Parapan American Games - Day Four Results Summary - Five-medal haul by Boccia athletes highlights fourth day of competition in Guadalajara, as Cycling and Swimming athletes win again

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GUADALAJARA, Nov. 16, 2011 /CNW/ - Canadian athletes in boccia, cycling and swimming combined to win 11 medals today at the 2011 Parapan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, bringing the country's total to 39.

The boccia team had a dream day in Guadalajara, with five of their nine athletes winning medals. Paul Gauthier (Vancouver, BC) and Adam Dukovich (London, ON) won gold; Marco Dispaltro (St-Jérôme, QC) won silver; and Josh Vander Vies (Vancouver, BC) and Dave Richer (Ste-Julie, QC) won bronze.

"When you have seven of nine athletes in semi-finals, you just go in to finals with a smile on your face," said head coach Mario Delisle (Montreal, QC). "It's just fantastic for boccia in Canada and is certainly a good warm up for the London 2012 Paralympics next year."

Several athletes also became multi-medallists today.

Swimming: Racing the S14 100 metre backstroke, Kirstie Kasko (Okotoks, AB) won her second gold of these Games; Adam Rahier (Nanaimo, BC) won his first gold and third medal of these Games; and Jana Murphy (Victoria, BC) won silver, for her third medal.

Cycling: In the women's 1000-metr time trial, Robbi Weldon (Thunder Bay, ON) and Lyne Bessette (Knowlton, QC) captured their third gold of these Games and Daniel Chalifour (St-Jérome, QC) and pilot Ed Veal (Queensville, ON) won a silver in the men's time trial - their third medal in Guadalajara.

In athletics, Sarah White (Montreal, QC) won the T53 wheelchair 100-metre silver medal in 20.55 seconds.

In all, the Canadian team earned five gold, four silver and two bronze medals today in Guadalajara.

In four days of competition, Canada has won 39 medals, including 10 gold, 14 silver and 15 bronze.

Athletics

Action in athletics continued today at the Parapan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico where Montreal, Que.'s Sarah White won the T53 wheelchair 100-metre silver medal. Crossing the line in 20.55 seconds Sarah secured the silver behind Chelsea McLammer of the United States' gold in 19.39 seconds.

In the men's T54 wheelchair 400-metres final, Isaiah Christophe of Brampton, Ont., finished seventh overall with a personal best time of 52.53 seconds. Later in the day Christophe advanced to the T54 800-metres final with a time of 1:49.51; he will line up tomorrow afternoon for that final.

Jacqueline Rennebohm of Regina, Sask. and guide runner Simon Hodge of Toronto, Ont., did not advance from theT12 visually impaired 200-metres semi final; they finished third in their heat in 29.97 seconds.

On Thursday, Alister McQueen of Calgary, Alta., and Jackie Marciano of Halifax, N.S., will take to the field at 2:05pm local time in the men's F44 amputee javelin final.

Jason Dunkerley and guide runner Joshua Karanja both of Ottawa, Ont., will line up in the men's T11 1500-metres final at 5:55pm local time; a last minute schedule change eliminated the semi-final rounds and therefore the duo goes straight to the final tomorrow.

Archery

It was an amazing, heart-pounding day for Kevin Evans (Jaffray, BC) and Robert Hudson (Leoville, SK), as both Canadian archers secured a spot for the gold medal match tomorrow, at 11:35 a.m. central, guaranteeing two medals to the tally.

Evans and Hudson won their quarterfinal matches 6-2 and 6-5 respectively in the men's individual compound category and then moved on to the semi-final round where they both played Americans. Evans faced Matthew Lee Stutzman and triumphed 6-4 while teammate Hudson met Lewis Dugan Denton and managed to win 6-4.

"After the year I have had and all the effort I have put into this, I couldn't be happier," said Hudson. "Tomorrow will be a lot of fun."

On the women's side, Lyne Tremblay (Magog, QC) lost to Natalie Lynn Wells of the U.S. by a score of 2-6 in the quarterfinal round and did not advance to the semi-finals.

