We’ve also got 11 newcomers on the team and we’re seeing a lot of personal bests so that augurs well for the 2012 Games.’’

Competition continues Thursday.

Full results at:

More information

In Beijing:

Erin Sulpher
Communications Coordinator
Swimming Canada
Cell: 011 86 135 2103 4322

In Canada

Martin Richard
Director of Communications
Swimming Canada
Tel: 613- 260- 1348 (ext. 2002)
Cell: (613) 725-4339




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