Stilwell on way to Games

Wheelchair athlete goes from strength to strength

Michelle Stilwell.

Three-time Canadian Paralympic gold medalist Michelle Stilwell of Nanoose Bay wrapped up her weekend at the 2011 Athletics Swiss Nationals in Pratteln with another win.

On Saturday, the 37-year-old wheelchair racer placed first in the T52 100-metre event in a time of 20.72. Mechanical difficulties prevented her from racing in the 400m event. But she bounced back Sunday and went on to place first in the T52 200-metre event in a time of 36.73.

“I’m very happy with my time based on the time of year,” said Stilwell. “Mechanical difficulties with my chair made me work harder, but when this is corrected things are going to change dramatically.”

Stilwell set the world record in the T52 100-metre (19.52) and 200m (35.82) events at the World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand in January. Stilwell also holds the Canadian record (1:08.81) in the 400m event.

Stilwell has already met the International Paralympic Committee standards for the 2012 Paralympics but Canada sets their selection criteria harder and those times have not been released yet. Stilwell will refocus and compete in the Daniela Jutzeler Memorial in Muttenz on June 2.       — Submitted by Krista Charke


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