Cycling

On the second and last day of track cycling competition, Canadian para-cyclists continued to excel, with yet another gold medal performance by Robbi Weldon (Thunder Bay, ON) and pilot Lyne Bessette (Knowlton, QC). This time, the tandem won their third gold medal in as many races in the women's 1000m time trial.

"This was one of our best wins," said Weldon. "Today was the toughest of all our races and I was really happy with our performance and setting a personal best. We have three down and one more to go now."

Teammate and pilot Lyne Bessette added, "For us it was a challenge because we are not considered a speed team. We started slow but stayed on pace, it was tough at the end. But as I told Robbi, 'let's just keep pulling', and it paid off for us."

In the men's race, the Daniel Chalifour (St-Jérôme, QC) and Ed Veal (Queensville, ON) today rode to the silver medal of the men's 1000m time trial.

"Today was good day for us, we were so close to winning," said Chalifour. "This was our first kilo together, we learned fast together. We set a new Canadian record so I am happy."

His teammate and pilot Ed Veal commented: "We rode perfectly and exceeded expectations. It was just tough coming in second."

Earlier in the day, Marie-Claude Molnar (Ste-Adèle, QC) rode to third place in the C4-C5 individual pursuit with a time of 4:05.403, and in doing so broke the world record for the C4 category.

"It was a good day for speed today," said Molnar. "There were a few world records set, the velodrome was warm and the track fast. My pacing during the race was really good and I was really proud and excited when I saw my time."

In the men's individual pursuit C1-C3, both Mathieu Parent (Granby, QC) and Jaye Milley (Calgary, AB) broke their personal best times. Parent ended in eighth position overall while Milley followed in ninth.

Boccia

On this last day of the boccia tournament, Canadian players took over the podium. The national anthem was played twice as Canada concluded the day with two gold, one silver and two bronze medals, contributing a total of five medals to Canada's tally.

Paul Gauthier (Vancouver, BC) won a gold in the BC3 category after having completed an amazing comeback in the final end by scoring five points against Maria Belen Ruiz (ARG).

"It feels amazing," said Gauthier. "It feels great. I had lots of pressure. I was away from the game for a little while and I needed a big comeback and I got it here. I'm so excited!"

Adam Dukovich (London) also won a gold medal in the BC2 category with a final score of 4-1 against Pablo Cortez (ARG)."It's awesome. It's awesome. This is my first gold medal and it's awesome," said Dukovich.

Marco Dispaltro (Saint-Jérôme - BC4) earned a silver medal after playing a close match against Fabio Moraes (BRA).

Josh Vander Vies (Vancouver - BC4) and Dave Richer (Sainte-Julie - BC2) both earned bronze medals with 5-4 and 5-2 victories respectively.

"Honestly, I can't believe it." said Richer right after the event. "I am so proud of myself because this is my first international competition. I was ready to work hard, especially since I had a very bad game in semi-finals this morning losing 11-0. I could have collapsed, but in two hours, I was able to regain confidence and win a bronze medal in my first international tournament!"

Caroline Vietnieks (Delta - BC4) and teammate Martin Dubois (Val-des-Monts - BC3) both finished in fourth position in with scores of 4-5 and 2-5 respectively in their bronze medal matches.

Goalball

Canada's men's goalball team easily beat El Salvador this morning 11-1, bringing their win-loss record to 3-1. The match was over within minutes, as once a team is ahead by 10 goals, the competition is stopped.

Goal scorers for Canada included Bruno Haché (Dorval QC) with six, Brendan Gaulin (Vancouver BC) with two, Aron Ghebreyohannes (Calgary AB) with two and Simon Tremblay (Quebec, QC) with one.

"The game allowed Canada to get some of the newer players some valuable game experience internationally," said team manager Michael Longeran.

The men's team plays Mexico on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. local.

The Canadian women's goalball team had the day off today. They play the U.S. on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. local.

