Canada's Aurélie Rivard, Shelby Newkirk capture gold on opening day of Para swimming worlds

·2 min read
Canada's Aurélie Rivard, Shelby Newkirk capture gold on opening day of Para swimming worlds

Canadian Paralympic stars Aurélie Rivard and Shelby Newkirk swam to gold on the opening day of the Para Swimming World Championships on Sunday in Madeira, Portugal.

Rivard, a 10-time Paralympic medallist, won the S10 women's 50-metre freestyle with a time of 27.65 seconds.

The world record holder finished ahead of Colombia's Maria Paula Barrera (28.23) and Australia's Jasmine Greenwood (28.37).

Rivard, 26, of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., won an impressive five medals, including a pair of gold and one silver at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and will headline Canada's swim team at the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England from July 28-Aug. 8.

WATCH | Canada's Aurelie Rivard swims to gold: 

Newkirk captured gold in the S6 women's 100m backstroke with a world championship record time of 1:20.96.

The Saskatoon native, who claimed her first medal in her first career appearance at the 2019 world championships with silver in the 100m backstroke S7, touched the wall ahead of Ukraine's Anna Hontar (1:23.46) and Switzerland's Nora Meister (1:24.77).

In the women's SM7 200m individual medley, Canada's Tess Routliffe (3:00.75) and Camille Berube (3:05.40) won silver and bronze respectively.

American Julia Gaffney swam to gold in 2:55.28.

WATCH | Saskatoon's Shelby Newkirk sets championship record: 

Nicholas Bennett lowered his Canadian record in the S14 200m freestyle with a time of 1:54.41 and captured silver in the event.

The Parksville, B.C. native finished behind Brazil's Gabriel Bandeira who set a world championship record with a time of 1:52.42. Australia's Benjamin Hance won bronze in 1:56.14.

WATCH | Tess Routliffe wins silver, Camille Berube wins bronze:

James Leroux secured Canada's first medal of the competition with bronze in the men's SB9 100m breaststroke.

The Repentigny, Que. native finished with a time of 1:11.04 behind Germany's Maurice Wetekam (1:10.02) and Italy's Stefano Raimondi (1:07.61).

WATCH | Nicholas Bennett lowers Canadian record: 

Live action on and CBC Gem from the Penteada Olympic Pools Complex continues on Monday at 12:05 p.m. ET. Coverage will continue each day at the same time through Saturday, June 18.

More than 600 athletes from over 70 nations are competing, with 31 swimmers representing Canada.

James Leroux captures Canada's 1st medal at the Para Swmming worlds: 

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