Turbide toughs it out in pool to win world title

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MADEIRÃ, Portugal — Don't call Nicolas-Guy Turbide an overnight success. But feel free to call the Quebec City athlete a world champion.

Making his fourth career appearance at Madeira, the longtime national team standout finally reached the top of the world championship podium on Wednesday thanks to a triumph in the men’s 100-metre backstroke S13 at the Penteada Olympic Swimming Complex.

Turbide claimed silver in his favourite event at last summer’s Paralympic Games in Tokyo and at the 2019 Worlds in London, as well as bronze at Rio 2016.

Turbide, who trains with coach Marc-Andre Pelletier at Club de Natation Region de Quebec in Quebec City, posted a winning time of 1:00.17 to edge Thomas van Wanrooij of the Netherlands (1:00.55) by 38 hundredths of a second. Oleksii Virchenko of Ukraine took bronze in 1:00.95.

“It was probably the toughest race of my life physically. I’ve had lower back problems since the 2019 Worlds,” Turbide said. “I think that once again today, it was my experience that paid off. I was able to perform when it mattered. To be honest though, I think I have a limited number of races like this left in my body.”

Also standing on the podium for Canada on Day 4 was 19-year-old Danielle Dorris of Moncton, N.B., who matched her Paralympic result from Tokyo with a silver medal in the women’s 100 back S7.

The two-time Paralympian was in the lead at the turn but was caught down the stretch by American Julia Gaffney, who triumphed in 1:21.03. Dorris followed in 1:23.00.

Making her fifth and final world championship appearance, Camille Berube of Gatineau, Que., missed the podium by seven hundredths of a second, clocking 1:24.49 compared to 1:24.42 for McKenzie Coan of the U.S.

“It was amazing. I had a lot of fun,” said Dorris, who moved to Montreal last fall to train under coach Mike Thompsonat the High Performance Centre-Quebec. “I couldn’t really see where Julia was the entire time, up until 15 metres left when she caught up to me. Which I’m totally OK with. I’m ecstatic that I got silver again. It’s all that I could really ask for.” Berube, who was fifth in the 100 back in Tokyo, claimed her first-ever Worlds medal on Sunday when she placed third in the 200 individual medley SM7. For Thompson, senior coach of the Canadian contingent in Madeira, the theme of the day was “gutsy swim."

“Gutsy swims, not being afraid. Young folks again like Felix (Cowan), who stepped up against the big boys, and Clémence, who had an amazing swim to take her Canadian record back in her first international meet besides Parapan Ams. Kat Roxon, third fastest time she’s ever done. And the relay was the same way. They were not afraid. Everyone was full of courage today and went after it. I loved it," said Thompson. The seven-day competition runs until Saturday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 15, 2022

The Canadian Press

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