Canadian swimmers rake in medals at Parapanamerican Games; table tennis comes up with bronze

    RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 13 /CNW Telbec/ - Swimmer Andrea Cole won Canada's
first medal on the opening day of the Parapanamerican Games on Monday in the
100m freestyle in a time of 1:16.76. She followed it up with another gold
medal in the 100m backstroke in 1:33.24.
    "I'm very proud to have won two gold medals. It was a really good swim
for me," said Cole, who swims in the S8 category.
    Also winning gold were Donovan Tildesley, of Vancouver, BC, in the 100m
free in 1:01.59 (S11 category), Brian Hill, of Duncan, BC, in the 100m
individual medley in 2:27.12 (S13) and Valerie Grand'Maison, of Montreal, QC,
in the 200m individual medley in 2:32.33 (S13).
    Canada's 4x100m women's freestyle relay team also won gold in 4:46.92. It
was composed of Darda Geiger, of Sarnia, ON, Brittany Gray, of Barrie, ON,
Stephanie Dixon, of Victoria, BC, and Laura Jensen, of Fort St. John, BC.
    "I'm happy that I won the gold, but I wasn't completely satisfied with my
race. There are still a lot of things that I can improve on leading into 2008
(Beijing Paralympic Games)," said gold medalist Hill.
    Winning silver medals were Jessica Tuomela in the 100m freestyle in
1:20.75 (S11), Jensen in the 100m freestyle in 1:20.91 (S7), Benoit Huot in
100m fly in 59.57 (S10), and Kirby Cote in the 200m individual medley in
2:34.42 (S13).
    Silver medalist Cote added, "This was my best time since the 2004
Paralympic Games in Athens. My race felt really good. This is a beautiful and
fast pool."
    Devin Gotell, of Antigonish, NS, in the 200m individual medley in 2:39.35
(S13), and his sister Chelsey Gotell in the same event in a time of 2:34.67
(S13) both won bronze. It was a personal best time for Chelsey.
    Drew Christensen, of New Westminister, BC, started the team off right
with a new Parapanamerican Games record of 1:05.83 in the 100m freestyle in
the S8 preliminaries on Monday morning. But he fell ill and was unable to
compete in the final.
    The only other sport in which Canada won medals on Monday was in table
tennis; Stephanie Chan Chim-Hing, of Richmond, BC, won bronze in the women's
standing open class.
    Just missing out on a medal in the men's table tennis standing open was
Ian Kent, of Eastern Passage, NS, who finished fourth.
    Here's how Canada did in the other sports:


    Canada's Jason Dunkerley broke his own Parapanamerican Games record with
his guide runner Greg Dailey in the 1500m in a time of 4:07.93. They advance
to the finals on Tuesday, where both are aiming to break the world record.
    Dunkerley's previous Parapanamerican Games record time was 4:14.19, which
he ran in Athens in 2004.
    "We're going for (the record) every time we go out. We had a good season
and it's been a good fit," said Dunkerley. "We sort of relaxed a bit in the
middle of the race, and we were a little off the pace we wanted to be at. But
we woke up with a lap to go and we picked it up. Tomorrow, we'll try to be a
little more aggressive in the middle part of the race."
    The world record of 4:05.11 was set by Great Britain's Robert Matthews in
    The next fastest runner in the 1500m at the Parapanamerican Games was
Brazil's Carlos Silva who clocked in at 4:27.59.
    "It' nice that J's (Jason's) running 4.07 like it's nothing. It's his
personal best, so today shows he should be able to go quite a bit faster, as
long as we take care of the little details and are more attentive throughout
the race," said Dailey, of Toronto, ON. "There's no sense running back with
everyone else - that will not help us tomorrow. Tomorrow we want the world
record. The more times you put yourself in that zone of hurt, the more you are
able to deal with it the next day."
    In the 200m, Canada's Barry Phelan qualified for tomorrow's final with a
time of 25.84, behind first-place qualifier Edson Pinheiro, of Brazil, who ran
    "I was pretty happy with my performance. I'm looking forward to the
competition in the final," said Phelan. "I just have to run my race to beat
(Pinheiro). When I finished I felt like I could still do a little bit more.
All the jitters are out now so I'm ready to run tomorrow."
    Both Kyle Pettey, of Brampton, ON and Robert Hughes, of Mississauga, ON,
broke Parapanamerican Games records in the men's F32-34/F51-53 discus, but due
to a points system used to combine disability classes, they ended up fourth
and fifth respectively.
    Pettey, classified in the F34 category, threw 32.10m and Hughes,
classified in the F33 category, had a throw of 20.47m.
    Jason's brother Jonathan Dunkerley, of Ottawa, ON, pulled a hamstring in
the 100m event and jogged to the finish line with his guide Sean Young, also
of Ottawa, to finish 14th in a time of 20.88.


