From the Land of the Alps comes word three-time Canadian Paralympic gold medalist Michelle Stilwell of Nanoose Bay hit the fast track in Switzerland June 1.
According to a press release, the 37-year-old wheelchair racer competed in the Daniela Jutzeler Memorial in Muttenz, where she came close to matching her 100-metre world record. It’s still early days for the 2012 Paralympic hopeful, but she now knows she’s on track to meet her goals.
Stilwell set the world record in the T52 100-metre (19.52) and 200m (35.82) events in Arbon, Switzerland in June 2010. Michelle, or Mikey to friends and family, also holds the Canadian record (1:08.81) in the 400m event.
On Thursday, Stilwell sprinted across the 100m finish line in a time of 19.64.
“It was my best race of the day,” said Stilwell. “Especially being so close to my world record. It says a lot because I had a very favourable wind when I set the world record last year and today there was no wind at all and I came that close.”
But the biggest surprise of the day was a disqualification in the 200m event. Stilwell said athletes usually know if they’ve crossed a line or impeded someone else, but the thought had never crossed her mind. It wasn’t until after she warmed down, went for treatment and got something to eat before she went to check the official results and realized she has been disqualified.
Stilwell arrives home today (Friday), and then packs her bags again to head to the U.S. Nationals (June 16-19), and then to Calgary for the Canadian Nationals June 24-26.
— News Staff