It didn’t work out exactly as hoped but the results were promising nonetheless.
Paralympic swimming finalist Jonathan Dieleman was recently reclassified, and in his first competition with swimmers in his new category had results which are a mixed bag.
In his 100 m breaststroke swim at the Para Swimming World Series in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy, he muscled his way to a new Canadian Record in the SB4 category. Overall, it gave him a third place in the category.
Dieleman powered his way to a 2:04.89 result.
He was recently reclassified at a competition in Indianapolis, and when the Swimming Canada authorities protested, he was given the opportunity to go through the procedure again at the Italian contest. The decision stood after he went through the process again.
The upshot is that he must now requalify for some upcoming international competitions.
His next competition will be a qualifying meet for the upcoming Pan American Games team and he is optimistic that he will be able to achieve the required time. For meets such as these, athletes will usually have to achieve swim times which will be compared with international rankings in order to be named to teams.
Swim coach Tom Best said he is at a loss to explain how Dieleman was reclassified.
“Based on my knowledge of the basic classifications, it does not make sense. I guess what we have to do from this point is to just get down to work and do the best we can with the training that’s coming up,” he said.
For the future, it means that Dieleman will have to become proficient in the butterfly in order to continue swimming the medley event. To now he has swum the 150 m medley comprised of the backstroke, breaststroke and front crawl strokes. With reclassification, he has to add the demanding butterfly stroke to swim the 200 m medley.
Dieleman returns from Italy later this week.