Day 7 in London: Canadians add five medals to tally

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LONDON, UK, Sept. 5, 2012 /CNW/ - It was a five-medal day today as Benoit Huot of Montreal collected a third medal at the Paralympic Games, a silver, and Aurélie Rivard of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., added a surprise silver in their respective 400-metre freestyle races on Wednesday in swimming.

The athletics team also earned two silvers today, with Brent Lakatos of Dorval, Que. second in the men's T53 classification wheelchair 800-metres in a personal best time of 1:41.24. Michelle Stilwell of Nanoose Bay, B.C. finished second in the women's T54 wheelchair 100-metres.

Cyclist Marie-Claude Molnar took the bronze medal in the women's C4 category, covering the 16-km course with a time of 26:48.52 to secure third place.

"This is a tough course, so it hurt as it is supposed to," said Molnar. I was in good hands with my coach who followed me in the car. We had good preparation with good training. I'm really happy with the support that we received throughout the years. These are people who do exceptional work to ensure that we perform to our potential."

In the men's S10 400 IM, 16-year-old Ian Silverman of the U.S., won the gold medal in a Games record 4:04.91.  Huot followed in second place in a personal best 4:06.58 thanks to a strong second half while Robert Welbourn of Britain was third in 4:08.18.

At the Games so far, Huot has a collected a medal of each color.  He won gold in world record time last Thursday in the 200 IM and bronze Tuesday in the 100 backstroke.  He now has 19 Paralympic medals in his career.

''I came here to do best times and I'm three out of three,'' said Huot, competing at his fourth Games.  ''I made good decisions coming here deciding not to swim the 50 free and the 100 butterfly because they would have been hard for me to finish in the top-five.  So far it's worked.  The events I've entered I've been on the podium.'' 

Issac Bouckley of Whitby, Ont., was eighth.

In women's S10 400 freestyle, Elodie Lorandi of France took the title in 4:34.55, 16-yar-old Rivard lowered her Canadian record to 4:36.46, nine seconds than her previous best set in the morning prelims.  Susan Scott of the U.S., was third in 4:37.23.

"I can't believe this has happened," said Rivard, who started swimming competitively only four years ago.  "Elodie is always about 10 seconds ahead of me so to cut into her lead and win the silver gives me great pride. My strategy was too save my energy for the end.  I gave everything I had in the second half and the last 100 I swam with my heart.''

It's been a great Games debut for Rivard.  She was sixth last Thursday in the 200 IM, sixth last Friday in the 50 freestyle and fifth Tuesday in the 100 backstroke, all in personal best times.  She completes her Games Thursday in the 100 freestyle.

In athletics, Lakatos finished second in the men's T53 classification wheelchair 800-metres in a personal best time of 1:41.24.

"This was a little bit of a tactical race but it was also very fast," Lakatos said. "A day's rest was helpful; 800-metres is not my strongest race but I'll take a silver medal any day". He adds, "I'm really looking forward to the 200-metres". This is Lakatos' second silver medal at these Games, having also placed second in the 400-metres.

ATHLETICS

The men's 4x100-metres visually impaired relay team of Brandon King and guide Andrew Heffernan, both of Ottawa, Ont., Braedon Dolfo of Langley, B.C., Jonathan Dunkerley of Ottawa, Ont., with guide Sean Young of Peterborough, Ont., and Dustin Walsh of Coquitlam, B.C., with guide Dylan Williamson of Langley, B.C., finished sixth overall in a time of 44.90 seconds.

In the women's T54 wheelchair 800-metres final Diane Roy of Sherbrook, Que., crossed the line in 1:54.90 for seventh overall. Tomorrow Diane shifts her attention to the heats of the 1500-metres along with teammate Keira-Lyn Frie of Saskatoon, Sask., at 12:29pm local time (7:29am eastern time)

Josh Cassidy of Ottawa, Ont., will race in the men's T54 800-metres final tomorrow evening at 9:16pm local time (4:16pm eastern time). Josh finished fourth in his heat today in a seasonal best time of 1:38.24. "The 800-metres isn't my race, but I'm glad of the way it turned out today, it was really close." He adds, "Tomorrow will be another attempt for me in a final before the marathon on the weekend." 

