Canada picks up two gold, three silver and five bronze on day six



    BEIJING, China, Sept. 12 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada added ten medals today,
with six coming from athletics, including another gold for Chantal Petitclerc
(Montreal, QC) and a silver for Diane Roy (Hatley, QC) in her re-run of the
5000m after a spectacular crash in the original race.
    Petitclerc picked up her second gold in the women's 400m in the T54
category in a season best 52.02. Roy, participating in her second race of the
day, won the bronze with a season best 54.72.
    "I had a good solid race," said Petitclerc. "My goal was to set a new
world record. I didn't quite reach it, but I got the second best time in
history and it's the closest I've been to surpassing my old record. I want to
try to make sure no one beats my records, by beating them myself."
    In the same race, Jessica Matassa (Oldcastle, ON) finished eight in
55.22.
    Roy's bronze followed the silver medal she earned in the 5000m women's
final with a time of 12:29.08. She was just a hundredth of a second behind the
winner, American Amanda McGrory.
    "I'm sad for sure (after having won the gold in the first race that was
protested), but I have to take it," said Roy after being asked yesterday to
give back the gold medal she was presented with. "Yesterday, I had a semifinal
and when I got here this morning I was tired. I was not who I was on Monday,
and a little nervous. I knew I had to do it and I did well."
    Tracey Ferguson (Holland Landing, ON) finished seventh in this race in
12:31.77, despite suffering an injury from the crash in the 5000m on Monday.
    "I didn't quite have the kick I wanted to because of my injury, but I'm
very happy about my performance," she said. "I had a good start, and stayed
competitive until the finish. Re-running the race is what they chose to do and
as athletes, we do what we have to."
    The other medalists were Kyle Pettey (Brampton, ON), who earned a bronze
in the men's F33/34/52 shot put; IIana Duff (Bradwell, SK) with a bronze in
the T53 women's 100m; and Dean Bergeron (St.-Augustin-de-Desmaures, QC) who
placed third in the T52 men's 400m.
    Pettey's best throw was on his first attempt - 11.04.
    "Everything I put in the last two years finally came together. I won the
bronze, but it means so much to me because my objective was to be at the top
of my category, which I did. It was a perfect day," Pettey said.
    Duff will be taking home a bronze medal from her first Paralympic Games,
after clocking in at 17.69 in the women's T53 women's 100m.
    "It's all a dream for me! I was 100% focused at the start; I felt very
confident," she said.
    Just eleven hundredths of a second from second place, Bergeron completed
the T52 men's 400m in 1:00.43. The winner, Tomoya Ito, from Japan, set a new
Paralympic record of 57.25.
    "I knew it would be a really tough race against the two Japanese. My goal
was to do 59s and I was going for gold. When I saw him (Ito) in front with
only 200 meters to go, I lost my concentration, and motivation, and I messed
up the end of my race."
    In the same race, André Beaudoin (Montreal, QC) finished in eighth in
1:05.58.
    In other athletics action, Kris Vriend (Edmonton, AB) finished six in the
F35/36 women's shot put with her best throw of 7.05 coming on her fifth
attempt. She finished with 792 points.
    In the men's 200m round one, Colin Mathieson finished in 26.37, a time
that wasn't good enough to qualify.
    In the T54 men's 800m semifinal, Jean-Paul Campaore (Sherbrooke, QC) had
a time of 1:35.43, which wasn't good enough to qualify.

