Swimming Canada Nominates Final Four to Tokyo Paralympic Team

Swimming Canada-heats-6apr2016. Photo Scott Grant
Tammy Cunnington; Photo Courtesy: Scott Grant/Swimming Canada

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Swimming Canada on Thursday announced the final four swimmers nominated to its delegation for the 2021 Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

Nicholas Bennett, Matthew Cabraja, Tammy Cunnington and Angel Marina will fill the final four spots on Canada’s roster.

“Nicholas, Matthew, Tammy and Angela along with their coaches have each demonstrated through their performances at the end of May their talent, tenacity, adaptability and ability to perform on demand,” Swimming Canada Associate High Performance Director and Para Swimming National Coach Wayne Lomas said in a press release. “Off the back of these performances, I am confident that they will be in even better shape to perform for Canada in Tokyo this summer.

“I’d also like to pay tribute to the PSOs, technical officials and the countless other volunteers who all assisted our swimmers to submit their performance for demonstrating competitive readiness. While it is our swimmers and coaches who work so hard together for these performances, the opportunity to submit these time-trials required the support and assistance of many other unsung heroes.”

The four swimmers fill out the Canadian roster of 19 for Tokyo, following the cancellation of the Paralympic Swimming Trials due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That has created a multi-tiered nomination process. Eight swimmers were nominated in Sept. 2019 after winning medals at the World Paralympic Swimming Championships in London. Seven more were added to the squad in May on the basis of past performances, mainly at the 2019 Worlds, as Trials were definitely canceled.

The selection criteria include not just recent Worlds performances but attainment of Canadian C Times published in Jan. 2021 or nomination by coaches. Canadian Trials for both the Olympics and Paralympics were moved from late May to June 19-23, but the second date conflicts with a World Para Swimming Event in Berlin, hence the cancellation for para-swimmers.

The 19 swimmers going to Canada include 12 veterans of the 2016 Rio Paralympics. Aurelie Rivard is the reigning champion in the S10 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle and 400 freestyle, as is Katarina Roxon in the SB8 100 breaststroke. Tess Routliffe and Nicolas-Guy Turbide also medaled in Rio. Seven provinces are represented among the 19-member team.

“These have been difficult times and this was a challenging process,” Swimming Canada’s chief executive officer Ahmed El-Awadi said. “In the end, we’re confident this is the best team to represent Canada. We know they will all do us proud.”

Swimming Canada Tokyo Paralympic Games Nomination List

Name, Hometown, Club (Coach)

  • Nicholas Bennett, Parksville, B.C., CHP-Quebec/RAC (Mike Thompson)
  • Camille Berube, Gatineau, Que., Natation Gatineau (Craig McCord)
  • Morgan Bird, Calgary, Alta., CHP-Quebec/Cascade (Mike Thompson)
  • Matthew Cabraja, Brampton, Ont., Cobra Swim Club/U of T (Ian Roopnarine)
  • Tammy Cunnington, Ponoka, Alta., Red Deer Catalina SC (Mandi Smith)
  • Danielle Dorris, Moncton, N.B., CHP-Quebec/CN Bleu et Or (Ryan Allen)
  • Sabrina Duchesne, St-Augustin, Que., Rouge et Or (Johanne Girardin)
  • Alec Elliot, Kitchener, Ont., Club de Natation Region de Québec (Marc-Andre Pelletier)
  • Nikita Ens, Meadow Lake, Sask., Saskatoon Lasers Swim Club (Eric Kramer)
  • James Leroux, Repentigny, Que., CHP-Quebec/UL (Mike Thompson)
  • Angela Marina, Cambridge, Ont., Brantford Aquatic Club (Paul Armstrong)
  • Shelby Newkirk, Saskatoon, Sask., Saskatoon Lasers Swim Club (Eric Kramer)
  • Aurelie Rivard, St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., Club de Natation Region de Quebec (Marc-Andre Pelletier)
  • Tess Routliffe, Caledon, Ont., CHP-Quebec/UL (Mike Thompson)
  • Katarina Roxon, Kippens, N.L., Aqua Aces Swim Club (Leonard Roxon)
  • Abi Tripp, Kingston, Ont., Kingston Y Penguins Aquatic Club (Vicki Keith)
  • Nicolas-Guy Turbide, Quebec City, Que., Club de Natation Region de Quebec (Marc-Andre Pelletier)
  • Aly Van Wyck-Smart, Toronto, Ont., OSA/Variety Village (Don Burton)
  • Zach Zona, Waterford, Ont., CHP-Quebec/NHAC (Mike Thompson)