Silver Sunday in London for swimmers and Brent Lakatos

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LONDON, Sept. 2, 2012 /CNW/ - Valérie Grand'Maison of Montreal and Brianna Nelson of Victoria each won their second silver medal on Sunday in swimming action at the Paralympic Games, while Brent Lakatos of Dorval, Quebec won silver in the men's T53 classification wheelchair 400-metres, bringing Canada's medal total to 11.

Lakatos crossed the finish line in 50.71 seconds.

"The last 100-metres hurt a lot, my arms were burning," said Lakatos. "A silver medal means a lot. It's great to be able to share this with my wife (Stefanie Reid)."

Lakatos qualified for the final by winning his semi-final earlier in the day in a new Canadian record of 49.46 seconds.

Day three of the track and field competition also saw two new Canadian records and three more top eight performances from Keira-Lyn Frie of Saskatoon, Sask., Alister McQueen of Calgary, Alta., and Curtis Thom of Mississauga, Ont.

In women's S13 100 freestyle swimming for visually impaired, Kelley Becherer of the U.S., earned the gold medal clocking 59.56 seconds.  Valérie Grand'Maison, the world record holder and defending champion, followed in 1:00.07 while Rebecca Anne Meyers of the U.S., was third in 1:01.90.

''It wasn't the race I was hoping for,'' said Grand'Maison, Canada's most successful Para swimmer at the 2008 Games with six medals including three gold.

''I tried a strategy because she has a better first length and I wanted to keep pace with her. The second length was my time to shine and I wasn't able to finish. Perhaps I wanted it too much and made errors.  I gave everything I had mentally and physically.''

Rhea Schmidt of Winnipeg was eighth.

In the women's S7 200 individual medley, Jacqueline Freney of Australia won in a world record 2:54.42 followed by Nelson who notched her second silver of the Games lowering her Canadian record again to 3:04.60.  Nelson has raced in all four days of competition so far.

"I knew it was going to be a battle for the silver medal," said Nelson.  "I just went for it.  I knew if I didn't fight there wouldn't be hope.  After the first medal, I was ecstatic, so I thought maybe I should try for two.  Now I want medals.  I came here to make an impact."

Sarah Mehain of Vernon, B.C., was seventh.

ATHLETICS

In the men's F44 amputee javelin throw final Alister McQueen (Calgary, AB) placed seventh with a new Canadian record of 49.32-metres. McQueen surpassed his personal best and former Canadian record by more than 4 metres.

"It was a lot fun; I was a little bit more relaxed (after competing in the T44 200-metres yesterday)," said McQueen. "Top eight was the goal and I achieved that. Hopefully there will be a lot more of these in my future."

McQueen now shifts his focus onto the T44 classification 100-metres.

In the final of the women's T54 wheelchair 5000-metres Keira-Lyn Frie finished fourth in 12:28.26.

"I was really comfortable out there, I was thrilled to be in the final and today I demonstrated that I deserve to be there," said Frie.

In the same race Diane Roy of Sherbrooke, Que., finished ninth in 12:29.27.

"I'm a little bit disappointed; my top speed just wasn't there," said Roy. "I was in a good position; this stadium for some reason is not working for me. We'll see tomorrow (where she will race in the heats of the T54 400-metres)."

In the men's T54 wheelchair 100-metres final Curtis Thom placed sixth in 14.74 seconds. Thom however is not finished at these Paralympic Games; on Wednesday September 5 he'll race in the men's T54 400-metres alongside teammates Alexandre Dupont of Bradwell, Sask., and Colin Mathieson of Winnipeg, Man.

Earlier in the day Éric Gauthier of St-Frautin Lac-Carré, Que., finished fourth in his heat of the men's T53 wheelchair 400-metres and did not advance to the final in which Lakatos won silver.

"It was ok, I had some issues with my chair in my lane and then it was too late," said Gauthier. "I'll be ready for the next race."

BOCCIA

Mixed Team Event BC1-BC2

The mixed team (BC1-2), comprised of Adam Dukovich (London, ON), Tammy McLeod (London, ON), Brock Richardson (Brampton, ON) and Dave Richer (Ste-Julie, QC) ended their competition today after suffering two losses against Thailand 22-0 and China 5-5 in the extra end.

"I wasn't very happy with our morning loss but we had an incredible comeback," said Ed Richardson, coach of the BC1-BC2 team. "We have to be proud of our play. We had never had success like this against the Chinese before. This is the best team game we have ever played. Now is the time to cheer on our teammates and start looking ahead."

