We’ve finally tracked down the full results of the 2012 Canada Cup results that wrapped-up Sunday in Montreal, and though there were some great swims from the usual stars, an American Paralympian outshone them all in the meet’s very first event.
Victoria Arlen, fresh off of a World Record breaking performance at the U.S. Paralympic Trials, was back in action in the Canada Cup, and began the meet with an astonishing 2:37.53 in the women’s 200 freestyle. That crushes the old S6 World Record by over 6 seconds, with the old mark having been held by British Paralympic superstar Eleanor Simmonds in 2:43.85. That’s more than a 3% improvement; for comparison, imagine if this summer Ryan Lochte swam a 1:38.2 in the 200 free (off of a World Record of 1:42.00). That’s the equivalent time drop. This record is by such a huge margin, and taken from such an elite swimmer, that it’s almost hard to believe – I had to look at it multiple times before I was convinced that it really happened.
Arlen’s story cannot be told enough. After correcting a condition that left her in a vegetative state as recently as 2009 (and even now leaves her partially paralyzed), she has the potential to become one of the biggest stars that Paralympic swimming has ever seen. It’s simply unheard of the things she’s done in the last two months in this sport. She also topped (in multi-class relativism) the women’s 100 free with a 1:15.91, though that missed her World Record by about a second.
As for Sunday’s finals, Club Wolverine trainee George Bovell continues to look as good as he ever has this year in the 50 free. After getting some clean water in this race, he roared to a 22.01. That’s not his best time of the year, but will leave a very sweet taste in his mouth as he heads toward the Olympic Games in three weeks for his native Trinidad & Tobago.
Other big swims on the final night of competition include a 2:26.65 from Canadian Martha McCabe to win the women’s 200 breaststroke – a four second thumping of the rest of the field that included Ashley McGregor (2:30.36) and Tera van Beilen (2:32.20).
Closing out the final individual race of what has been an outstanding meet was a 52.86 win from Serbian Milorad Cavic in the men’s 100 fly. That just out-touched China’s Wu Peng in 53.11, though Peng had a great back-half of this race with a 27.69 closing 50 meters.