Sarah Mehain competes in the 50-metre butterfly at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia. Photo: Swimming Canada

Former Nelson Neptune wins silver at Commonwealth Games

Sarah Mehain took second in the 50-metre butterfly

Former Nelson Neptunes swimmer Sarah Mehain won a silver medal in record style on opening day of the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

Mehain was second in the women’s S7 (para) 50-metre butterfly on Thursday. Her goal was to go a lifetime best in two-arm fly, which was previously 38.24 seconds. She went 37.2 in the preliminaries, then 37.6 in finals. She beat her Canadian teammate Tess Routliffe of Caledon, Ont., by two-tenths of a second for the silver.

“It was a really solid race for me,” Mehain told CBC TV Sports. ”I’ve made some adjustments to my stroke and it seems to be working out really good.”

Mehain, who swims for McGill Redmen varsity squad in both her freshman and sophomore years, is in her final semester working towards an arts and science degree, majoring in sustainability science and sociology. She turned 23 in January.

She has cerebral palsy and is hemiplegic, which results in one side of her body being weaker than the other and not as co-ordinated. She has previously competed in numerous major competitions, including the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, the 2015 International Paralympic Committee world championships in Glasgow, the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and the 2017 CanAm para-swim championships in Windsor, Ont.

Related: Sarah Mehain will definitely, maybe, remember the Rio Paralympics

Mehain had to work really hard the last couple of months to get fast at the two-arm fly. The rules were changed this year before Commonwealth Games, making it so athletes like Sarah could no longer do the one-arm fly even though it was faster. She had only been doing the one-arm fly in preparation for Rio so she had to retrain the two-arm in a short period of time.

“Initially she didn’t think that she could do it, but she did,” said Sarah’s mother, Mae Hooper.

McGill head coach Peter Carpenter — in his ninth year with the Redmen — said solely focusing on the 50-metre fly helped Mehain achieve her goal. They were told in December about the new regulations.

“It was quite the curveball … She basically had an exemption taken away so she had four months to re-learn something she hadn’t done in four years and I think we did well,” Carpenter told The Morning Star.

Carpenter said Mehain went into what will likely be her only Commonwealth Games with the “Let’s see what I can accomplish” attitude. Schooling commitments prevented her from attending the worlds last October in Mexico.

Mehain won bronze in the 50-metre butterfly at the 2015 International Paralympic Committee world swimming championships in Glasgow.

She also competed at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London and reached the final in four of her six events. She placed sixth in the 50-metre butterfly and seventh in three other events, namely the 50m freestyle, 100m breaststroke and 200m individual medley. Her time in the breaststroke was a Canadian record and she bettered her personal best IM time by six seconds.

Sarah comes from an athletic family. Her older sister, Heather Mehain, is a competitive cross-country skier. A younger sister, Hannah Mehain, skis and swims. Her mother is also competitive in cross-country skiing and earned silver at the 2011 Masters World Cup.

 

Sarah Mehain displays her silver medal at the Commonwealth Games. Photo: Swimming Canada

Just Posted

VIDEO: SPCA ushers in new era with Castlegar facility

$2.69-million project had ribbon cutting on Friday

Slocan seniors’ housing hosts grand opening Sept. 27

The society wants to give the public a glimpse before tenants move in and the weather changes.

LETTERS: Tom Fletcher analysis is as outdated as the Edsel

Dona grace-Campbell takes issue with columnist Tom Fletcher’s column on the carbon tax

Kootenay author to speak about her hockey mom memoir

Angie Abdou will be at the Oxygen Art Centre on Sept. 28

VIDEO: Lydia Kania is here to skunk you

The Vallican track athlete has turned to cribbage in her senior years

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Yukon man facing new attempted murder charge in B.C. exploding mail case

Leon Nepper, 73, is now facing one charge each of aggravated assault and attempted murder

B.C. man who left hospice to run in upcoming election dies

A week after leaving hospice to go to city hall to declare his candidacy, David Hesketh has died.

Tilray Inc sees $10-billion in market cap go up in smoke

Tilray’s share price closed at $123 US on Friday, a decline from its intraday peak of nearly $300 US earlier in the week

Breast density to be included in mammogram results across B.C.

The information is crucial in proactively reducing the risk of breast cancer, doctors say

Most Read