BC4 Mixed Pairs Events

In the BC4 pairs competition, Marco Dispaltro (St-Jérôme, QC) and partner Josh VanderVies (Vancouver, BC) first faced Thailand in the morning and won 6-1. Confident, they headed to their second preliminary match of the day against Great-Britain and won 4-1.

Dispaltro commented after the second game: "Our wins weren't because of anything unbelieveable, we were able to dig and find that confidence. We put all of our hard work coming into this game, into practice."

The Canadian BC4 team will compete again tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. against Slovakia, and potentially at 1:50 p.m. for the semifinals.

BC3 Mixed Pairs Events

In the BC3 Pairs competition, Bruno Garneau (Montreal, QC) and Paul Gauthier (Vancouver, BC) were the proud winners of their first match of the day against Korea 5-4. The team later on faced Greece, the BC3 team World champion BC3 and suffered a loss 3-2.

"Greece has great players. It could have gone either way," said Gauthier. I think we just need to capitalize on that and get ready for tomorrow's game against Great-Britain."

The Canadian BC3 team will compete again tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. and potentially at 3:25 p.m. for the semifinals.

CYCLING

On the last day of track cycling, the tandem of Robbi Weldon (Thunder Bay, Ont.) and Lyne Bessette (Knowlton, QC) finished seventh in the individual pursuit, posting a time 3:45.698, lowering their time from the last World Championships. They did not advance to the final round.

"We are pleased with the results," said Weldon. "We followed and exceeded our plan we had for the race. The coaches and mechanics set everything perfectly for us. And how can you not be excited with 6,000 people cheering, and racing against Great Britain. We are looking forward to the road races now." Lyne Bessette: "This is breaking the ice for us, for the road races. We didn't train on the track as it's not our specialty. We know we are in good form. Today we posted our best time in the event. It hurts everywhere now!" 

The road cycling events will begin on Wednesday.

EQUESTRIAN

Para-equestrian­_In the Grade VI Individual Championship Test, Eleonore Elstone of Langley, BC, (riding Zareno) finished in seventh place with score of 68.226%.

Jody Schloss of Toronto, ON, (riding Inspector Rebus) was 11th in the Grade 1A Team Test, scoring of 67.700%.

In team competition, the Canadian Team finished in eighth place out of sixteen nations.

GOALBALL

In women's goalball preliminaries (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 Australia today .

Canada came out early with a goal from Amy Kneebone.  Australia matched it up midway through the first. With seven minutes left in the match, Kneebone struck again, giving Canada a 2-1 lead.

Nancy Morin secured the 3-1 win with her trademark release through Australia's left pocket with 3:32 remaining.

The Canadian women's next match is Monday, September 3 at 7:45 p.m. versus Japan.

In men's goalball, Canada (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) lost to Algeria 8-6 in their fourth match of the preliminaries.

Canada's goals were scored by Brendan Gaulin (2) and vetran Mario Caron (4).

Canada will play China on Monday, September 3 at 11:30 a.m. in their final match of the preliminary round.

ROWING

Joan Reid (Enderby, BC) finished sixth overall in Women's single (5:55.92) to cap off a very successful first Paralympic experience.

"I was able to follow my race plan right up until the 750 metre mark," said Reid. "I wanted to pour it on through the last 250 but I just didn't have it in me. I met my goal, though…to make it to the A final."

"She rowed her heart out today," said Jeff Dunbrack (Embrun, ON), lead Para-rowing coach. "She did everything we (he and coach Martin George (Vernon, BC)) asked of her. We wanted her to make the A final. This was a really good regatta for Joan."

The mixed fours with cox crossed the line first in the B Final (3:31.17) to end the regatta on a winning note and seventh place.

"We came here to have the race of our lives," said coxswain Kristin Kit (St. Catharines, ON). "And we felt like we just did that."

"They went out and rowed with pride today," added Dunbrack.

SAILING

Paul Tingley (Halifax, NS) was second in the One Person Keel Boat in race three and was tenth in race four.

In their third race, Stacie Louttit (Victoria, BC) and John McRoberts (Victoria, BC) were third in the Two Person Mixed Boat - SKUD-18 and were fourth in race four.

The three Person Keel Boat - Sonar (Logan Campbell, Saskatoon; Scott Lutes, Montreal; Bruce Millar, Victoria), were 11th in race three and eighth in the fourth race.

Tomorrow sees races five and six in all three boats.

