Coldstream Para swimmer Jacob Brayshaw set five new Canadian records at the all-Para Ken Demchuk International Invitational Meet Dec. 16-18 at the UBC Aquatic Centre in Vancouver.
He could have had seven.
The two he missed out on? Well they just happen to be his best events.
“I missed by one second in the 50m breaststroke and I was unlucky in that I was DQed (disqualified) in the 150 IM (Individual Medley),” said Brayshaw, 20, who lives with muscular dystrophy. “I swam well. I came out flying on day one (set three records). It was pretty fun competing in an all-Para meet this close to home.”
Brayshaw, who swims for the KISU Swim Club in Penticton, shaved more than 11 seconds off his own record by finishing the S2 50-metre freestyle in one minute, 49.37 seconds during the morning preliminaries. He swam the final in 1:51.71.
It was the fifth record of the meet for Brayshaw, who had his father, Doug, as his official race starter (for events that Brayshaw starts on his back, Doug will hold his son’s feet to the wall prior to the start. Brayshaw was not DQed for any starts in Vancouver).
He also set new standards in the 50 and 100-m backstroke S2 and 100 and 200-m freestyle S2.
Brayshaw also had a top time of 1:55.61 in the 50-m breaststroke SB2.
The meet is the first step in determining the size of Canada’s swim team at the Paris 2024 Paralympics.
To compete at the Paralympics, countries must earn qualification slots which determine the total number of swimmers that can attend the competition. These slots can be earned by performances at sanctioned meets in a period beginning from October of this year until February 2024.
Once it’s determined how many Para swimmers Canada can send to Paris, the final team will be selected at the Paralympic trials set for Montreal in May 2024.
Brayshaw feels he’s on the right track for earning a spot in Paris.
Armstrong’s Brea Duncan, who also swims for KISU, reached five finals in six events at the Demchuk meet in her first time racing the same sport-class swimmers.
Duncan set a personal best time in her 400m and 50m freestyle races, finishing second in the S7 sport class. She also swam the 50m free, 100m free, 100m breaststroke, 100m backstroke, 200m IM, and was a member of two relay teams. She was DQed from the 200 IM race.
“It was a good meet, an experience meet for Brea,” said her coach, Renate Terpstra of Vernon, who also coaches Brayshaw. “It was totally new for her, swimming against the top athletes from Canada. It was about learning to swim heats and finals, which she had never done before.”
Duncan was the Belle of the B.C. Summer Games in Para swimming in Prince George in July, winning six gold medals. That came a week after she swam to another six medals at the B.C. Summer Championships, four silver and two bronze.