Swimming

Adam Rahier of Nanaimo, B.C. and Kirstie Kasko of Okotoks, Alta., both won gold medals on Wednesday, highlighting a three-medal day for Canada. After four days of racing, the young Canadian developmental swim squad has reached the podium 17 times with three gold, six silver and eight bronze.

In the men's 100 backstroke in the S14 class for athletes with an intellectual disability, Rahier took the gold in a season best 1:06.63 winning a tight battle over Venezuelan Alberto Vera Moran in second in 1:06.83.

"I feel so happy about the win,'' said Rahier, 23. "It's been a glorious and great competition. I knew to have success I had to stay positive, listen to my coach and swim my heart out.''

It was Rahier's third medal of the competition. He also earned silver in the 100 breaststroke and 100 freestyle earlier this week.

Maxime Rousselle of St-Alexandre, Que., was fifth and Dalton Boon of Ladner, B.C., sixth.

In the women's S14 100 backstroke, Kasko collected her second gold of the Games clocking 1:20.10 with Jana Murphy of Victoria second in 1:21.23. Meagan Michie of Metcalfe, Ont., was eighth. Kasko also won the 200 freestyle on Monday.

Murphy is now up to three medals. She was second in the 100 breaststroke on Sunday and third in the 200 freestyle on Monday.

Other Canadian finalists in men's competition were Micah Mykitiuk of Toronto and Thomas Swinkels of Lower Sackville, N.S., fourth and fifth in the S10 400 freestyle; Zack McAllister of Lethbridge, Alta., fourth in the S9 400 freestyle; Jean-Sébastien Lapointe of Repentigny, Que., sixth in the S7 50 freestyle; Nik Tolgyesi of Kingston, Ont., sixth in the S6 200 IM and Andrew Cook of Penticton, B.C., eighth in the S4 100 breaststroke.

Tolgyesi, 16, bettered his personal best by 30 seconds.

"I have to give credit to my coach,'' said Tolgyesi, who is coached by Canadian marathon swimming legend Vicki Keith. "I really managed the race well and met all my splits. I had a good pace at the start and that allowed me to have the energy for a strong finish.''

Kennedy Pasay of Leduc, Alta., was fifth in the women's S9 400 freestyle.

Table Tennis

Fresh off his gold medal-winning performance yesterday, Ian Kent (Eastern Passage, NS) partnered with Masoud Mojtahed (Austin, TX) in day one of the standing class 6, 7, 8 combined doubles event.

The format saw the team open their series against the host Mexicans with Mojtahed winning his singles match 3-1 followed by a 3-0 victory by Kent. The teams then switched opponents, with Kent and Mojtahed sweeping both their opponents 3-0.

The afternoon matches saw Canada play Chile, with Mojtahed leading off play with a 3-2 loss while Kent won a back-and-forth affair 3-1. In the second set, Kent defeated his opponent 3-0 while Mojtahed sealed the day's play with a thrilling 3-2 victory to give Canada a perfect 2-0 record in the overall team competition and securing them a berth in semi-final play.

"I lost to the Chileans in my last Parapan American Games so I was very pleased to defeat them today," said Mojtahed. "I was feeling really good all day and that showed in my play".

The final round robin match will be played against Costa Rica at noon (CST) tomorrow.

Sitting Volleyball

The sitting volleyball team played matches against Costa Rica and Brazil today.

In the final day of round-robin play, Canada and its strong supporting crowd took on the powerhouse Brazilian team in the morning's competition. The first set began as a back-and-forth affair with Brazil taking a slim 8-6 lead at the first time out. Back-to-back attack errors by the Brazilians, including a stuff-block by Doug Learoyd (Calgary, AB) gave Canada a 10-9 lead before an ensuing 6-0 run gave Brazil a five-point cushion. Brazil went on to win the first set 25-15.

The second set started as a close knit affair as well, with Brazil up 8-6 before back-to-back Brazilian attack errors gave Canada a one-point lead. A lead Canada kept to the first technical time-out when Eric Dechaine's (St-Lina, AB) kill made the score 16-15. However, Brazil went on to win the set 25-20.