SHOOTING

Doug Blessin (Port Coquitlam, BC) did not make the final in the mixed R4-10m Air Rifle Standing after finishing 24th in the qualification match with a score of 590.

"Doug will be a contender in the future," said head coach Rick Ward (Middleton, NS). "He's come so far so fast and still has a lot to learn. But he will be back."

SWIMMING

In the men's S11 100 backstroke, Donovan Tildesley of Vancouver took seventh spot in his second final of the Games.  He was eighth after prelims.

"Man those guys are fast out there," said Tildesley, a blind athlete, competing at his fourth Games.  "I made a strategic mistake by going over to the right side and came in contact with the guy`s arms in lane seven.  That's probably the only regret I have.  The rest was pretty solid."

Morgan Bird of Calgary capped Canada's night with an eighth place in the women's S8 50 freestyle. She clocked a Canadian record in the morning at 32.67 and finished in 32.70 in the final.

'I'm really happy with those two swims today and to lower my Canadian record," said Bird.  "I've had two finals and two personal bests so far which for my first Paralympics is really exciting."

Other Canadian men's results: Devin Gotell of Antigonish, N.S. was 14th in the S13 100 freestyle and  Michael Heath of Woodstock, Ont., was 17th in the S14 200 IM.

Other Canadian women's results: Amber Thomas of Drayton Valley, Alta., was ninth in the S11 100 backstroke while Jana Murphy of Victoria and Kirstie Kasko of Calgary were 13th and 14th in the S14 200 IM.

After four days of competition, Canadian Para swimmers have collected two gold and six silver.

WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL

The Canadian Women's Wheelchair Basketball Team secured its second victory at the London 2012 Paralympic Games with a 65-51 win over Brazil at North Greenwich Arena Sunday.

Canada forfeited the lead only once in the opening minutes of the game and went on to lead by as much as 22 points. Canada led 31-23 at the half before putting the game out of reach in the fourth quarter. Janet McLachlan, of Vancouver, BC, delivered another monstrous offensive performance with 36 points and 23 rebounds to pick up another double-double.

Canada wraps up the preliminary round against hometown Great Britain Monday September 3 at 1 p.m. at North Greenwich Arena.

With a 73-66 win over Germany, the Canadian Men's Wheelchair Basketball Team improves to 4-0 at the London 2012 Paralympic Games and secures the top spot in their pool. A dominant second quarter proved to be the difference for Canada. Spurred on by six consecutive buckets by Bo Hedges, of Wonowon, BC, Canada went on a ten-point run and captured a 27-20 lead.

Outscoring their opponents 19-10 in the second quarter, the Canadians limited Germany to just two points in nearly a six-minute span. Patrick Anderson of Fergus, Ont., had his second triple-double of the tournament with 25 points, 15 rebounds, and 12 assists, while Hedges tallied 24 points in the win.

Canada will conclude round robin play in Pool B on Monday September 3 at 10:45 a.m. against Colombia - the team that upset them in the semi-final of the 2011 Parapan American Games. Colombia went on to finish second there, while Canada settled for bronze.

WHEELCHAIR TENNIS

In singles, Philippe Bédard, Bromont (QC) lost his second round match 0-6, 0-6 to the fifth-seeded player, Gustavo Fernandez (ARG). He is eliminated from the singles tournament.

"Five thousand people, loud crowd cheering for GB and 25 for Canada, it was a really great experience for my last match at the London 2012 Paralympic Games," said Bédard. "I had to make sure to capture this moment, I won't forget it. It was an awesome experience."

In doubles, Joel Dembe, Toronto (ON) and Philippe Bédard, Bromont (QC) played the seventh-seeded team British team of Marc McCarroll and Gordon Reid. The British team defeated the Canadians in two sets, 3-6 and 1-6. The tennis tournament is now finished for the Canadians.

"I never had my heart racing as fast as today," said Dembe. "As soon as you enter the stadium the crowd cheered for everyone that was coming in. It's something that few get a chance to play in front of a big crowd. On one hand it's an honor, one the other hand I definitely wish I had the preparation to play in front of a crowd of this magnitude."

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)

For further information:

For more information, please contact:
Alison Korn
Press Chief / Chef de Presse
Canadian Paralympic Team / Equipe paralympique canadien
London : 07510 875 867
akorn@paralympic.ca

Judy Joseph-Black
Assistant Press Chief / Chef de Presse adjointe
Canadian Paralympic Team / Equipe paralympique canadien
London : 07510 875 869
jjoseph-black@paralympic.ca

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