The big goal is down the road a bit but Jonathon Dieleman feels he’s on the right path.
Another national record points that out quite nicely.
Dieleman was part of a Canadian squad that was attending the US national swimming championships. He started off the weekend on a very positive note with a record when he went 4:45 in the demanding 200 breaststroke long course.
“I wasn’t really expecting to go that fast in that event but I’ll take it,” he said.
He explained that the 200 breast is not a regular event in his schedule but at this point in the run up to the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, he has been using it as a way to develop the back part of his race for a strong finish.
Olympic and Paralympic races are always held in long course, or 50 metre, pools. The majority of pools in Canada are 25 metres. As a result, training must be adapted for best results while racing in 50 meter pools.
Dieleman said that the competition at the US meet was not as strong as he had hoped for. He won both the 100 and 200 metre breaststroke races.
“My best competition was in the 50 backstroke,” he said.
This has become an addition to his regular breaststroke races.
“The guy who is ranked second in the world was there and he beat me,” he said.
Currently, Dieleman is ranked third in the world in his top event, the 100 breaststroke.
He said he was a little disappointed in his performance in the 100 metre breast, but that it was not unexpected since he has had some difficulty in training due to some illness. Currently, he is training in Phoenix, Arizona where he can take advantage of better weather for additional training opportunities.
“I’m able to get out and do some good aerobic work on my bike and chair around the area. There are some good training paths that definitely give me a challenge and I’m really starting to feel it in my arms,” he said.
The next big competition for Dieleman will be the World Championship trials in Toronto in April. While he already has attained the required time standard, he must win the event at the Trials in order to be officially selected to the team.
The long-term goal is to try to be on the podium in Tokyo, and the World Championships will be a step along the way. At that level, the competition is fierce and the difference between being on the podium can be measured in hundredths of a second. Dieleman will continue to work hard to make those tiny measurements become tinier, and those possible errors to become less possible.