Day 5 brings bronze medals in archery and athletics

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LONDON, UK, Sept. 3, 2012 /CNW/ - Team Canada's Day 5 at the London 2012 Paralympic Games was highlighted by a couple of bronze medals - one from Norbert Murphy (Vaudreuil-Dorion, QC) in archery, and the other in athletics, won by Jason Dunkerley and guide runner Josh Karanja in the men's visually impaired T11 classification 1500-metres.

Dunkerley and Karanja set a Canadian record time of 4:07.56. Tonight's bronze brings Dunkerley's career total Paralympic medals to four - two bronze and two silver.

"This is very special, I have a great guide here (guide runner Josh Karanja), we've been working together for a few years," said an ecstatic Dunkerley. "I was tightening up around the last 100-metres and Josh (Karanja) kept telling me they're coming. We were able to stay ahead of them at the line."

The race was won by Kenya's Samwel Musahi Kimani and guide James Boit in a world record time of 3:58.37. Dunkerley and Karanja will now focus on the T11 5000-metres final which takes place Friday September 7.

In archery, Norbert Murphy (Vaudreuil-Dorion, QC ) won the bronze medal in Compound Bow, Men's ARW1 defeating Osmo Kinnunen of Finland 7-1. Murphy had to regroup after a difficult semi-final against American Jeff Fabry after Fabry dropped his bow, damaged it, and had to leave the Archery compound, miss a set and retrieve a backup bow to continue the competition.

Fabry went on to win the semi-final 7-3.

"It was Murphy's law that it would happen to me," joked Murphy. "It threw me off for sure. I even offered him my spare bow. But I went out and listened to some music after the semi-final so I could refocus."

In the bronze medal match, Murphy scored two points in the first, third and fourth set and tied the second set to take one point.

"I came here hoping for a medal," continued Murphy. "I was ready for it."

"This experience has been incredible," added archery head coach Vladimir Kopecky. "You become so familiar with the athletes, wishing all the best for them. I know the hard work they went through to get to this position. This is very satisfying."

ATHLETICS

In the women's T54 classification wheelchair 400-metres Diane Roy of Sherbrooke, Que., placed fifth in a time of 56.60 seconds.

"It was a tough race, again today the top speed just wasn't there," said Roy. "Sometimes when you want it so bad you aren't able to relax and that's what happened today."

Roy's next event at these Paralympic Games is tomorrow.  The T54 800-metres is set for 10:15 a.m. London time.

Brent Lakatos of Dorval, Que., placed fifth in the men's T53 wheelchair 100-metres final in a time of 15.31 seconds. Lakatos qualified for the final by winning his heat earlier today in a time of 15.00 seconds.

Also in action today was Josh Cassidy of Ottawa, Ont in the T54 wheelchair 1500-metres.  Cassidy placed third in his heat in 3:19.54 to automatically qualify for tomorrow's final.

BOCCIA

In the BC4 pairs competition, Marco Dispaltro (St-Jérôme, QC) and partner Josh Vander Vies (Vancouver, BC) won 4-3 in their preliminary round against Slovakia, securing their spot in the semi-final match against Czech Republic.

Dispaltro and Vander Vies played a nail-biter semi. The two players scored one point per end for the three first ends, dominating the game. In the fourth end, the Czech bounced back by scoring three points to tie the score. Canada was defeated in the last minute of the extra end, securing a spot in tomorrow's bronze medal game. Canada will face Great-Britain in front of a sold-out home crowd.

In the BC3 Pairs competition, Bruno Garneau (Montreal, QC) and Paul Gauthier (Vancouver, BC) ended their mixed pair competition this morning when losing 1-9 to Great-Britain.

The two athletes and all other Canadian team members will participate in individual competitions commencing on September 5.

EQUESTRIAN

Lauren Barwick, of Aldergrove, BC, rode Off to Paris, owned by Equine Canada, to a score of 71.500% for eighth place out of 23 in her Grade II Freestyle test.

Ashley Gowanlock of Surrey, BC, was awarded a sixth place finish with a score of  68.800% in her Grade 1B Freestyle Test riding Maile, Barwick's individual gold and silver medal partner at the 2008 Paralympic Games.

"Our Freestyle was emotional and fantastic," said Lauren Barwick of her Freestyle with Off to Paris. "It was all I could ask for and expect from my mare at this stage. This level of international competition is still new for her and she is really coming along. As our training progresses, everything will come together as it should."

"Maile was very relaxed in the ring today," said Ashley Gowanlock, who was also a member of the Canadian Team at the 2008 Paralympics. "You have to have fun in the freestyle—that is the point of the test. It was so amazing to ride in front of 10,000 people. I will remember this competition for the rest of my life."

GOALBALL

The men's goalball team (Brendan Gaulin, Vancouver, BC; Bruno Hache, Dorval, QC; Mario Caron, St-Eustache, QC; Ahmad Zeividavi, Vancouver, BC; Simon Tremblay, Alma, QC; Doug Ripley, New Westminster. BC) gave it their all in their final preliminary match against China today.

China came out strong early and scored two quick goals, but Canada rallied back with a hard shot by Brendan Gaulin that sailed by China's defense to close the first half. In the end, Canada was unable to come back from the 3-1 deficit and a goalless second half clinched the game for China, the reigning Paralympic champions.

After five competitive games, the Canadian men's goalball team will not move on to play in the quarter finals, thus ending their London 2012 Paralympic competition.

The women's goalball team (Ashlie Andrews, Penticton, BC; Whitney Bogart, Marathon, ON; Amy Kneebone, Charlottetown, PEI; Jill MacSween, Halifax, ON; Nancy Morin, Longueuil, QC; Cassie Orgeles, Nepean, ON; Coach: Janice Dawson, Calgary, AB) faced Japan today in preliminary competition.

