Led by veteran swimmer Benoit Huot, Canada earned 23 more medals on Tuesday for 84 total to stand second overall at the halfway point of the Parapan American Games. The team objective when the Games end August 15 is to stand third overall in total medals.
Brazil leads with 135 medals followed by Canada with 25 gold, 32 silver and 27 bronze. The U.S. is third at 24-30-25-79.
On Tuesday, Canadian athletes won medals in swimming, athletics, boccia and cycling. They remained in contention in another six sports. Swimming led the charge with 11 medals followed by athletics at seven, boccia with three and cycling with two.
Four-time Paralympian Benoit Huot celebrated like a rookie, raising his arms in triumph after winning the S10 400-m freestyle race in four minutes, 10.04 seconds to highlight an 11-medal day for Canadian swimmers at the Parapan American Games..
“You never get used to it,” said the native of Longueuil, Que., who was born with club feet. “You are at home … family, everyone is here. I’m very lucky to be able to live this moment. I was behind the blocks and said ‘Ben, just have the time of your life.’ And this is what I did.”
Here is the swimming honour roll for Tuesday.
Gold: Huot, S10 400-m freestyle; Aurelie Rivard, St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., S10 400-m freestyle; Katarina Roxon, Kippens, N.L. S8 100-m breaststroke.
Silver: Isaac Bouckley, Oshawa, Ont., S10 400-m free; Jonathan Dieleman, Vancouver, S3 50-m freestyle; Jean-Michel Lavalliere, Quebec City, S7 200-m IM; Tess Routliffe, Caledon, Ont., S7-8 200-m IM; Nicolas Turbide, Quebec City, S13 50-m freestyle.
Bronze; Alec Elliot, Kitchener, Ont., S10 400-m freestyle; Camille Berube, Gatineau, Que., S7-8 200-m IM; Zach Zona, Waterford, Ont., S8 200-m IM.
Michelle Stilwell, an MLA in the B.C. legislature, laid down the law in the women’s T52 category 100-m wheelchair race on Tuesday with gold to highlight a seven medal performance in athletics for Canada at the Parapan American Games.
Of course Stilwell is well established as one of Canada’s best-ever wheelchair racers and athletes before she entered the political arena following the 2012 Paralympics in London. She’s won five Paralympic Games medals.
On Tuesday, she clocked 19.58 seconds for the victory ahead of two Americans: Kerry Morgan, second in 19.92 and Cassie Mitchell in third. Becky Richter of Saskatoon was fourth.
“It was an amazing opportunity to compete in front of a home crowd. To stand on the top step of the podium will be a great memory for me,” said Stilwell.
In the men’s T38 100-m sprint, Edson Pinhero of Brazil was the victor in 11.25 seconds. Kyle Whitehouse of St. Catharines, Ont.,born with mild cerebral palsy, took the silver in 11.41 in the eight-man final.
Bronze medals were earned by Renee Foessel of Mississauga, Ont., in the F37/38 javelin; Richter in the F51/52 discus; Ken Trudgeon of London, Ont., in the F46 shot put; Dustin Walsh of New Westminster, B.C., and his guide Dylan Williamson of Langley, B.C., in the T11 400-m and Diane Roy of Sherbrooke, Que., in the T54 400.
Daniel Chalifour of Mont-Laurier, Que., and his pilot Alexandre Cloutier of St-Antoine-de-Tilly, Que., won a second gold medal and Michale Sametz of Calgary made his first trip to the podium in track para-cycling on Tuesday.
In the one kilometre mixed time trial for visually impaired, Chalifour and Cloutier clocked one minute and 06.139 seconds for their second victory and third medal of the Games. The pair also won the pursuit on the track and was second in the road race.
A Colombian pair was second in 1:06.242.
“We knew it was going to be really close and it was but we were really happy with the results,” said Chalifour. “It was really tough because we didn’t train too much on the track here this year. We know we can go faster than that, but today it was OK.”
In the men’s C1-3 category 3000-m individual pursuit Sametz lost in the final to world champion Joe Berenyi of the U.S.
“It was going to be a huge miracle if I beat Joe,” said Sametz. “I did my best and tried hard to hold it as best as I could. I’ve never been in a pursuit final so I tried to enjoy it.”
Only the powerful Brazilians could put the brakes on Canada’s boccia players on Tuesday at the Parapan American Games. Adam Dukovich of Ottawa, Eric Bussieres of Vercheres, Que., and Hanif Mawji of Calgary all won silver medals on Tuesday in singles play. They lost their respective championship matches to Brazilians.
“We just have to be positive,” said Dukovich who lost the gold medal match in the BC2 division to Maciel De Souza Santos. “The score isn’t reflective of my game but rather the strength of my opponent’s play.”
“It has been an honour to compete with the best in the world,” said Bussiere who fell to Richardson Santos in his BC3 championship match.
“It has been a wonderful experience,” said Mawji, downed in his BC1 final to Jose Carlos Chagas. ”The facility is state of the art. It’s been a learning experience.”
Momentum is growing for the Canadian Parapan Am Men’s and Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Teams which clinched first place in their respective pools Tuesday with clutch wins at the Ryerson Athletic Centre. The Canadian women routed Brazil while the men hung on to narrowly trump Argentina. Both teams remain undefeated heading into the playoff rounds.
The Canadian Parapan Am Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team emerged from round robin play unscathed with a spotless 3-0 record following a lopsided defeat of Brazil 82-51. With the win Canada locked up first place in group A and advances to the semifinals on Thursday where they will take on Argentina.
“[Our game plan was] to come out strong. We knew they were going to be really fast, so we wanted to stop their chairs and try to go to the basket. And that’s what we did,” said Team Canada’s Cindy Ouellet, of Quebec, Que.
Janet McLachlan, of Vancouver, B.C., led the way for Canada under the rim with a monstrous 28 points, 17 rebounds, and 5 assists, all game highs. She credited the passionate crowd in attendance for helping boost Team Canada to victory.
In what proved to be their toughest matchup of the tournament to date, the Canadian Parapan Am Men’s Wheelchair Basketball Team grappled their way to a 68-62 victoria over a gritty Argentinian Team. With a tidy 3-0 record, the Canadian Men claim top spot in Group B and will now play a quarterfinal crossover match against Puerto Rico on Wednesday August 12.
“It was a gritty game. But we pushed through it. I think we had great composure,” said Team Canada’s David Eng of Montreal, Que.
Canada continued to be perfect on Tuesday as they rolled over Chile 67-11. Fabien Lavoie led the Canadian attack with 11 points. Canada plays its arch-rival the United States on Wednesday at 8 p.m. at the Mississauga Sports Centre. Both countries are 4-0.
Story and Photo from the Canadian Paralympic Committee | Paralympic.ca