It was a busy day for Alexandre Dupont of Bradwell, Sask., who raced in the men's T54 wheelchair 400 and 800-metre heats. Dupont finished third in his heat in the 400-metres in 51.17 seconds and sixth in the 800-metres in 1:39.73, but it was not enough to advance to either events final. 

Curtis Thom of Mississauga, Ont., and Colin Mathieson of Winnipeg, Man., also raced in the men's T54 wheelchair 800-metres finishing fifth in 48.57 seconds and sixth in 51.17 seconds. Neither advanced to the final.

BOCCIA

On day one of individual events at boccia, Canadians Paul Gauthier, four time Paralympic medallist (Vancouver, BC) and rookie Adam Dukovich (London, ON) both won their BC3 and BC2 competitions respectively to advance to the 1/8 round tomorrow. Gauthier faced the USA team and crushed his opponent 7-1 while Dukovich defeated the British favourite Zoe Robinson in the extra end.

"I aim for nothing less than the podium," said Dukovich after the match. Adam Dukovich is featured in the Canadian Paralympic Committee's Super Athletes marketing campaign.

In the afternoon, Monica Martino (BC3 - Vancouver, BC) was defeated 2-5 by Singapore Nurul Binte Mohammad Taha.

Brock Richardson (BC -1 - Brampton, ON) and Dave Richer (BC2 - Ste-Julie, QC) also suffered losses in their matches. Richardson was defeated 0-5 by Yuriko Shibayama (JPN) while Richer lost 2-3 to Lam Yeung Hiu (HKG). The three athletes will not be advancing to the next round.

CYCLING

The World Champion tandem of Robbi Weldon and pilot Lyne Bessette placed fourth with a time of 35:47.94, while the tandem of Geneviève Ouellet and pilot Emilie Roy finished eighth at 36:46.14. In the men's tandem action, Canada's Daniel Chalifour and pilot Alexandre Cloutier also placed fourth, stopping the clock at 31:35.68.   "Fourth place is the cruelest as an athlete, because nobody will remember you in a few years," said Daniel Chalifour. "We always remember those who have won medals. For me and Alex [Alexandre Cloutier], we finished fourth in the pursuit in Beijing in 2008, and this year it's in the Time Trial. We had a puncture on the last corner, which made us lose precious seconds. Still, I am very happy. We are still in fourth place at the Paralympic Games. They are the best in the world, everyone wants to win here."

Other Canadian results: 11. Shelley Gautier, Tricycle (16:50.61); Marie-Ève Croteau, Tricyle (DNS); 12. Arnold Boldt, C2 (27:31.82); 7. Brayden McDougall, C1 (28 :17.49); 9. Jaye Milley, C1 (29:25.57); 11. Mark Beggs, H2 (31.11.80); 10. Robert Labbé, H1 (44.47.70).

GOALBALL

Women's Goalball Quarterfinals (blind and visually impaired) _ Canada (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) will not move on to see semi-final play after falling to Finland 2-1 in overtime today at the Copper Box.

After a goalless first half, Canada got on the board in the opening minutes of the second with a fast strike from winger, Whitney Bogart to take a 1-0 lead. Finland responded with five minutes remaining to make it a 1-1 tie, which will continue into the end of regulation play.  Half way through the three minute overtime, the golden goal was scored by Finland on a bounce that took Canada's defense by surprise. This marks the end of the tournament for the team.

SAILING

In sailing Paul Tingley (Halifax, NS) was ninth in race nine and fourth in race 10 in the One Person Keel Boat to sit fifth overall.  Though the reigning Paralympic champion feels his chances may be slim to win it all, he's not giving up the race.

"It would be a long shot," Tingley conceded. "But it's not mine to win, it's theirs to lose."

In the ninth and tenth races, Stacie Louttit (Victoria, BC) and John McRoberts (Victoria, BC) placed sixth and fourth place respectively in the Two Person Mixed Boat - SKUD-18 and sit fourth overall.

"The Italians (Marco GUALANDRIS/Marta ZANETTI, ITA) in the last race got a great start," said Louttit.  "They went the right way and just kept on going. It was nice to see. It was the first time that anybody other than the top four won a SKUD race in a very long time."

And in the three Person Keel Boat - Sonar (Logan Campbell, Saskatoon; Scott Lutes, Montreal; Bruce Millar, Victoria), they were eighth in race eight, 12th in race nine and 11th in race 10 and sit in 10th place.

