Petitclerc wins fifth gold medal



    BEIJING, China, Sept. 16 /CNW Telbec/ - Chantal Petitclerc (Montreal, QC)
won her fifth gold medal in Beijing today - this time in the women's 1500m in
the T54 category. The wet track conditions were not conducive to Petitclerc's
type of racing, because she is not an endurance racer, but a power racer who
pushes harder and is thus more likely to slip.
    "When I went to sprint on the last turn, I thought all the racers were
right behind me, but I ended up having a good advance," she said. "I've
trained very hard to make sure I got here well prepare both physically and
mentally. My best memory of these Games will definitely be winning the 100m
because I worked so hard to catch up and finish first."
    She continued, "When I got back to the Village, the whole Chinese
athletic team was waiting for me at the Village gate with security members,
all aligned, and they all congratulated me. It really meant a lot to me and it
was so unexpected."
    Petitclerc said she " feel like it is now time to stop and see where I
want to go and what I want to do next."
    She expressed an interest in competing in road races for a new challenge.
    After spraying Petitclerc with Chinese champagne, her coach Peter
Eriksson said : "It was an incredible competition. She executed the tactics
perfectly and achieved what we were hoping for after four years of focus and
planning. She will be remembered as one of the best athletes in Canadian
history, Paralympic and Olympic combined."
    In the same event, Diane Roy (Hatley, QC) finished last in a time
3:43.66. She had a good race, and led the pack for almost the whole race, but
was overtaken and could not keep pace on the last turn.
    Roy will be competing in her last race at these Games - the marathon
tomorrow.
    In other final action, Beijing Paralympic Games double gold medallist
Dean Bergeron (St-Augustin-de-Desmaures, QC) finished sixth in 2:02.01 in the
men's 800m in the T52 category.
    "My race didn't turn out the way I had hope. My strategy wasn't efficient
enough for this race. You never know how it turns out, it's always
unpredictable," said Dean after his race. "I am happy about my performance at
these Games, especially in the 100m, 200m and 400m. My best race is the 100m
and winning the gold that day is my best memory. I can say mission
accomplished!"
    In the same event, André Beaudoin (Montreal, QC) finished in seventh
place in 2:08.54.
    "I am very proud and happy about my performance at the Games. I fulfilled
my goal to bring back another medal and keep the world record in the 100m. The
most important is that I had fun being here, bringing back a bronze medal is
like the icing on the cake," noted Bergeron.
    Also in the finals, Brent Lakatos (Montreal, QC) finished sixth in a time
of 15.21. He had a very good start, but couldn't keep up at the end of a tight
race.
    In round one of the T53 men's 100m, Brent Lakatos (Montreal, QC) finished
third overall and qualified for the final with a time of 15.26.
    Eric Gauthier (St-Faustin Lac-Carré, QC) had a good start but experienced
a technical problem and did not qualify for the final. He finished in a time
of 18.19.

    Wheelchair rugby

    Canada rebounded from its overtime loss to Australia Monday to beat Great
Britain 47-41today for the bronze medal.
    The Canadians, the silver medalists from the Athens 2004 Paralympic
Games, and the British exchanged points throughout the first half that ended
23-20 in Canada's favour. It was in the last half of the third quarter that
Canada padded its lead with two additional consecutive goals for a five-goal
cushion.
    In the fourth quarter, the Brits appeared short of breath and what made
the difference in the game was the endurance of the Canadians.
    "I had a terrible game in the semi-final and my team-mates didn't
reproach me when we were knocked out of the final," said Michael Whitehead
(Harrow, ON). Whitehead was the best player for Canada today, scoring 14 goals
in the game.
    "I had to give my best and go get the bronze. Before the game, Daniel
Paradis (Quebec City, QC) told us it would likely be his last game, so we
wanted to get the bronze for him," he added.
    The highest scorer for Canada since the beginning of the tournament,
Fabien Lavoie (Quebec City, QC) had 11 goals. Ian Chang (Surrey, BC)
registered eight goals.

    Wheelchair basketball

    The Canadian men's wheelchair basketball team lost 72-60 in the final,
ending its hopes of a third consecutive Paralympic gold. Canada goes home with
the silver.
    Australia came out strong leading 10-5 in the first five minutes. Canada
fought back as Jaimie Borisoff (Vancouver, BC) scored Canada's first two
points, followed by a three-point toss from Patrick Anderson (Vancouver, BC).
David Eng (Montreal, QC) put Canada in the lead with a three-point shot to
give Canada the lead. The first quarter ended 17-16.
    The second quarter saw Canada pick up on the defence and take the lead to
finish the half 32-28.
    Australia responded with great team defence, putting pressure on Canada's
top scorers. Australia scored 26 points in the third quarter and took a
54-47 lead.
    The final ten minutes of the game saw the Canadians fight to close the
gap. Anderson hit two consecutive free throws followed by two baskets (six
points), bringing the score to 56-54 for the Australians. Strong defensive by
the Australians and missed shots by the Canadians allowed Canada to add only
six points to the scoreboard in the final quarter, while Australia banked
12 to take the game.
    "The Paralympics are a great test of a team. You can't win it in one day.
You have to put out over the course of ten days, and Australia did it better
than any other (team)," said Canadian team head coach Mike Frogley. "We just
took it one game at a time. If you look at the length of the tournament, it
can be taxing mentally. You take each game and break it into quarters and you
win one quarter at a time. Australia won the last two quarters. We knew it was
going to be a tough game. We knew we had to play well. We didn't quite measure
up."
    High scorers were Patrick Anderson with 22 points, Joey Johnson with
12 points, Richard Peter with 11 points and Chris Stoutenberg with six points.
Canada hit 54% from the line (13/24), scored 40% in two-point shots and had
35 rebounds.
    Anderson and Johnson had 12 rebounds apiece. The Australians shot a
remarkable 77% from the foul line sinking 20 of 26.




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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