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GUADALAJARA, Nov. 19, 2011 /CNW/ - It's been a perfect Games for
visually impaired cyclist Robbi Weldon (Thunder Bay, ON) and her pilot
Lyne Bessette (Knowlton, QC) as they captured their fourth tandem
cycling gold medal in as many races at the Parapan American Games in
The win by the powerful duo highlighted another strong day by the
cycling squad, which picked up five medals today. In addition, the
Canadian women's goalball team won the bronze medal; the men's
wheelchair basketball team won bronze and the women's wheelchair
basketball team won silver.
"I'm feeling really good," said Weldon. "Four gold medals in a week is a
first for us and it's a wonderful feeling knowing we will go home with
four gold medals. I cross-country skied for years and I had a very high
level of fitness when I came into cycling [after competing at the
Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games]. I've learned tons in the last
year. It's very helpful having Lyne. She is such an experienced cyclist
and she has taught me a lot."
Today's eight medals - two gold, two silver and four bronze - bring the
Canadian team's total medal tally to 62, including 13 gold, 22 silver
and 27 bronze medals.
This morning, the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport) toured
the Athlete Village and met with Canadian athletes.
"As I visited with our athletes today, I was struck by this amazing
source of national pride," said the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of
State (Sport). "Canada's athletes are inspirational role models for all
Canadians. I was honoured to have the opportunity to meet some of the
members of Team Canada and to benefit from their perspectives on what
it means to take part in an elite high-performance sport event like the
Parapan American Games."
Medals won by Canadians today:
BRONZE - Women's team
SILVER - Women's team
BRONZE - Men's team
GOLD - Myriam Adam (St-Jean-sur-le-Richelieu, QC) in the women's hand
cycle road race
GOLD - Robbi Weldon (Thunder Bay, ON) and Lyne Bessette (Knowlton, QC)
in the women's visually impaired tandem road race
SILVER - Marie-Claude Molnar (Ste-Adèle, QC) in the women's bicycle road
BRONZE - Marie-Ève Croteau (Québec, QC) in the women's tri-cycle road
BRONZE - Daniel Chalifour (St-Jérome, QC) and pilot Ed Veal
(Queensville, ON) in men's visually impaired tandem road race
The Canadian Para-cycling Team concluded on a high note its
participation at the 2011 Parapan American Games in Guadalajara,
Mexico, winning a total of five medals today.
The five medals collected on the last day of cycling competition bring
the total cycling medal tally to 13, with four on the track and nine on
The Canadian women's tandem of Robbi Weldon (Thunder Bay, ON) and Lyne
Bessette (Knowlton, QC) won their fourth gold in as many races, this
time coming in the road race.
Myriam Adam (St-Jean-sur-le-Richelieu, QC), racing in the women's hand
cycle, also took the gold medal in the mixed road race, her first
career international victory.
"I tried to follow the advice of my coaches as I am still learning quite
a bit," said Adam. "Honestly, I think I really improved in learning
when to pass people. I won a silver medal at a World Cup in
Baie-Comeau, QC, and this is my first international gold medal. I am
In the Women's C bicycle road race, Marie-Claude Molnar (Ste-Adèle, QC)
won the silver medal, her second medal of these Games.
In the men's tandem road race, Daniel Chalifour (St-Jérome, QC) and
pilot Ed Veal (Toronto, ON) took their fourth medal of the games and
second bronze medal. The duo, formed only for this event, has surpassed
the challenges of learning to race together in a short time.
"We had a great week," Chalifour said. "We won the maximum number of
points for Canada on the track and on the road and we can proudly say
mission accomplished. It was a tough day for us. Sometimes, after too
many laps, I couldn't feel my legs anymore. I had to find the energy to
push all the way to the end. Close to the end, we tried to win the
sprint but the pedal unclipped and so we lost momentum. It could have
been better, but we tried our best."
In the women's tricycle race, 2011 World Cup Champion Marie-Ève Croteau
(Québec, QC) won the bronze medal in her road race, despite caring for
an injury sustained earlier in Guadalajara.
"I am feeling both good and bad," said Croteau. "I feel bad as I fell in
the time trial race and suffered some bruising, and feeling some pain
in the ribs with difficult breathing. I didn't accomplish what I wanted
to do, but still came third. Considering those circumstances, I am
satisfied with the results. I gave it my all, and I think it's a good
result after all."
The Canadian women's goalball team showed up this morning for the bronze
medal match against Mexico, eager to demonstrate what they were capable
of after losing the semi-final to Brazil a day earlier.
Canada wasted no time in potting several quick goals and by the end of
half time the score was 8-0. It then took less than two minutes in to
the second half for Canada to increase their lead to 10-0, causing the
game to be stopped due to the mercy rule.
Canada was able to play their entire bench and goal-scoring was spread
out among the team.
"It was just important to come out and play well today," said head coach
Janice Dawson (Calgary, AB). "We were frustrated with our loss
yesterday, not just about losing but how we played. The girls wanted to
come out and play like they know they can play, finish the tournament
solid and strong."
Canada's goals were scored by Nancy Morin (Longueuil, QC) with four and
Cassandra Orgeles (Nepean, ON), Whitney Bogart (Ottawa, ON) and Ashlie
Andrews (Penticton, BC) with two each.
"It was a good game," said Bogart. "We came off a tough loss yesterday
and it didn't faze us. We did everything we needed to do to succeed."