"We had a bit of a rough day," said Millar. "Some days I go out and get the rhythm and other days it isn't there. On these days it gets harder and harder."

Medals will be awarded Thursday.

SWIMMING

Scott Patterson of Vancouver was eighth in the men's S5 100 breaststroke.  Patterson is competing at his four Paralympic Games.  He competed in track and field at the 1988 Seoul Games as well as the 2002 and 2006 Winter Games in alpine skiing.

WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL

Canada has landed a date with host Great Britain in the semifinals of the London 2012 Paralympic Games after delivering a gritty 77-51 quarterfinal victory over Spain on Wednesday.

Once again Patrick Anderson, of Fergus, Ontario, pointed the way with a double-double (16 points and 14 rebounds). He also added six assists. Joey Johnson, of Winnipeg, Manitoba, posted his best offensive numbers of the tournament so far with 15 points and five rebounds, while Wonowon, BC's Bo Hedges accumulated 14 points. Canada led by as much as 18 in the first half and converted eight points off of turnovers through two quarters. They outscored Spain in the fourth quarter 20-10 to seal the victory.

The semi-final match vs Great Britain, who Canada defeated earlier in round robin play (70-54), will be Thursday September 6 at 9:15 p.m. BST.

WHEELCHAIR FENCING

Pierre Mainville of St-Colomban, Que., was eliminated in the round of 16 and Sylvie Morel of Pincourt, Que., was winless in the preliminary round as Canadian wheelchair fencers got into action Wednesday at the Paralympic Games.

Mainville went 2-2 in the preliminary round.  He lost his opening match 5-3 to Grzegorz Pluta of Poland, defeated Alexandr Kurzin of Russia 5-3 and Silva Guissone Jovane of Brazil 5-2 before falling 5-1 to Mikalai Bezyazychny of Belarus.

The performance was good enough to earn Mainville a spot in the round of 16 where he faced Jovane once again. The Brazilian trailed early then handcuffed the Canadian the rest of the way to win the match handily 15-6.

''Jovane is a superb fencer and I wasn't able to manage the situation,'' said Mainville, 39, Canada's first world championship medallist in wheelchair fencing. ''He is a top medal contender and usually when we face each other we never know who is going to win. I didn't follow my game plan.''

Mainville competes Thursday in sabre, his best weapon.

''It should go better,'' he said. ''There's a lot of work to do and if I come out like today it will be the same result.  I have to stay concentrated and stick to what I do best instead of being controlled by my opponent.''

Sylvie Morel of Pincourt, Que. went 0-5 in the preliminary round and did not advance. She lost 5-0 to Yulia Efimova of Russia, 5-2 to Sun-Mi Kim of South Korea, 5-1 to Veronika Juhasz of Hungary, 5-1 to Sabrina Poignet of France and 5-0 to Yu Chui Yee of Hong Kong.

"It's a disappointing showing for me," said Morel, 45, Canada's first ever Paralympic fencer at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games.  "I trained and practiced properly for this competition and took it very seriously.  But you have to be, on that day and I just didn't have it."

WHEELCHAIR RUGBY

Canada fell 64 -52 to Australia in their first match of the London 2012 Paralympic games.  Australia, considered to be the toughest opponents in Canada's pool, charged out of the gate to lead the match from the first quarter.

"We've just got to recover from that," said Head Coach Kevin Orr.  "We've made mistakes, we just have to not respond to the mistakes and if we can do that we'll be in good shape for the rest of the tournament."

The game was the most aggressive match seen so far in Paralympic action, with 18 game fouls called overall. Canada started off strong but quickly turned the ball over thanks to the pressure of Batt and Chris Bond. Despite a strong second and third quarter, Canada was unable to make up the lead.

"We came out flat and just never recovered from it," said co-captain David Willsie. "It's in our hands, we know what to do, we just got to do it. Step up."

Canadians were out in full force to support their wheelchair rugby heroes.

"The fans were fantastic," added Willsie. "We're putting in four years of hard work in and those are they people making the sacrafices, the parents, the wives and kids. I hope they enjoyed the hell out of it."

Next, Canada faces Belgium at 4:15 pm local time Thursday Sept. 6. At the 2012 Canada Cup in June, Canada bested Belgium by one point in a thrilling match and wheelchair rugby fans are expecting a close re-match here in London.

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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