In the third set, Canada jumped out to an 8-6 lead after another stuff block by Learoyd. Brazil rebounded however, to take a 16-13 lead at the second time out. Canada rallied late in the set, going up 18-17 off the strong serving of Learoyd. Greg Stewart (Kamloops, BC) won the set for Canada 25-22 with a kill.

Brazil took back the momentum in the fourth and deciding set, going up 8-2 after four consecutive Canadian errors. Strong serving helped Brazil continue to build their advantage to 11 points as they went on to win the set 25-9 and the match 3-1.

"All in all, it was a positive morning for us," commented team captain Austin Hinchey (Edmonton, AB). "However, the fourth set was not acceptable and we will need to do better if we are going to compete with the top teams in the world. We need to start sets better, it always seems like we were playing from behind."

Stewart led Canada with 12 points while Brazil's Silva Platini lead all scorers with 14.

"Overall it was a positive match for our team," said Head Coach Ian Halliday. "We have not been that competitive against Brazil in the past and to take a set from them was extremely positive. We will learn from this match, to make sure that after such a successful third set, we come out stronger and more focused in the fourth."

In the afternoon match, Canada closed out round robin play with a convincing three set win over Costa Rica. A strong serving run by  José Rebelo (Saint-Hubert, QC) supported by an excellent transition game that helped Canada to an 8-1 lead. Canada went on to win the set 25-9 with back-to-back aces by Dave Marchand (St. Albert, AB).

The second set started off as a sloppy affair with Canada up 8-7 at the first time out. Both sides continued to exchange points until a kill by Hinchey sealed the set for Canada 25-16.

In the third frame, a kill by Brad Quast (Lethbridge, AB) put Canada on top 8-6, a lead they extended to 12-8 after a transitional kill by Hinchey was followed by a service ace by Quast. Three straight Canadian attack errors let Costa Rica back in the set as they pulled to within five, but Canada quickly rebounded and sealed the victory with a kill by Stewart to make the final score 25-20.

"It wasn't the cleanest game but it gave us an opportunity to rest some guys for tomorrow," commented Halliday. "It also gave others the opportunity to play."

Canada will takes on Brazil tomorrow at 4 p.m. (CST) in semi-final action.

Wheelchair Basketball

Potent offensive flair from Canada's Patrick Anderson (Fergus, ON) and Bo Hedges (Wonowon, BC) helped the Men's Wheelchair Basketball Team capture their third straight win at the 2011 Parapan American Games. With a 83-57 defeat of Mexico in their final preliminary round game, Canada's record sits at 3-0 which places them first in Group A.  They will now move on to the quarterfinals where they will face Guatemala (the fourth ranked team in Group B) Thursday November 17 at 11:15 a.m. (CST).

Anderson scored half of team Canada's 42 points in the first half including a pair of three-pointers that helped set the tone of the game and shift momentum in Canada's favour.  He would go on to score a game a game high 35 points, eight rebounds, and three assists to lead the charge for Canada.  However, it was Hedges who had the hot hand. His shooting was flawless as he chipped in 18 points with missing a single shot (eight-for-eight from the field and two-for-two from the free-throw line). 

The Canadian women's team had the day off today. They play the semi-final against Mexico on Thursday at 8:15 p.m.

Note to Editors: Broadcast-standard video and mp3 files are available for media via SendtoNews: www.sendtonews.com.

Photos are available in the Image Bank at Paralympic.ca. Photo credit: Matthew Murnaghan/Canadian Paralympic Committee.

For more information about Team Canada in Guadalajara, please visit www.paralympic.ca/guadalajara2011.

SOURCE CANADIAN PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE (CPC)

For further information:

Mark Dottori
Tel in Guadalajara: 011 52 331 602 9302
mdottori@paralympic.ca

Alison Korn
Tel in Guadalajara: 011 52 331 600 9399
akorn@paralympic.ca

Web: Paralympic.ca
Facebook: Facebook.com/CDNParalympics
Twitter: @CDNParalympics
YouTube: YouTube.com/CDNParalympics

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