Grand'Maison adds another gold, breaks world record



    BEIJING, China, Sept. 8 /CNW Telbec/ - Valerie Grand'Maison worked her
magic again in the pool today, winning another gold medal - this time with a
world record in the 400m freestyle in the S13 category. The swimmer from
Montreal clocked in at 4:28.64.
    Team-mate Chelsey Gotell (Antigonish, NS) got the bronze in the same
event in 4:37.50 in a tie with American Kelley Becherer.
    "I made the senior national time, a world record and gold medal. I
couldn't be happier. This pool is perfect and the atmosphere is electric, it's
so exciting to race here," said Grand'Maison. "My other team-mates push me to
work harder and achieve my dreams."
    The race had started, but was stopped and restarted because the light
indicating the start for a swimmer with a hearing disability had not gone off.
    "The start was a little frustrating, being called back and having to
restart but I stayed calm and focused. To take 11 seconds off of my best time
is incredible," said Gotell.
    The other medal from the pool was won by Stephanie Dixon (Victoria, BC),
who placed third in 1:03.89 in the 100m freestyle in the S9 category. She was
racing against South African Natalie du Toit, who finished first in 1:01.44.
    "I have been chasing a best time in this event for six years - I am so
excited. I used this morning's race as motivation to compete tonight. All the
hard work I have put in over the years went into that race," said Dixon, who
shaved two seconds off her personal best time in the event.
    In the S9 women's 100m freestyle, Darda Sales (Sarnia, ON) finished
eighth in 1:05.65.
    Benoit Huot (Montreal, QC) placed fourth in the S10 men's 100m butterfly
in 59.68.
    "This morning I was a bit nervous (for) my first race of the games.
Tonight I felt good going into the race but I started too fast in the first
50," said Huot.
    Other finalists were Devin Gotell (seventh in the S13 men's 400m
freestyle in 4:28.73), Laura Jensen (sixth in the S7 women's 100m freestyle in
1:18.65) and Brianna Nelson (seventh in the S7 women's 100m freestyle in
1:19.11).
    Not advancing to the finals from the preliminaries this morning were
Jacqueline Rennebohm (11th in the SB12 women's 100m breaststroke in 1:35.68),
Drew Christensen (15th in the S8 men's 100m freestyle in 1:06.14) and Andrea
Cole (13th in the S8 women's 100m freestyle in 1:19.58).
    Canada's only other medal came in equestrian.

    Equestrian

    Lauren Barwick (Langley, BC) won a silver medal today with her mare
Maille in the individual championship test in the grade II category. Barwick
had a solid ride and was impressed with Maile, who is named after a Hawaiian
flower. Maile was sick upon arrival in Hong Kong, but was given the go-ahead
to compete two days ago.
    "I'm still having a hard time putting words together," said an emotional
Barwick. "My mare was so sick but she gave me everything she had today. To
have a horse with so much heart and desire in her is just incredible. I
couldn't have asked for a better partner."
    Barwick finished second with a score of 68.454, behind German rider
Britta Naepel, riding her horse Cherubin 15. The first-place finisher scored
71.909.
    In the same category, Jennifer McKenzie (Maple Ridge, BC), riding
Valentine II, placed 16th with a score of 56.818.
    In the individual championship test in the grade IV category, Eleonore
Elstone (Langley, BC), riding Lutke, finished eleventh with a score of 59.807,
and Karen Brain (Saanichton, BC) on Vdl Odette, was twelfth with a score of
59.097.

    Athletics

    Diane Roy (Hatley, QC) was presented with the gold medal following the
women's 5000m race in the T54 category, but successful protests from three
countries following a spectacular crash that sent several racers to the
hospital will see the race re-run on Friday.
    The crash involved six racers, including Canadian Tracey Ferguson
(Holland Landing, ON). Ferguson did not sustain any serious injuries and said
she is set to play wheelchair basketball tomorrow. Along with racing, Ferguson
is a member of the women's wheelchair basketball team at the Beijing
Paralympic Games.
    Roy avoided the accident as she had moved to the side to pass on the
final lap. Her time was 11:54.03.
    Jean-Paul Campaore (Sherbrooke, QC), with a personal best time of 49.42
at his first Paralympic Games, and Colin Mathieson (Sherbrooke, QC), with a
time of 49.81, both advance to the semifinals in the men's 400m in the T54
category. Jeff Adams (Toronto, ON) did not race.
    Other athletics competitors who saw action on Monday: Kyle Pettey
(Brampton, ON), who finished 10th with a best throw of 30.26 and 770 points
and didn't advance in the men's discus and Jonathan Dunkerley (Ottawa, ON)
whose time of 12.12 wasn't enough to allow him to advance in the men's 100m
T11 race.
    No Canadians advanced in the men's 5000m race in the T54 category. Josh
Cassidy (Oakville, ON) raced to a season best 10:15.11 for fourth place in his
heat, but did not qualify for the semi-finals. Also failing to qualify were
Michel Filteau (St.-Jean Baptiste, QC), who was ninth in his heat with a time
of 11:01.20 and Mark Ledo (Maple, ON), who was tenth in his heat with a time
of 11:30.43.
    Racing in the T12 category rather than his normal T13 category, Jason
Dunkerley with a time of 2:03.60 did not advance to the finals in the men's
800m.

