Tingley sails to gold at the Paralympic Games



    BEIJING, China, Sept. 13 /CNW Telbec/ - Sailor Paul Tingley was one of
three Canadians to earn gold on a day that also saw Canada bring home two
bronze medals.
    Tingley (Halifax, NS) pulled away from the field in the final race to
claim the gold medal in the one-person keelboat (2.4mR) event.
    He beat the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games gold medalist Damien Seguin, of
France who won silver, and Thierry Schmitter, from the Netherlands, got the
bronze. Any of the top seven racers entering today's final races nine and 10
could have claimed medals. That is how close the competition was.
    "First I want to say I love China and I love sailing in Qingdao," said a
shocked Tingley. "I've never won anything this big before. I knew whoever won
the last race was probably going to win the regatta. I had to make a hard
choice in the last race whether to go left or right. I chose right and
thankfully the wind filled in on that side."
    Tingley won a bronze medal as part of Canada's sonar crew at the Sydney
2000 Paralympic Games.
    In the two-person keelboat (SKUD 18) event, Stacie Louttit (Victoria, BC)
and John McRoberts (Victoria, BC) earned bronze.
    Americans Nick Scandone and Maureen McKinnon Tucker decided not to
compete in race 10 because they had such a sizeable lead over their
competitors. Louttit and McRoberts battled it out with the Australian crew of
Daniel Fitzgibbon and Rachael Cox for second.
    "We were sitting in second place by one point at the start of the day,"
said Louttit. "We got a third and fourth today, but Australia was just that
much better (they won race nine and came second in race 10),"
    Louttit said, "We were pretty consistent during this whole regatta, which
was the key for us to get the bronze."
    In the 3P keelboat (sonar), Ken Kelly (Victoria, BC), Don Terlson
(Victoria, BC) and Marc Shaw (Victoria, BC) finished tenth in race 10 and 13th
in race 11, the final one of the competition.

    Athletics

    Dean Bergeron (St.-Augustin-de-Desmaures, QC) added a second gold medal
to his collection with a Paralympic record of 17.47 in the men's 100m in the
T52 category.
    He had a good start but didn't quite reach the speed he wanted in the
first few meters. He eventually got great acceleration to make for a fast
finish.
    "My goal was to win medals in the 100m, 200m and 400m. It's now done and
I'm thrilled," said Bergeron. "In Athens, I didn't believe I could win the
100m, but now I know I can."
    His coach in Beijing, Peter Eriksson, said, "We expected him to win. He
was well prepared for the Games. Thanks to his coach back home, Pierre
Pommerleau, he is in the best shape ever."
    In the same event, André Beaudoin (Montreal, QC) won the bronze with a
season best time of 17.77. He has been the world record holder in the 100m in
the T52 category for the past nine years.
    "I was afraid I would lose the world record tonight, but I'm glad to see
I'm still at the top. I thought about quitting after Athens, but in the end I
decided to come to Beijing, and I was right. I am very happy with my
performance and relieved to finally have my medal," said Beaudoin.
    In the T53 men's 200m final, Brent Lakatos (Montreal, QC) finished fifth
in a time of 27.44.
    World T54 women's 800m world record holder Chantal Petitclerc (Montreal,
QC) broke a Paralympic record to qualify for the final in a time of 1:50.51.
Diane Roy (Hatley, QC) also qualified with a time of 1:57.53.
    "I didn't try to push too hard, I was just focused on qualifying for the
final," she said.
    Jessica Matassa (Oldcastle, ON), who finished in 1:58.60, failed to
qualify.
    Jason Dunkerley (Ottawa, ON) and his guide runner Greg Dailey (Toronto,
ON) qualified for the semifinal after finishing round one with the second
fastest time of 4:15.65 in the T11 men's 1500m.
    In the men's 200m in the T53 category, Brent Lakatos (Montreal, QC)
qualified for the final, with a time of 27.42.
    "The race was very fast. There is some good competition out there. I'll
work even harder at the final," said Lakatos.
    Eric Gauthier (St.-Faustin Lac-Carre, QC) finished in 28.75 and did not
qualify.
    Leah Robinson (Mannheim, ON) set a new season's best mark of 31.85, but
was not able to qualify for the final of the women's 300m in the T37 category.
Megan Muscat (Windsor, ON) finished in 33.63 and did not qualify for the
final.

    Swimming

    Stephanie Dixon (Victoria, BC) broke a world record in taking the gold
with a time of 1:09.30 in the 100m backstroke in the S9 category,
    "This is the cherry on top. It was another great race by the other girls
in the final," said Dixon. "I have been defending my title for a long time;
this gold and world record means more to me now because the field is so much
stronger. This race was for my coach Ron Jacks who is back home in Canada."
    Her team-mate Darda Sales (London, ON) finished seventh in the race in
1:15.91.
    In the men's 100m backstroke in the S10 category, Benoit Huot (Montreal,
QC) was fifth in 1:03.81.
    "I feel stronger and a lot better than 48 hours ago. I was trying to go
1:01 but didn't quite get there. My goal coming into these games was to get
best times; I haven't been thinking about medals," said Huot. "This is the
first time at a competition that I haven't swum a best time yet. I'm
disappointed that it's at the Paralympics. I still have two more races to go,
and I feel so much better then before. My goal in the next two races is to get
those best times."
    Donovan Tildesley (Vancouver, BC) swam the S11 100m backstroke in 1:11.90
to finish fifth.
    Not advancing from this morning's preliminaries were Laura Jensen, of
Vancouver, BC (12th in 48.07 in the S7 Women's 50m butterfly), and Anne
Polinario, of Montreal, QC (11th in 1:18.06 in the S10 women's 100m
backstroke).

