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Thursday, October 26, 2000
Canadian swimmers scoop up five more Paralympic medals

SYDNEY (CSN) -- Stephanie Dixon of Caledon, Ont., Adam Purdy of London, Ont., and Walter Wu of Richmond, B.C., won gold to highlight a five-medal Canadian performance in the pool Friday at the Paralympic Games.

The Canadian swimmers are now at 38 medals (18 gold-12 silver- eight bronze) with one day of races remaining. They've also established 16 world records and 18 Paralympic marks so far.

Dixon, 16, was the latest to break a world record lowering her standard in the women's S9 100-metre backstroke. She earned her fourth gold medal of the Games clocking 1:11.04. which nipped her previous world mark of 1:11.06 set in June. Darda Geiger of Sarnia, Ont., was fourth.

"It's still a shock every single time you win a gold medal," said Dixon. "It's the Paralympics and anything can happen. I would have liked to go under 1:11 but that's tough to do when you have a big lead. I'm a racer and I prefer to see it go down to the wire."

In the men's S6 100 backstroke, Purdy clocked 1:18.14 for a Paralympic record and his first medal of the Games. He just missed his world record of 1:18.04 set in June. Swen Michaelis of Germany was second more than three seconds back and Jianhua Yin of China third.

"It's been a long wait for a medal," said Purdy, 19. "Seeing everybody break world records and win gold medals made me very anxious for the race. But it was worth it. Experiencing the moment of winning gold was fantastic especially in front of friends and family. I never really thought about the fact I didn't get the world record."

In the men's S13 100 backstroke, Wu, a visually impaired swimmer, earned his second gold of the Games with a Paralympic record time.

Benoit Huot of St-Hubert, Que., and Anne Polinario of Toronto added silver and bronze in their respective 100 backstroke races.

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