LONDON, UK, Aug. 31, 2012 /CNW/ - Summer Mortimer of Ancaster, Ont., won the gold medal and broke her world record in the women's S10 50-metre freestyle in swimming action Friday at the Paralympic Games.
The victory highlighted a triple medal performance for Canada in the pool, with silver medals from Brianna Nelson of Victoria, B.C. in the S7 50 butterfly and Nathan Stein of Surrey, B.C., in the S10 50 freestyle.
Virginia McLachlan (Windsor, ON) was the first Canadian to medal in athletics. The Paralympic rookie won a bronze medal in the 200m T35 category.
"I don't even know how I feel right now." said McLachlan. "It's such a mix of emotions. I'm over the moon right now. I've worked so hard for this. At the beginning, I was just listening to my coaches and remembering what my coaches back home had told me. A Paralympic medal is a huge honour, especially when winning the first medal in Athletics!"
"What a great day in London for Team Canada!" said the Honourable Bal Gosal Minister of State (Sport). "Congratulations to Canada's Paralympic Team on a stellar day, earning multiple medals for our great country! We are very proud of your accomplishments."
Mortimer clocked 28.10 seconds to lower her previous best of 28.17 set at the Paralympic Games swimming trials in Montreal this past spring. Mortimer fended off a strong challenge from American Susan Scott second in 28.24. Elodie Lorandi of France was third in 28.95.
''It hasn't me hit me yet that I won gold,'' said Mortimer, 19, a silver medallist Thursday in the 200 IM. ''It's surreal. It's great I couldn't be happier. I wanted this race, I was mad at anybody who was going to try and take it from me. That worked. Pure hard core determination.''
Aurélie Rivard of St-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, Que., was sixth in a personal best 28.98.
Silver medals were earned by Brianna Nelson of Victoria in the S7 50 butterfly and Nathan Stein of Surrey, B.C., in the S10 50 freestyle.
Nelson was the surprise of the night. Seeded 10th going in, she uncorked a 36.87 in the prelims then a 36.03 in the final, pressuring winner Jacqueline Freney of Australia (35.16) until the finish. Sarah Mehain of Vernon, B.C., was eighth.
''It feels really good,'' said Nelson, 20. ''I wasn't expecting that at all, in any event. The strategy was just to go and not think of anything. Spin the arms and just kick and go. This is really overwhelming.''
Stein lowered his personal best to 23.58 finishing second to veteran Andre Brasil of Brazil who lowered his world record to 23.16.
''First Paralympics can't ask for more,'' said Stein, 20. ''I tried to stick with Andre. He is an amazing swimmer. I went a lot faster than I thought I was going to go. The goal was to go 23.9 at the Games and to go 23.5: nothing but good news.''
Diane Roy (Sherbrooke, QC) and Keira-Lyn Frie (Saskatoon, SK) both tested the windy track in the 5000m T54 heats. With a second and tenth place finish respectively, both Canadians will move on to Sunday's finals.
"It went well," said Roy. "It allowed me to test the track and realize that there is a lot of wind in the stadium. It is harder in the curves. The ambiance in the stadium is fantastic. I didn't expect to see such a crowd during the heats. I'm confident for the finals."
Jason Dunkerley (Ottawa, ON) and his guide Joshua Karanja (Ottawa, ON) finished second in the 1500m T11 behind Kenyans Samwel Mushai Kimani and guide James Boit. The pair will compete in the finals next Monday.
Josh Cassidy (Toronto, ON) and Alexandre Dupont (Hemmingford, QC) finished respectively fourth and ninth in their heats for the 5000m T54 race.
"Well, it didn't happen like I had planned. So I had to adjust," said Cassidy. "I think I played most of it trying to be safe and not get caught up but in the end I probably spent more energy doing this."
Cassidy will be competing in the 1500m on September 3 while Dupont's next race will be the 800m on September 5.
Rachael Burrows (Ottawa, ON) raced her first Paralympic final side to side with British favourite Hannah Cockroft who won the gold in front of a delighted home crowd. Burrows finished the 100m T34 race in eight position. Rachael's next race will be the 200m on September 6.
"My goal was to go a little bit faster than I did this morning, and I ended up pretty close. I'm pretty happy with my race," said Burrows.
Kevin Evans defeated 2011 World Champion Philippe Horner of Switzerland 6-4 in their men's compound open last-16 elimination match at the Royal Artillery Barracks.
