Stilwell earns second gold on the track



    OTTAWA, Sept. 15 /CNW Telbec/ - Michelle Stilwell (Nanoose Bay, BC) raced
to gold in a Paralympic record time of 19.97 seconds in the women's 100m final
in the T52 category. She was a little more than a second ahead of her closest
competitor due in part to a great start.
    Prior to the race, Stilwell said she was looking for a twin for the gold
medal she won in the 200m.
    "The start is my strongest asset and in a short distance like this, it's
all about the start. I was just focused on going faster than the other girls
who worked just as hard as I did," she said.
    Her coach in Beijing, Jean Laroche said, "It's a perfect way to finish a
year. Mikey (Stilwell's nickname) trained hard, performed well all year, and
set new world records."
    In the men's 1500m final in the T11 category, Jason Dunkerley (Ottawa,
ON) and his guide Greg Dailey (Toronto, ON) won the bronze in a time of
4:12.53. The pair got off to a good start, and got well positioned at the
beginning. They stayed focused throughout the strategic race.
    "I am very proud of coming here and running like we did. The competition
level was pretty high. I am very proud of Greg. He gets me in the right place
at the right pace, and he wants it just as much as I do," said Dunkerley. "I
am very happy to share this experience with Greg and also with my brother
(Jonathan), who is also competing at the Games, my coach, my teammates, my
parents, and especially my wife who is a great source of inspiration."
    Dunkerley showed his respect for his guide by taking his medal off his
own neck during the medal ceremony and placing it around his guide's. Guides
are not given medals.
    "They ran the race like experts. Jason is a real seasoned veteran. With
the Chinese at the head of the race, and the crowd cheering loudly for them,
it wasn't easy to stay concentrated like they were," said Dunkerley's coach
Dave Greig.
    Ilana Duff (Bradwell, SK) finished fifth in 31.47 in the T53 women's 200m
final.
    In qualifications, Chantal Petitclerc (Montreal, QC) finished first in
her heat in a time of 3:29.87 in the women's 1500m in the T54 category. Diane
Roy (Hatley, QC) finished second in the heat in 3:30.07. They both qualified
for the final with a season best time. Tracey Ferguson (Holland Landing, ON)
finished in a time of 3:36.11 and did not qualify.
    Also not advancing on Monday were Josh Cassidy (Oakville, ON), who
finished fifth overall in the men's 1500m semifinal in the T54 category, and
Michel Filteau (St.-Jean Baptiste, QC), who finished in 3:20.01.
    Filteau had a slow start due to a deflated tire. "It's disappointing, but
there's not much I could do. I managed to finish in a decent time considering
this technical problem," he said.
    In round one of the men's 100m in the T54 category, Colin Mathieson
(Sherbrooke, QC) finished in 15.15 and didn't qualify for the semifinal. The
fastest racer of the round Leo-Pekka Tahti, from Finland, set a new world
record of 13.76.
    In the T11 men's 400m semifinal, Jon Dunkerley (Ottawa, ON) and his guide
Sean Young (Ottawa, ON) finished in 54.27, which wasn't fast enough for them
to qualify for the final.
    "We are very happy with where we stand. We ran faster than yesterday so
that's a good sign," said the younger Dunkerley.

    Fencing

    Pierre Mainville (Saint-Colomban, QC) won four out of his five matches in
the men's individual category B epee preliminary competition today. He lost
against Marc-André Cratère, of France, known for his long arms.
    In the round of 16, he fought against Daoliang Hu from China and lost
15-8.
    "I am just so happy to be here and to compete with some of the greatest
in fencing. I am focused on giving my best performance, but also on enjoying
my time and learning," said Mainville.
    "He went further than what we originally thought so we are happy about
it. The epee is not his strength, he usually performs better at sabre and we
are looking foward to this competition," said fencing team leader Patrice
Duclos.
    Mainville competes in the saber competition on Wednesday.

    Swimming

    Valerie Grand'Maison won a silver medal and Benoit Huot swam to bronze on
the last day of swimming competition at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games.
Grand'Maison (Montreal, QC) picked up her silver medal in a Canadian record
time of 27.88 in the women's 50m freestyle in the S13 category.
    "I swam a personal best, but I wanted to go faster. Overall these Games
have been amazing for me," said Grand'Maison. "They have helped me gain a lot
of experience and I will go back to training (to become) a stronger swimmer,
physically and mentally."
    Huot (Montreal, QC) was third in the S10 men's 400m freestyle in 4:12.14.
    "I am very happy with that race. I got another best time and I'm feeling
so much better," said Huot. "I am sad that I'm finally feeling better and the
Games are over. But that's life, it happens. I am heading back home with a
hunger to work harder and catch those world records."
    Also in the S13 women's 50m freestyle final, Kirby Cote (Winnipeg, MB)
was fourth in a time of 28.08 and Chelsey Gotell (Hamilton ON) was sixth in
28.26.
    Not advancing from the morning preliminaries was Brian Hill, of Montreal,
who was 17th in 26.84 seconds in the S13 men's 50m freestyle.

    Wheelchair basketball

    Canada secured fifth place at the 2008 Paralympic Games with a 61-32
thumping of the Netherlands on Monday at the National Indoor Stadium.
    Canada's tight defence held the Netherlands' scoring to 10 points in the
second half.
    "We came out a little tentative," said Lisa Franks (Saskatoon, SK). "We
came out (in the second half) with more determination on defence and offence
and more teamwork than we've done throughout the tournament. It's unfortunate
that it took us here, playing for fifth, to be able to bring that together."
    Guard Sabrina Pettinicchi (Charters Settlement, NB) was game's high
scorer with 14 points.
    The Netherlands nearly matched Canada in rebounds and steals, but they
hit fewer than half of the three pointers and two-point shots that Canada did.
Canada had 43 rebounds and the Netherlands 38, while Canada had 10 steals and
its opponent 8.
    "When you are in fifth place and you beat the sixth place team by double,
that's got to tell you something," said coach Tim Frick. "We were just a few
points short of an entirely different outcome, and that's how sport works."

    Wheelchair rugby

    The Canadian wheelchair rugby team was in control of the ball and ready
to score as the clock was winding down on the first period of overtime, but a
bad turnover allowed Australia to take a 41-40 lead.
    The loss means that Canada will be playing England for the bronze medal
tomorrow, while Australia takes on the United States for gold.
    Despite the loss, Canada played a good game. But it was Australian
counterattacks led by Riley Batt that was the nemesis of Canadian coach Benoit
Labrecque. Batt had 23 goals.
    Canada was out in front until the middle of the third quarter when the
Australians tied it at 21-21.
    Down 37-36 at the end of the last quarter, Canada had possession of the
ball but forced overtime, by delaying its scoring until there were just
6.2 seconds left on the clock. With the score tied, Australia didn't have
enough time to score again before the buzzer.
    In overtime, when Australia got the ball on the turnover, the team used
the same strategy - waiting to score until there were less than ten seconds
left and Canada did not have time to tie it up and force a second period of
overtime.
    Fabien Lavoie (Quebec City, QC) and Mike Whitehead (Harrow, ON) were
Canada's high scorers, with 13 goals each.
    "Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose - that's sport. We knew the
game was going to be close. To miss the final by so little is difficult to
accept," said veteran team member Daniel Paradis (Quebec City, QC). "It's a
team loss, and we started thinking immediately about the next game and getting
the bronze. We're going to be pumped for a victory against Great Britain."




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


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