Katarina Roxon has added Pan Pacific Para gold to her medal collection.
The 25-year-old swimmer from Kippens on Newfoundland’s west coast was first in the women’s 100-metre breaststroke SB8 classification at the Pan Pacific Para swimming championships Thursday at Cairns in northeast Australia.
The 100 breaststroke has been good to Roxon during her career. She won gold in the event at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and the 2015 Parapan American Games in Toronto.
Roxon swam a time of one minute and 25.86 seconds in Thursday’s final, an improvement of more than a quarter of a second from her time in morning preliminary heats.
“It was probably one of the best swims I’ve had all year,” said Roxon. “The first 50, I felt good. The last 50 was a little bit tougher but I pulled through and I think it’s the fastest time I’ve posted all year. It’s starting to look better for the rest of the year.”
Roxon has two other individual races in Cairns, in the 100-metre freestyle today and the 200m individual medley on Saturday.
Roxon did not win gold in the 100 breaststroke at the recent Canadian para swimming championships, claiming a bronze in the event. However at the nationals, all swimmers were ranked together within events regardless of their classification.
Classification is a system whereby para swimmers are divided into different divisions based on their disability or disabilities, the idea being that it allows for fairer competition.
At the Pan Pacifics, all swimmers in an event are ranked according to their finishing times, but medals are handed out for each classification within the event. In fact, Roxon was one of three Canadians who won gold medals in the women’s 100 breaststroke Thursday, joining Quebec’s Justine Morrier (SB classification) and Ontario’s Tess Routliffe (SB7).