This afternoon, the Canadian men's goalball team also faced Mexico in
the bronze medal match, but couldn't match the hometown team, losing a
"It was a very disappointing performance," said goalball team manager
Michael Longeran (New Westminster, BC). "We can do much better. There's
not much else to say, unfortunately."
The team was without the expertise of veteran Mario Caron (St-Eustache,
QC), who was out with an injury. Bruno Haché (Dorval, QC) was the
Canadian team's leading scorer and top player in the game.
Though the men's team goes home empty-handed from Guadalajara, they had
already qualified earlier this year for the London 2012 Paralympic
Brazil won the men's title and the U.S. won the women's.
The Canadian Men's Wheelchair Basketball Team will compete in London at
the 2012 Summer Paralympic Games following a 60-42 bronze medal victory
over hometown Mexico on Saturday.
"We had to feel pressure, it was a must win game," said Jerry Tonello,
Team Canada Head Coach. "You don't get a chance to replicate that too
often in your career, in secondary tournaments. You do at Paralympics
and at other major Games, but to have this situation here is priceless,
one that I don't want to have to go through too often."
Patrick Anderson (Fergus, ON) was the game's high scorer with 27 points
and 12 rebounds. He has been an offensive juggernaut for the Canucks,
averaging a tournament-leading 22.8 points per game. David Eng
(Montreal, QC) potted the game's second highest tally with 16 points.
He also added 12 rebounds.
The bronze medal is Canada's fourth consecutive podium appearance the
Parapan American Games, having finished first in 2003 and second in
1999 and 2007.
With the top three men's teams in the tournament earning a berth into
the Paralympics, it was a must win for Canada who started the
tournament 4-0 before losing a shocker to Colombia in the semi-finals
"Ultimately, we are satisfied," said Anderson. "We will need to do a
little bit of soul searching, find out what when wrong yesterday, that
will only help us. When you lose a game like that, you can't focus on
the loss. You have to remember how good you are and focus on the next
The Canadian Women's Wheelchair Basketball Team earned the silver medal
this evening after a 69-31 loss to rival USA in the championship game.
Both teams guaranteed themselves a spot at the London 2012 Paralympic
Summer Games by placing in the top three in Guadalajara.
"It's unfortunate that tonight we didn't bring our A-game, but I think
we are continuing to build and I think we have some pretty aggressive
plans for the next year to build toward a gold medal in London," said
Team Canada Head Coach Bill Johnson. "We always said it's a process and
we have been building toward it."
Cindy Ouellet (Quebec, QC) scored a game-leading 17 points for the
Canadians, while teammate Janet McLachlan (West Vancouver, BC) tallied
eight points and a team-high 10 rebounds.
Canada concluded the tournament with a 4-1 record and reached the podium
for the fourth time in four appearances at the Parapan American Games,
following gold medal finishes in1999 and 2003 and a silver medal in
"This tournament was a great opportunity to test ourselves out, to try
out some new things, and see where we are, and honestly we are in a
good place," said Tracey Ferguson (Toronto, ON). "This was a great
opportunity and we are going to build from here. We have 10 months of
preparation and we are focused, we know excactly what we have to do,
and I think these games give us motivation to play, to train and to
practice that much harder."
Canada fielded a young developmental swimming team for the Parapan
American Games this week and it paid off big time as the squad produced
17 medals and gained valuable international experience as the pool
races concluded Saturday.
The 20-member squad, which has an average age of 18, earned three gold,
six silver and eight bronze over seven days to rank sixth in the
swimming medal standings and was one of the highest medal-producing
sports for Canada at the Games.
The Canadian swimmers here are prospects for the 2015 Parapan American
Games in Toronto and the 2016 Paralympic Games, although some made such
a strong impression this week they could be in the mix for next year's
Paralympics in London.
On Saturday, fourth-place finishes were earned by Zack McAllister of
Lethbridge, Alta., in the S9 category 100 freestyle, 13-year-old Micah
Mykitiuk of Toronto S10 100 freestyle and McAllister, Mykitiuk, Chris
Sergeant-Tsonos of Kingston, Ont., and Jean-Sébastien Lapointe of
Repentigny, Que. in the 4x100 metres medley relay.
Other men's results: Thomas Swinkels of Lower Sackville, N.S., was fifth
in the S10 100 freestyle; Andrew Cooke of Penticton, B.C., sixth in the
S5 200 freestyle; Nicolas Turbide of Quebec City sixth in the S13 100
freestyle; Chris Daniel of Calgary and Nik Tolgyesi of Kingston,
seventh and eighth in the S6 100 backstroke; and Lapointe seventh in
the S7 100 backstroke.
For the women, Kennedy Pasay of Leduc, Alta., was sixth in the S9 100
freestyle; Danielle Kisser of Delta, B.C., and Jenna Lambert of
Kingston, seventh and eighth in the S6 100 backstroke and Catherine
Mitchell of Winnipeg 10th in the S12 100 freestyle.
Note to Editors: Broadcast-standard video and mp3 files are available
for media via SendtoNews: www.sendtonews.com.
Photos are available in the Image Bank at Paralympic.ca. Photo credit:
Matthew Murnaghan/Canadian Paralympic Committee.
For more information about Team Canada in Guadalajara, please visit www.paralympic.ca/guadalajara2011.
SOURCE CANADIAN PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE (CPC)
For further information:
Tel in Guadalajara: 011 52 331 602 9302
Tel in Guadalajara: 011 52 331 600 9399