    Boccia

    Defending gold medalist and No. 2 ranked Paul Gauthier was the only
Canadian boccia player to advance to the singles quarterfinals, with a 5-1 win
today over Spain. However, he lost 3-6 to top-ranked Greece in the
quarter-finals. The Vancouver native filed a protest, claiming his opponent
had illegal equipment, but the outcome was not known at press time.
    First-time Paralympian Brock Richardson (Brampton, ON) upset Argentina in
his fourth game of the round-robin competition with a score of 7-4. But it
wasn't enough to advance him to the quarterfinal.
    Hanif Mawji (Burnaby, BC) lost his final match of the round-robin 4-5 to
Spain, and was knocked out of the competition.
    In the BC2 category, Adam Dukovich (London, ON) fought hard until the end
against Japan, but lost a close match 4-5, despite leading in three of the
four ends.
    Tammy McLeod (London, ON) lost 0-9 to an opponent from Spain.
    Monica Martino (Vancouver, BC) lost 4-5 to China and Alison Kabush
(Surrey, BC) defeated Spain 5-1, but her win wasn't enough to allow her to
advance.
    The team will rest Tuesday, and gear up for team and pair competitions,
which start Wednesday.

    Goalball

    The women's goalball team lost 6-5 to Brazil in its second game, after
tying Sweden in its opener.
    "The Brazilian team had a different technique of throwing the ball, so it
was difficult to know if it was a fast or slow pitch," said Amy Alsop (Regina,
SK). "Although we lost, we're scoring goals, which is positive. We still have
a chance to work out the defensive aspect of the game."
    The men's goalball team today downed the United States 8-2. Mario Caron
(St.-Eustache, QC) scored seven goals, while Rob Christy (Ottawa, ON) added
one.
    "We played with patience. Before we used to take lots of penalties, but
this time the other team took penalties," said Caron.
    Bruno Hache (Lachine, QC) added, "Usually when we play the United States,
we're up and down, but in this match we were always out in front."

    Sailing

    On the first day of sailing at Quingdao, wind was a factor. The 2.4 and
Skud fleets were sent back to shore at around midday as the wind was not
strong enough to start the race. The sonar boats did not go in, but the races
were delayed.
    The boats finally started racing after 6 p.m. when the sun was going
down.
    On the 2.4m course Paul Tingley (Halifax, NS) had two first place
finishes in what he described as steady wind. "It is just the beginning of a
long series, but it is nice to get a few good races on the scoreboard," he
stated.
    In the Skud 18 class, John McRoberts (Victoria, BC) and Stacie Louttit
(Victoria, BC) sit tied for third, behind leaders Nick Scandone (USA) and
Maureen MacKinnon Tucker (USA). The Canadian sailors had two solid races and
had good speed all around the course, but suffered from a few bad shifts in
each race.
    There's another long day of sailing Tuesday, with three races scheduled.

    Shooting

    Karen van Nest (Prince Albert, SK) shot 360 in the women's P2-10m air
pistol event for a 10th place finish.
    "I'm pretty happy. I didn't win a medal but I shot in the 60s. It was my
goal to shoot 360 out of 400," she said.
    It was the same score as van Nest got at the Athens 2004 Paralympic
Games, where she placed fourth.
    "The competition has intensified so this time around, I dropped lower in
the standings, but I'm still pleased with how I performed," she said.
    Her coach Rick Ward stated she shot much better than she had done in the
four days of training leading up to the competition.
    Van Nest has no more events. Shooter Christos Trifonidis (Vancouver, BC)
competes on Sept. 11 and 12.