Canada's Amy Knnebone scored three seconds into the second half to give Canada a 1-0 victory. This win all but clinches a semi-final spot for Canada. They face the United States tomorrow in their final preliminary match. A win tomorrow would place Canada first in their pool.

SAILING

In sailing Paul Tingley (Halifax, NS) was ninth in the One Person Keel Boat in race five and was sixth in race six.

In the fifth race, Stacie Louttit (Victoria, BC) and John McRoberts (Victoria, BC) were disqualified in the Two Person Mixed Boat - SKUD-18 but were fourth in race six.

"We're pleased with the last result - a solid fourth," said Louttit. "The wind was a little light and a little spotty but it was fine. Onwards and upwards for tomorrow."

In the three Person Keel Boat - Sonar (Logan Campbell, Saskatoon; Scott Lutes, Montreal; Bruce Millar, Victoria), were seventh in race five and seventh in the six race. Tomorrow sees races seven and eight in all three boats.

"We like light winds, it's more technical sailing," added Millar. "We just need to get better starts."

SWIMMING

Amber Thomas of Drayton Valley, Alta., broke one of the longest standing Canadian swimming records in the books on Monday in a fifth place finish in the women's S11 100-metre breaststroke at the Paralympic Games.

For the first time in five days of competition Canada did not reach the podium at the pool after producing two gold and six silver to open the Games.

Thomas, 19, clocked one minute and 36.21 seconds in the race for blind swimmers to eclipse the previous national mark of 1:36.98 set by Yvette Weiker of B.C. at the 1984 Paralympic Games in New York.  It was Thomas's fourth straight day of racing and she still has two more events scheduled.  She has reached three finals so far.

"I'm really thrilled to get the Canadian record," said Thomas.  "I felt there was an opportunity to get it after a strong swim in the preliminaries.  I just pushed everything harder in the final especially in the last 25 metres to get the time."

Seventh place finishes were posted by double silver medallist Brianna Nelson of Victoria  in the women's S7 100 freestyle; Brian Hill of Montreal was in the S13 100 backstroke and the women's 4X100 freestyle relay with Katarina Roxon of Stephenville, N.L., Nelson, Morgan Bird of Calgary and Summer Mortimer of Ancaster, Ont.

For Hill, it was his last race at these, his fourth Paralympic Games.  He was also ninth in the 100 butterfly on the weekend.

Hill won silver in the 100m butterfly at the 2000 Sydney Games and added two bronze in Athens in 2004, placing third in the 100m backstroke and 400m freestyle.  His top result in Beijing was fifth in the 100 backstroke.

"That was almost certainly my last Paralympic race," said Hill, 29.  "It's a little emotional, I've invested 20-some years in the sport.  I may continue another year or so.

"I'm really happy with my career, representing Canada and making so many friends along the way.  What I will remember the most are the experiences and the work that was invested to get this far."

The women's relay team was hoping to fare better despite clocking 4:38.23 which was just 0.22 off the Canadian record set in 2000.

"We thought we had a chance to be in the medal hunt tonight but it didn't work out," said Roxon.

"I thought it was fun and worthwhile," said Nelson, who has raced in six events over the first five days of swimming.  "We will definitely benefit from the experience."

"I always get that extra drive to go faster in a relay," said Bird.  "I want to push for my team.  The relays are my favorite part because we can unite as a team and no matter what happens it was a fun experience."

Other Canadian results; Devin Gotell of Antigonish, N.S., was ninth in the S13 100 backstroke; Sarah Mehain of Vernon, B.C., was 11th in the women's S7 100 freestyle and Zach McAllister of Lethbridge, Alta., 15th in the S8 50 freestyle.

WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL

Katie Harnock, of Elmira, Ontario, took her game to another level on Monday leading Canada to a 67-50 victory over Great Britain. With the win, Canada will move on to the quarterfinals with a 3-1 record to  face China, Mexico, or the USA.

Harnock's shooting was superb as she went 10-for-17 from the paint (59%), on route to a game high and personal best 20 points and six rebounds.  She was a leader on a Canadian team that played with confidence and had several players producing marquee games. Cindy Ouellet, of Quebec, QC, tallied 18 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists in her best-ever Paralympic performance. Janet McLachlan, of Vancouver, BC dominated the boards with a game high 15 rebounds.

Once again Canada's sound defence was an asset. They limited Great Britain shooters to a meager 38% from the field. Canada went on an eight point scoring run to end the first half ahead 34-25 and never looked back.

The women play the U.S. on Sept. 4 at 9:15 p.m. London time.

The Canadian Men's Wheelchair Basketball Team cruised past Colombia 68-42 Monday and will head into the quarterfinals of the London 2012 Paralympic Games with a perfect 5-0 record. 

The tournament's leading scorer Patrick Anderson, of Fergus, Ontario, added 13 points in just 10 minutes of court time to complete the round robin stage with a whopping 133 points (26.6 points per game). Dave Durepos, of Fredericton, New Brunswick, was the game's top scorer against Colombia with 18 points. Joey Johnson, of Winnipeg, MB, had a team-high 6 rebounds.

Canada's opponent in the quarterfinal on Sept. 5 will be Spain.

About the Canadian Paralympic Committee

The Canadian Paralympic Committee is a non-profit, private organization with 46 member sports organizations dedicated to strengthening the Paralympic movement. The Canadian Paralympic Committee's vision is to be the world's leading Paralympic nation. Its mission is to lead the development of a sustainable Paralympic sport system in Canada to enable athletes to reach the podium at the Paralympic Games. By supporting Canadian Paralympic athletes and promoting their success, the Canadian Paralympic Committee inspires all Canadians with a disability to get involved in sport through programs delivered by its member organizations.

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SOURCE CANADIAN PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE (CPC)




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