Canada Opens With A Bang In Athletics At Parapan American Games To Hit 60 Medals Plus

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Canada’s athletics team crashed through the doors at the Parapan American Games on Monday with six gold medals while the swimmers produced their best day yet with 16 more trips to the podium.

Stephanie Chan of Vancouver won women’s singles in table tennis while Karen Van Nest of Wiarton, Ont., took silver in para-archery. In addition, para-cyclists Daniel Chalifour of Mont-Laurier, Que., and Alexandre Cloutier of St-Antoine-de-Tilly, Que., combined forces for silver. Canada also remained undefeated in wheelchair rugby and men’s wheelchair basketball.

Canada is second overall in the medal standings with 61 medals (20 gold, 21 silver and 20 bronze) after 28 trips to the podium on Monday. Brazil leads at 39-26-29-94. Mexico is third and the U.S. fourth.

PARA-ATHLETICS

Becky Richter of Saskatoon, Jason Dunkerley of Ottawa (with guide Josh Karanja of Ottawa) , Diane Roy of Sherbrooke, Que., Kevin Strybosch of London, Ont., Josh Farrell of Port Elgin, Ont., and Brent Lakatos of Dorval, Que., highlighted an eight -medal night for Canada in athletics on Monday with gold at the Parapan American Games.

Richter won the F31 club throw, Dunkerley took the T11 5000-m for visually impaired, Roy claimed the women’s T54 800-m wheelchair race, Strybosch took the T37 discus throw, Farrell was first in the T20 shotput and Lakatos was the fastest in the T53 100-m wheelchair sprint.

Strybosch and Farrell both set Americas’ records, Richter and Dunkerley set Games’ marks and Roy raced to a season’s best.

“I’ve been racing for a while now, many years training and this is the first major championships we’ve had at home in Canada and so to be able to come here and do it in front of our fans is awesome,” said Lakatos, a four-time world champion in 2013. “My family whole family is here! Cousins are here as well, it’s been great.”

Jean-Philippe Maranda of Montreal was third in the Lakatos race while Josh Cassidy of Port Elgin, Ont., added a silver in the T54 5000-m wheelchair race.

TABLE TENNIS

Stephanie Chan of Richmond, B.C., won the gold medal in women’s singles and is on track to go to the 2016 Paralympic Games in table tennis action on Monday at the Parapan Ams.

Chan would be the first Canadian woman table tennis player at the Paralympics and only the fourth Canadian overall. One of those other three players, Ian Kent of Eastern Passage, N.S., took the bronze in men’s singles on Monday as well.

Chan defeated Giselle Munoz of Argentina 11-7, 11-7 11-8 in the best of five final for her first Parapan Am Games gold after earning silver in 2007 and 2011.

“I’m so excited and can’t believe it,” said Chan, 58. “I’ve practice a lot for this for the past four years. I’ve played Giselle before and beat her so I was really confident. And going to Rio is a dream come true. I can’t put it into words.”

In men’s singles, Kent ended a strong tournament with a semifinal loss to Lim Ming Chui of the U.S. , 11-3, 11-5, 11-9. The two semifinal losers are awarded the bronze.

“I put my best foot forward and played against a man who got it right at the right time,” said Kent. “I picked up a tactic a little late in the match and started doing much better. But it was too late.

“Still, it’s one more medal for Canada and that’s good.”

PARA-SWIMMING

Aurelie Rivard of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., was golden twice and Nathan Stein of Surrey, B.C. won a pair of medals as Canada’s swimmers continued to collect the hardware at the 2015 Toronto Parapan American Games.

There were three, one-two finishes as Canadian swimmers hauled 16 medals (four gold, eight silver, four bronze) out of the pool Monday night. Overall Canada has 40 swimming medals (10 gold, 17 silver, 13 bronze). Brazil tops the medal table with 41 (16-11-14).

“It means lots,” said Rivard, who was born without her left hand. “It’s the first time I get to race two events in a major competition in the same night. I’m happy the way it turned out.”

Gold medallists were: Rivard, S10 100-m butterfly and 50-m freestyle; Tess Routliffe of Caledon, Ont., S7 50-m freestyle; Gordie Michie of St-Thomas, Ont., S14 100-m backstroke.