    Canada fell 2-1 to fourth-ranked Argentina on Monday in its opening
five-a-side football (soccer) match of the Parapanamerican Games in Rio de
Janeiro, Brazil.
    "It's a tough game to wrap your head around because we played the best
we've ever played, but we still lost," said player Todd Phillips, of Powell
River, BC. "We're ecstactic because of the way we played, but we're upset we
couldn't pull a win."
    He adds, "Because of the way we played today, we now have it in our heads
that we could make it to the Paralympic Games, even though no one has given us
a chance, because we're not a football nation."
    Vancouver-resident Sefik Smajlovic put Canada ahead 1-0 just five minutes
into the match when on a free kick just outside the center of the penalty
area, he curled the ball around the wall into the corner. Smajlovic had sprung
Fraserville, ON resident Matthew Brown on a break away. When Brown closed in,
the goalkeeper came out of his box and picked up a foul on the challenge.
    In the first half, Canada was able to hold off a pressing Argentina, and
Canuck goalkeeper Ross MacDonald took away any threatening crosses.
    "We were playing a system, and everybody has to play their part in it,"
Phillips said. "If one person blows it, the whole thing falls apart. We
contained them outside and made them take longer shots."
    Then in the 47th minute of the game, Argentina was awarded a free kick
just outside the center of the penalty area. Argentina equalized the game on a
hard shot by captain Claudio Morinigo.
    Seven minutes later, Argentina's Mariano Morana ran alone from the half
line, shrugged off his defender and fired a shot to the far side past
    Fatigue and a lack of experience - Canada is playing only its seventh
game as a team - allowed Argentina to keep control of the game in the second
half, according to Canadian team coach Drew Ferguson.
    "Two years ago Argentina would have beaten us handily.  That being said,
we were up by one with 15 minutes left and we let the lead slip away," said
the coach.


    Team captain and veteran Dave Durepos ignited Canada's men's national
wheelchair basketball team in the third quarter to lead them to a 72-37 win
over Mexico at the Rio Multipurpose Arena.
    "Dirt (Durepos) went on fire in the third period and that was the turning
point of the game," said Canadian player Patrick Anderson. "Our defence was
good the whole game, but not our offence. Our offence didn't wake up until 9
a.m. and then we were off to the races."
    The Canadian squad led by just two points coming out of the first half of
the game that began at 8 a.m.
    Mexico held the lead for the majority of the first half. Canadian Adam
Lancia though gave Canada a 24-22 lead with a turning point basket before the
end of the half.
    Canada forced numerous turnovers in the second half, frustrating the
Mexican team and netting 23 points from those costly turnovers.
    Entering the game with only 8 seconds left in the third, veteran Anderson
dropped a 3 pointer, and Canada widened the gap throughout the fourth.
    Canadian head coach Paul Bowes tried many line combinations, allowing the
new players to gain valuable experience.
    "Mexico was a strong team and a good test for us. We learned a lot from
this game and will continue to move forward and prepare for Venezuela tomorrow
morning," he said.
    The high scorers were Dave Durepos, Fredericton NB, with 26 points; Adam
Lancia, of Toronto, ON, with 17 points and Pat Anderson, of Fergus, ON, with


    Canada's national women's team downed Brazil 72-33 on Monday in
wheelchair basketball, despite a slow start.
    "Brazil came out really strong. They were within one point in the first
quarter and it was back and forth," said Canadian Lisa Franks, of Moose Jaw,
SK. "We did some readjustments, and after that skill wise we could take them
down; they just couldn't break our press."
    The women's basketball team has a tough game against the United States
Tuesday night.


    The sitting volleyball team plays its first official game on Wednesday.
Powerlifter Sally Thomas, of Ottawa, ON, competes Tuesday, while Alexander
Milo Radoman, of Brantford, ON, hits the judo mats on Friday, August 17, and
Bill Morgan, also of Brantford, ON, competes in judo on Saturday, August 18.

For further information:

For further information: Norma Reveler, Senior Coordinator,
Communications Cell phone in Rio: (011) 5521 8883 4857, Office phone in Rio:
(011) 5521 2007 9759 (no set office hours),

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