    Road Cycling

    Shawna Maria Whyte (Hilton, Alberta) had the best result of the Canadian
cyclists on the road course today, finishing fourth in 1:17.10 in the 36.3km
handcycling event.
    Even though she didn't reach the podium, she wasn't disappointed with her
result.
    "Yes, I wanted a medal. But what I really wanted was a good performance
and that's what I did today," said Whyte. "Before arriving on the last lap, I
remembered (team manager) Luc (Arsenault) showed me the best line to take.
That's what it did, and it worked. I'm really happy to have returned to this
level of competition," she said, noting she gave birth to a daughter 11 months
ago.
    She will rest for about a dozen days before she starts training for the
Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Games. She also competes in cross-country skiing.
    In the men's 60.5 km road race (LC3-4 and CP3), Jean Quevillon
(Ste-Adèle, Québec) and Brayden McDougall (Calgary, Alberta) finished 24th and
27th respectively.
    Eric Bourgault (Orford, Québec) dropped out of the 72.6km road race on
the second loop because of abdominal cramps. Mark Bretton (Charlesbourg, QC)
did not start.

    Goalball

    China knocked the Canadian women out of medal contention with a 1-0
defeat. Canada, the defending Paralympic champions, and China, undefeated so
far at the Beijing Games, settled into a defensive struggle as the first half
ended tied at 0.
    But the Chinese struck quickly in the second half and broke the deadlock
with a goal that hit and then bounced over defender Amy Alsop (Regina, SK).
    "I thought I had that ball, but it bounced the other way," said Alsop
after the match.
    Canada had a chance to tie the game with a penalty shot halfway through
the second half, but Alsop couldn't score. "It was a tough, tough game," said
Alsop. "We had to be perfect. I think we played every team tough, but we put
ourselves in a tough situation. The ties earlier in the tournament cost us.
But losing this game doesn't dampen my love for the sport."
    Canada will not be playing any more goalball games.

    Wheelchair basketball

    An early lead dissipated, but Canada hung on to beat Israel 55-47 in
men's quarterfinal action. Canada will face the United States in tomorrow's
semifinals.
    Scoring began with a free throw by Joey Johnson (Winnipeg, MB) and the
Canadians went on to dominate the first quarter with 20 points. Patrick
Anderson (Vancouver, BC) had nine points, including three free throws; Richard
Peter (Vancouver, BC) had eight, including two free throws; and Chris
Stoutenberg (Collingwood, ON) added another two.
    Canada shot 41% in the first quarter, while Israel struggled at 13%. The
quarter ended with a score of 20-4.
    In the second quarter, Israel picked it up at both ends of the court,
holding Canada to only seven points while sinking five baskets of its own to
finish the half 27-14.
    In the second half, Canada turned on the offence, scoring 19 points to
bring the score to 41-27. Solid defence by the Israelis, along with their 13
points in the first five minutes of the last quarter, narrowed the lead to
45-40.
    But Canada brought out its sharp shooters - Anderson, Johnson and
Stoutenberg - to secure the lead and take the game 55-47.
    "Tomorrow, we need to take advantage of the US team's undisciplined play
on defence - they tend to chase and intimidate," said assistant coach Jerry
Tonello. "If we play our disciplined game and stay calm, we should come out
ahead. The key to tomorrow's game is keeping them out of the play, frustrating
them as the United States is an outside shooting team."
    Canada needs to beat the United States to advance to the gold medal
match.

    Wheelchair rugby

    Canada beat China 57-25 in wheelchair rugby.
    Despite significant improvements to China's team since it last played
Canada in May, China had no answer for Canada's consistency and strength.
    Canada took an early lead in the game, with Patrice Simard (Quebec City,
QC) scoring only 12 seconds into the first period. The Canadians dominated
throughout, averaging over two goals for each one that China scored.
    The score at halftime was 27-8. By the end of the third period, China had
made up little ground and the score stood at 43-17.
    Canadian coach Marco Dispralto (St-Jerome PQ) said, 'It was a question of
executing our plays, and they did that brilliantly. I'm very happy with our
performance."
    "We are a young team. We have a big gap between us and strong teams like
Canada. The Canadian team took us seriously and helped us improve," said
Chinese coach Wen Yan.
    China's Jun Chen was impressive on breakaways, scoring ten goals in
total. China had inconsistent passing and played less aggressively than the
seasoned Canadians. China outnumbered Canada in turnovers (30 to Canada's 2)
and had five exclusions.
    Canada's 57 goals were evenly spread across the four periods. High
scorers were captain David Willsie (London, ON ) with 11, Say Luangkhandeng
(Surrey, BC) with 9, and veteran Garrett Hickling (Kelowna, BC) with 10.
    Erika Schmutz (Whitby, ON) made history as the first woman to score in
Paralympic wheelchair rugby competition. She scored three goals in the game.
    Willsie said, "There are no free rides on this team, and she's a huge
part of our group."
    An undefeated Canada plays an undefeated United States tomorrow.




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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