    Swimming

    Canadian swimmers accounted for four of the ten medals Canada earned
today, with the "sweep" women cleaning up again - this time in the women's
200m individual medley in the S13 category.
    Chelsey Gotell (Antigonish, NS) earned gold in the a new world record
time of 2:28.15, Kirby Cote (Winnipeg, MB) was second in 2:28.65 and Valerie
Grand'Maison (Montreal, QC) was third in 2:29.29. The trio also took all the
medals in the women's 100m butterfly on Sept. 6 - but in a different order.
    "We push each other so much. If it wasn't for these two girls, I wouldn't
be standing on that podium," said Gotell after the 200m IM. "I don't know
where that race came from; I'm so happy to be apart of another sweep for
Canada."
    Grand'Maison echoed Gotell's comments, "These two girls are the best in
the world - how can I not be excited to stand on the podium next to them. It
was a tight, good race and I gave it my all in the first 100 meters. It's a
personal best, but I know that this is a race I have to work on."
    Cote, the previous 200m IM record holder, stated, "If I were to give that
record to anyone - it would be Chelsey. The field in our class is so much
faster. The fact that I'm still here, standing on that podium, it's awesome."
    Stephanie Dixon (Victoria, BC) won silver in a Canadian record time of
4:39.73 in the women's 400m freestyle in the S9 category. The medal brings
Dixon's medal tally to two silvers and a bronze in a class that pits her
against South African swimming powerhouse Natalie du Toit.
    "A lot of time and energy has gone into my training over the last year.
I'm in the best shape of my life," said Dixon. "I came in tonight prepared to
race; I kept my head in my own lane and went for it. I put forth my best
effort and I can't wait for my 100m backstroke tomorrow."
    Dixon's team-mate Brittany Gray (Barrie, ON) finished seventh in 4:58.08.
    Andrea Cole (London, ON) established a new Canadian record with her time
of 5:30.01 in the women's 400m freestyle in the S8 category, but the time was
only good enough for sixth place.
    In other finals, Donovan Tildesley (Vancouver, BC) finished fourth in
1:01.92 in the men's 100m freestyle in the S11 category; Stephanie McDougall
(Maple Ridge, BC) was eighth in 1:57.78 in the women's 100m breaststroke in
the SB6 category; and Amber Thomas (Drayton Valley, AB) ended up seventh in
1:14.39 and Jessica Tuomela (Waterloo, ON) eighth in 1:14.79 in the women's
100m freestyle in the S11 category. McDougall's established a new Canadian
record of 1:56.10 in the preliminaries of the 100m breaststroke.
    Failing to qualify in the preliminaries were Drew Christensen, of New
Westminster, BC (5:18.13 in the S8 men's 400m freestyle); Jacqueline
Rennebohm, of Regina, SK, (1:09.64 in S12 women's 400m freestyle); and Devin
Gotell, of Antigonish, NS (2:31.61 in the SM13 men's 200m IM).
    Also, in the women's 400m freestyle in the S9 category, Darda Sales
(Sarnia, ON) was disqualified for a false start.

    Archery

    Norbert Murphy (Vaudreuil-Dorion, QC) was eliminated today in the
quarterfinals of the men's individual compound in the W1 category with a
111- 97 loss to Osmo Kinnunum, of Finland.
    "I woke up this morning not feeling 100%. I gave it my all considering
how I was feeling," he said.
    Also eliminated was Kevin Evans (Jaffray, BC) when he was defeated 111 to
110 by John Stubbs, of Great Britain, in the men's individual compound, open.
    "The arrow after my seven score should have been a ten. I was on the line
and couldn't bring my arrow down but I knew that it didn't feel right," said
Evans. "I have had an amazing experience at these Games and now I'm looking
forward to spending the rest of my time enjoying the other venues and sights
in China with my family."

