Tess Routliffe capped off a fantastic individual performance at the 2023 Para swimming world championships in Manchester, England, on Sunday with a bronze medal in the women’s 100-metre freestyle S7 final for her fourth medal of the competition.
The Caledon, Ont., native collected a medal every other day at the week-long meet, striking gold in the 200m individual medley SM7 on Monday and in the 100m breaststroke SB7 on Wednesday before adding a silver in the 50m butterfly S7 on Friday.
”My coach and I recently put the 100 free on my list of races,” she said. ”We’ve been working on it and really happy with where we are at. It’s a fun race.
”These whole worlds make me really excited for Paris [2024 Paralympic Games].”
Routliffe, 24, was able to secure her first medal at a major international competition in the 100m freestyle event since 2015 by edging out Ukraine’s Veronika Korzhova for bronze by 0.09 seconds with a time of 1:14.74.
American Morgan Stickney cruised to her second title of the 2023 worlds with a time of 1 minute and 9.29 seconds while Colombia’s Sara Vargas Blanco claimed silver at 1:12.15.
Routliffe was last on the podium in the 100m freestyle S7 when she earned gold at the 2015 Parapan American Games in Toronto.
Sabrina Duchesne of Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures, Que., placed fifth with a time of 1:15.25 for her second top-five finish of the week after the 22-year-old collected bronze in the 400m freestyle S7 on Tuesday.
Routliffe trailed both Korzhova and Duchesne after the first 50m, but made up ground on the final leg to earn her 11th podium at the world championships (three gold, four silver, four bronze).
The medal was the 19th of the event for Canada (nine gold, four silver, six bronze), surpassing the nation’s total of 18 at the 2022 worlds in Madeira, Portugal.
It’s also the highest total for Canada since it won 21 at the 2010 worlds in Eindhoven, Netherlands.
Italy paced all nations with 26 gold medals at the 2023 worlds, while Ukraine’s 55 total medals led all countries.