Silver medallists: Samantha Ryan of Saskatoon, S10 100-m butterfly; Nathan Stein, Surrey, B.C., S10 100-m freestyle and 100-m butterfly; Sarah Mehain, Vernon, B.C., S7 50-m freestyle; Adam Rahier, Port Moody, B.C., S14 100-m backstroke; Jean-Michel Lavalliere, Quebec City, 50-m freestyle; Katarina Roxon, Kippens, N.L., S9 50-m freestyle; Kirstie Kasko, Okotoks, Alta., 100-m backstroke; Tyler Mrak, Surry, B.C., S13 100-m backstroke.

Bronze medallists: Alec Elliot, Kitchener, Ont., S10 100-m freestyle and S10 100-m butterfly; Justine Morrier, St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., S14 100-m backstroke; Zach Zona, Waterford, Ont., S8 100-m butterfly.

PARA-ARCHERY

Karen Van Nest of Wiarton, Ont., admitted she wasn’t at her best on Monday as she won the silver medal in the compound women’s open in para archery.

In the gold medal final, Jane Karla Gogel of Brazil defeated Van Nest 140 to 132.

“I had little bit of the jitters so that cramped my style initially,” said Van Nest, a former shooter who switched to archery in 2009. “I performed mediocre. I knew that my competitor would have good scores, I could have those good scores.”

In the men’s compound open bronze medal match Ben Thompson of the U.S. defeated Kevin Evans of Jaffray, B.C. 141-138. Evans finishes fourth.

PARA-CYCLING

Daniel Chalifour of Mont-Laurier, Que., and his pilot Alexandre Cloutier of St-Antoine-de-Tilly, Que., won the gold medal Monday in the mixed individual pursuit for visually impaired in track para-cycling action at the Parapan American Games.

It was the second medal of the Games for the tandem. They took silver on Saturday in the road race.

Chalifour and Cloutier clocked three minutes and 19.555 seconds in the 4000-m race. They lapped their opponents in the final Nelson Serna and Sebastian Durango of Colombia near the end of the race. Luciano Da Rosa and Edson De Rezende of Brazil were third.

It was a very special victory for Chalifour born with a degenerative eye disease that causes visual impairment

“I was thinking about my father,” he said. “He had a tumour removed and has been fighting cancer for two years. So in my race he was my inspiration and both Alexandre and I wanted to give him the gold medal.”

WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL

A potent mixture of intensity and composure surrounded the Canadian Parapan Am Men’s Wheelchair Basketball Team when they improved their Toronto 2015 record to 2-0 by defeating Mexico 74-55 on Monday at the Ryerson Athletic Centre.

Nik Goncin, of Regina paced the Canadian attack with 14 points in the first half and tallying a game-high 26 points. He would go on to shoot a remarkable 65% from the field and in the process tied a Canadian team record with four three-pointers.

“A lot of our success comes down to our teammates creating space for us and having confidence in the shot we are taking. We had some good looks. Everybody on this team can knock down shots. Today it was Nik and I, and David is always contributing. The other day it was Adam. So I think you see that with almost everybody getting some baskets every game,” said Team Canada’s Bo Hedges, of Wonowon B.C.

“It was an amazing atmosphere tonight. It’s amazing to have so many people here to watch,” said Hedges.

WHEELCHAIR RUGBY

Canada’s wheelchair rugby team remains undefeated at the Toronto 2015 Parapan Am Games after beating Argentina 73-26 tonight. Canada has not yet faced a serious challenge so far in these games, but that doesn’t mean that the team is taking any of their opponents lightly.

“Right now, we’re focused on playing ‘Canada Rugby’ no matter who our opponent is,” said head coach Kevin Orr. “This is the best our team has played since I started coaching them over six years ago. I’m really happy with our performance at these Games.”

Fabien Lavoie led Canada in scoring with 19 points. Mike Whitehead chipped in 14 points. After the game, however, Coach Orr praised the efforts of his entire team.

“Everyone sees Lavoie and Madell and Whitehead but we’re a strong team because we’re a complete team.”

Click here to read the complete story.

Story from the Canadian Paralympic Committee | Paralympic.ca

Photo: CSIO

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