    Track cycling

    The tandem pair of Daniel Chalifour (Lac-aux-Ecorces, QC) and Alexandre
Cloutier (Quebec City, QC) finished seventh in the men's 1km time trial finals
today. It was the best showing by a Canadian duo in a race that saw six
competitors break the Paralympic record and gold medalist Anthony Kappes (GBR)
and his pilot Barney Storey (GBR) set a new world record of 1:02.864.
    Chalifour and Cloutier's time was 1:06.371.
    "I'm not totally satisfied with the results. Today, we were a little
tired from yesterday's two races (in the men's individual pursuit
preliminaries and finals)," said Chalifour. "We were lacking energy by the
middle of the third lap today."
    In the same class, Brian Cowie (Burnaby, BC) and his pilot Devon Smibert
(Calgary, ON) were eighth in 1:07.721, and Stéphane Côté (Quebec City) and
Pierre-Olivier Boily (Sherbrooke, Quebec) were 13th in 1:10.292.
    Cycling coach Eric Van den Eynde noted the teams placing ahead of
Chalifour and Cloutier specialize in the 1km time trial, and many will not be
racing in any other events.
    "Daniel and Alex are all-around cyclists. It's really difficult to
compete against guys who specialize in one or two events," said the coach.
    In the preliminaries of the 4000m men's individual pursuit in the LC2
category, Eric Bourgault (Orford, QC) placed fifth in time of 5:09.490. It was
a personal best time for Bourgault at sea level; he's gone the distance two
seconds faster but at a higher altitude. Only the top four cyclists advance to
the finals.
    Mark Breton (Charlesbourg, QC) placed 12th in the men's individual
pursuit in the LC1 category in a time of 5:12.364.

    Wheelchair basketball

    The women's basketball team opened its Paralympic competition with an
easy 59-32 win over the Netherlands.
    Canada got off to a slow start and were held to only 10 points in the
first quarter, while only allowing the Netherlands to score four. But the team
solidified its lead in the second and third quarters. Canada kept the pressure
on through the last quarter, and the Netherlands missed many shots. Team
Canada shot 44% from the field and 63% from free throws.
    Top scorers were veteran Chantal Benoit (Ottawa, Ontario) with 14 points,
and Misty Thomas (Vancouver, BC) with 11 points. Thomas is the first Canadian
to compete in both the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Formerly, she represented
Canada in able-bodied basketball. It is her first Paralympic Games following
numerous knee surgeries.
    First-time Paralympians Cindy Ouellet (Quebec City) and Katie Harnock
(Elmira, ON) had outstanding break-out first games, adding 10 and six points
to the scoreboard respectively.
    Canada faces Japan on Tuesday in the round-robin competition.
    In men's play, Canada beat South Africa 80-55 in its second game of the
tournament. The Canadians never relinquished their lead throughout the entire
game.
    High scorers were Patrick Anderson (Fergus, ON) with 16 points, Richard
Peter (Vancouver, BC) and David Durepos (Charters Settlement, NB) with
12 points each, Adam Lancia (Scarborough, ON) with 11 and Joey Johnson with
10.
    The men face Sweden on Tuesday.

    Wheelchair tennis

    All three of the Canadian wheelchair tennis players who took to the
courts today lost their opening day matches.
    Yann Mathieu (Trois-Rivieres, QC) succumbed 3-6, 1-6 to David Phillipson
(GBR) in Canada's first match of the day.
    "He changed the pace so much sometimes that I couldn't keep up," said
Mathieu. "I didn't feel comfortable the whole match. He's fast and I'm slow.
It came down to I just wasn't fast enough. I am going to train harder to get
faster."
    Lee Carter (Winnipeg, MB) lost 4-6, 3-6 to Jozef Felix (SVK) in a match
that lasted over an hour and a half.
    "I didn't keep to my game plan of keeping the ball on my forehand," said
Carter, who played Felix for the first time. "He opened up the court well and
kept the ball to my backhand. I didn't serve well and that is usually my
weapon. If I serve well, I put pressure on him. But I take nothing away from
him. He played well."
    Yuka Chokyu (Richmond, BC) fell 1-6, 2-6 to No. 2 seed Korie Homan (NED).
    "I was actually playing pretty well," said Chokyu. "But she was just too
tough. She has the reach and I couldn't move around as much as I would have
liked to. I did feel good about my game. I played up to my abilities, but
she's just a better player."
    Carter and Mathieu will now concentrate on the doubles competition, which
begins Tuesday. They play Paul Moran (USA) and Lee Hinson (USA) Tuesday
afternoon.
    Also Tuesday at 11 a.m., Sarah Hunter (White Rock, BC) will play David
Wagner (USA) on centre court in quad singles.




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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