    Goalball

    The Canadian men's goalball team lost 10-0 to gold-medal favourite
Lithuania to end their round-robin play.
    The game remained scoreless until almost the four minute mark, when
Lithuania's throw bounced over Rob Christy (Ottawa, ON) and went into the net.
    The Lithuanian team then scored on a penalty shot to make it 2-0. On the
opponents' third goal, high-scorer Marius Zibolis found the hole between Mario
Caron (St. Eustache, QC) and Jeff Christy (Kemptville, ON). Another penalty
throw against Jeff Christy was a fast throw to the right corner of the net and
the score was 5-0. Another goal off a penalty throw followed.    It looked
like there might be an end to Lithuania's scoring streak when a penalty was
called against the team for "illegal coaching." Caron launched a
characteristically strong and accurate throw, only to be denied by an
impressive block.
    Caron followed it up by a throw that did hit the mark, but it was called
on a high ball penalty. Once again, Lithuania's penalty throw went in, and so
did their next two to bring the score to 9-0.
    The second half saw Dean Kozak (Ottawa, ON) and Bruno Hache (St.
Eustache, QC) substituted for Caron and Rob Christy. Three minutes into play,
Lithuania scored their tenth goal.
    The game was declared over with 6:53 still on the clock and the score at
10-0.
    Lithuania played an aggressive but careful game. Of the game's seven
penalties, only one was against Lithuania.
    "We conceded too many (penalties)," said Caron. The team will now compete
for fifth to eight place.
    "We want to get some pride and finish as high as we can; so we have to
get over this (loss) quickly and be ready for our game tomorrow," said Kozak.
    The Canadian men play tomorrow against Finland. In women's play, Canada
tied the United States at 1-1.
    Less than a minute into the game, the United States were on the
scoreboard. The Canadians managed to hold their opponents to a single goal for
the rest of the half through excellent blocking.
    Strong saves and team defence continued into the second half.
    Amy Alsop (Regina, SK) aggressively defended the crease, smothering each
ball that approached.
    Five minutes into the half, Nancy Morin (Longueuil, QC) scored for
Canada.
    The women meet China tomorrow in their final round-robin match up. China
is currently undefeated.

    Sailing

    Sailor Paul Tingley (Halifax, NS) reclaimed the series lead today
following races seven and eight in the 1P keelboat (2.4mR) and is in an
excellent position heading into the final day of sailing competition. The
sailing medals will be given out tomorrow.
    Tingley only has a five-point lead over yesterday's leader John Ruf, of
the United States. In race seven, Tingley placed second, while Tuf had the
worst showing of the competition and finished tenth. Tingley was fourth in
race eight just behind Tuf.
    "I got out of my funk today, and made some good decisions. Race eight has
been by far the closest race," said Tingley. "Tomorrow, I am going to play it
like any other race, or at least I hope to. I'll sail fast and the chips will
fall where they may."
    Also with a medal possibility are the 2P keelboat (SKUD18) Canadian pair
of John Scott McRoberts (Victoria, BC) and Stacie Louttit (Victoria, BC) who
sit in second after races seven to nine with one more day of racing remaining.
Americans Nick Scandone and Maureen McKinnon Tucker have mathematically
clinched gold, so the Canadians will be battling with Australians for the
silver.
    "We got a bad start in race nine, then on the first windward leg had to
do a penalty turn, but we are confident of winning silver," said McRoberts.
    In the 3P keelboat (sonar), the Canadian trio of Ken Kelly (Victoria,
BC), Don Terlson (Victoria, BC) and Marc Shaw (Victoria, BC) are well back of
the leaders. The top five teams are France, Australia, Germany, Greece and
Norway.

    Road cycling

    Canada's cyclists didn't have much luck today in the road races against
the clock.
    In the category B 12.7 km handcycling event, Rico Morneau (Ste-Martine,
QC) finished ninth in 23:36.24, just ahead of his team-mate Mark Beggs
(Montreal, QC), who finished tenth five seconds later.
    "I gave everything. At any given moment, I went so fast on the turns that
only two of my three wheels were on the ground," said Morneau, who is at his
first Paralympic Games.
    Competing in handcycling, cross-country skier Shauna Maria Whyte (Hinton,
AB) finished in ninth place in the 26:45.20. The Albertan experienced
technical problems and her chain fell off twice.
    In the men's 24.8km time trial in the CP3 category, Jean Quevillon
(Ste-Adèle, QC) found the course particularly difficult.
    "The course wasn't made for me because of the numerous turns and the
hills," said Quevillon, who finished fifth.
    Brayden McDougall (Calgary, Alberta) was forced to drop out of the race
because of mechanical problems with his rear wheel.
    In the 24.8km tandem men's time trial, Daniel Chalifour (Lac-aux-Ecorces,
QC) and Alexandre Cloutier (Québec City, Québec) finished in 11th place in
33:41.84, about one minute and 40 seconds behind the first place finishers.
Stéphane Côté (Québec City, Québec) et Pierre-Olivier Boily (Sherbrooke, QC)
finished in 13th place in 35:03.26, and Brian Cowie (Burnaby, BC) and Devon
Smibert (Calgary, Alberta) were 15th in 35:10.72.
    In women's competition, the tandem of Geneviève Ouellet (Amos, QC) and
pilot Mathilde Hupin (Bromont, QC), finished tenth in 42:53.16.
    In other cycling competitions, Eric Bourgault (Orford, QC) finished ninth
in 38:58.26 in the men's time trial in the LC category, and Mark Breton
(Charlesbourg, Quebec) was 11th in 38:15.21 in the men's time trial in the
LC 1 category.

