Routliffe wins fourth gold as Canadian swimmers shine at Parapan Am Games

TORONTO - Teen swimmer Tess Routliffe won her fourth gold medal as Canada continued its successful run in the pool at the 2015 Parapan American Games.

Routliffe won the S7 women's 100-metre backstroke Friday morning while teammate Sarah Mehain came second in an exciting neck-and-neck battle.

A few minutes later Adam Purdy pushed Canada over 80 medals with a silver in the S6 100-metre backstroke.

Routliffe swam a Parapan Am Games record one minute 31.19 seconds to win her fourth gold of the meet. Mehain clocked 1:32.25 for her fourth medal and third silver.

``It was a good way to finish it off,'' said Routliffe, 16, a dwarf from Caledon, Ont. ``It feels good to be able to finish the meet strong.

``I surprised myself. I had a lot of fun in this race. I wasn't super-pressured to do well, there wasn't that much expectation on me. I felt this race was a good opportunity to have fun and just go with it and see what happened.''

Mehain, who grew up in Vernon, B.C., and now attends McGill University, said it was fun to race her teammate.

``Racing Tess got the competitive spirit going,'' said Mehain, who has cerebral palsy. ``I'm happy to be done and I've enjoyed this amazing experience.''

Canada increased its medals in the pool to 81 (21 gold, 35 silver 25 bronze). The goal coming into the meet was between 80 and 85.

Elsewhere, Canada added bronze medals in the men's and women's sitting volleyball tournaments.

Canada had 145 total medals (44 gold, 53 silver, 48 bronze) after Friday's morning and afternoon sessions. The Canadian team was looking to add more gold medals Friday evening in swimming, track, wheelchair rugby and wheelchair basketball.