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Sunday, October 22, 2000
Cote, Dixon smash swimming world records at Paralympic Games

 SYDNEY (CSN) -- Winnipeg's Kirby Cote and Stephanie Dixon of Caledon, Ont., set world records and Philippe Gagnon of Chicoutimi, Que., added a third gold Sunday to help Canada reach the 20-medal plateau in swimming at the Paralympic Games.

 After only three of nine days of competition, Canada already has eight gold, seven silver and five bronze. The swim team won 11 medals at the 1996 Games.

 In the women's SB13 100-metre breaststroke final, Cote, a visually impaired swimmer, clocked one minute and 19.43 seconds eclipsing the previous world mark of 1:20.45 set by Marie-Claire Ross of Vancouver at the 1996 Paralympics.

 The Paralympic swim competition features different finals for different disabilities in each discipline.

 "These were the goals I set for myself and I knew I would achieve them," said Cote, 16, who also broke Ross's world mark in her 200 individual medley win on Saturday. "It's what I've been working towards all year and I felt great heading into this meet. Tonight I had a great split and I kept my stroke count low."

 Chelsey Gottel of Antigonish, N.S., the youngest member on the team at 14, was second in 1:27.18 for her second medal of the competition.

 In the women's S9 400 freestyle, Dixon, 16, clocked 4:53.83 to eclipse the 4:55.57 world record set by Winnipeg's Joanne Mucz at the 1992 Barcelona Paralympics. Melissa Carlton of Australia was second almost six seconds back.

 In the men's S10 400 freestyle, Gagnon, who tried to make Canada's Olympic team this past spring, won the race in a Paralympic record 4:11.44. Benoit Huot of St-Hubert, Que., the 200 individual medley winner Friday, was second in 4:16.09.

 In the women's S7 400 freestyle, Danielle Campo of Windsor, Ont., who broke the world record in the heats then lost it in the final, and Moorea Longstaff of New Westminster, were second and third respectively.

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