    Shooting

    Christos Trifonidis (Vancouver, BC) finished 15th in the mixed R6-50m
free rifle prone competition (SH1) today - the last day of the shooting
competition. A finalist in the mixed R3-10m air rifle prone in the SHI class
Friday, Trifonidis shot for 584 points, which was not enough to advance.
    "Chris shot well, but his eye infection that appeared Thursday affected
him, particularly on the three last shots, where he got nines. He had
difficulty concentrating," said his coach Rick Ward (Kanata, ON). "If those
shots were tens, he certainly would have made it to the final."

    Wheelchair basketball

    Canada's women's basketball team fell 53-49 to Australia today in the
quarterfinals, dashing any hope of earning a Paralympic medal. The Canadians
missed shots and were soft on defence.
    "We knew what kind of game we wanted to play but today weren't able to
execute them as we should have," said head coach Tim Frick. "Today, we lost on
defence and didn't get the breaks we needed to take home the win against
Australia."
    The pressure was on in the last ten minutes for Canada to play catch up,
and Canada took the lead for the first time in the game. Misty Thomas
(Vancouver, BC) added four points from the paint and Kendra Ohama (Calgary,
AB) added two making it 43-42. A foul by Jen Krempien (Richmond, BC) gave the
Australians two attempts at the line, but it was a quick offensive rebound
that moved the Aussies ahead and they didn't look back.
    Team Canada wasn't able to catch up and was knocked out of the medal
round. Canada will meet China for the second time in the tournament to battle
it out for fifth place. This will be the first time since 1992 that the women
will not make it to the medal round.
    Misty Thomas led the way with 21 points, including five free throws and
13 defensive rebounds. Chantal Benoit (Ottawa, ON) had 11 points and Tara
Feser (St. Albert, AB) and Janet McLachlan (West Vancouver, BC) had four each.
The team shot 38% from the field and 53% in free throws.
    The men's team had the day off.

    Wheelchair rugby

    Canada's wheelchair rugby team opened the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games
with a 48-40 win over Japan today. Top scorers were Fabien Lavoie (Quebec
City, QC) with 16 points, Ian Chan (Surrey, BC) with 13 points and Mike
Whitehead (Harrow, ON) with 11 points.
    The first quarter ended with Canada and Japan tied at 12. The Canadians
played an incredible game defensively and offensively with 11 assist blocks,
16 assist passes, three turnovers and three steals.
    Japan had 10 exclusions, while Canada finished the game with only two.
    "We knew coming into this game that Japan's high pointers were really
solid and have a lot of speed," said Lavoie. "We're good at screening and
picking so we knew coming into this game that offensively, they couldn't stop
us. We are more balanced and I have total confidence in my teammates."
    Canada plays China on Saturday, and the United States on Sunday.




For further information:

For further information: Mary Beth Walker or Rachal Fleury, CPC Media
Relations At-home Media Team, (613) 569-4333 ext. 227, Mobile: (613) 795-5169,
marybeth@paralympic.ca; Norma Reveler, Press Chief, Beijing 2008 Canadian
Paralympic Team, Mobile: (011) 86 13439622163, Press Office: (011) 86
1066617438, norma@paralympic.ca


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