"I was good," said Evans. "I was really nervous at the beginning but I tried to calm myself down. It was a great opportunity to shoot out with a world champion"
Evans then took on Dugie Denton from the United States in the quarterfinal and lost 4-6 to be eliminated from competition.
Norbert Murphy moves on after defeating Shinichi Saito of Japan 6-2. He says he's always relaxed in competition.
"I felt great and I'm obviously pleased with the result," said Murphy. "I'm so laid back that I never even want to know what my scores are. I just like surprises and today was a good surprise."
Archers Lyne Tremblay, Robert Hudson and Karen Van Nest all lost their matches and were eliminated from competition.
Individual Pursuit (C1): Jaye Milley, Calgary (AB) finished seventh with a personal best time of 4:24.673. Brayden McDougall, Calgary (AB) was disqualified in is race for not respecting the 10m distance between him and his opponent in the last quarter of the race. McDougall achieved a personal best with a time of 4:11.109 before being disqualified.
Individual Pursuit (C2): Arnold Boldt, Saskatchewan (SK) finished 12th with a time of 4:13.458, achieving a personal best in this event.
Para-Dressage _ Eleonore Elstone of Langley, BC, (riding Zareno) finished in 10th place, scoring 66.688%, in the Grade IV. In her Paralympic debut, Jody Schloss of Toronto, ON (riding Inspector Rebus) earned a score of 63.882% in the Grade 1a Team test, which was good for 12th place.
The Team test is the first phase of the competition to count toward the team final score. The second phase of team competition is the Individual Championship test will take place on September 1 and 2. The scores from the Team and Individual Championship tests will be combined to determine the overall team results and medals.
In men's goalball preliminaries, (Brendan Gaulin, Vancouver, BC; Bruno Hache, ; Mario Caron, Alma, QC; Ahmad Zeividavi, Vancouver, BC; Simon Tremblay, Quebec, QC; Doug Ripley, New Westminster. BC) were overtaken in the second half by Iran after leading 1-0 in the first. Canada lost 9-2.
The Canadian men will face Korea tomorrow, September 1st at 16:15 looking to catch their first win of the Games. The Canadian women will start their tournament Sept. 1 playing against Sweden at 13:45.
Joan Reid was third in her heat in the Women's Single Sculls (5:43.52) and moves on to the repechage Saturday. Canada's Mixed Fours with cox also finished third (3:29.69) and move on to the repechage tomorrow.
"It was a personal best for me by 13 seconds so I was happy with that," said Reid. "My plan was not to think about anyone else, just try to relax and run my own race. I had a really good finish. I was impressed with what I could do with a certain amount of adrenalin."
As for the four, "We had a slow start but they got a better rhythm as the race went on," added rowing head coach Jeff Dunbrack. "We have to go back to the drawing board and fix up some things for tomorrow."
Morgan Bird of Calgary took fourth spot in the women's S8 400 freestyle, Amber Thomas of Drayton Valley, Alta., was fourth in the women's S11 100 freestyle, Zach McAllister of Lethbridge, Alta., lowered his personal best by 10 seconds and placed sixth in the men's S8 400 freestyle and Donovan Tildesley of Vacouver was seventh in the men's S11 100 freestyle.
Other Canadian men's results; Brian Hill of Duncan, B.C., was ninth in the S13 100 butterfly; Mike Heath of Woodstock, Ont., was 13th in the S14 100 backstroke; Isaac Bouckley of Whitby, Ont., 15th in the S10 50 freestyle.
Other women's results: Camille Bérubé of Gatineau, Que., and Sarah Mailhot of Quebec City were 11th and 13th in the S8 400 freestyle; Brianna Jennett-McNeill of Russell, Ont., 12th in the S10 50 freestyle; Kirstie Kasko of Calgary 13th in the S14 100 backstroke.
The Canadian Women's Wheelchair Basketball Team opened the London 2012 Paralympic Games with a 70-59 loss to the Netherlands. The Dutch went on an 18 point run early on and led by as much as 15 points in the first half. Canada fought back and managed to cut the lead to 7 points by halftime (34-27), but had trouble containing the Mariska Beijer. She scored 21 points in the first two frames, and finished with a game high 34 points and 14 rebounds. Canada countered with Janet McLachlan, of Vancouver, BC, who also notched a double-double with 26 points and 15 rebounds.
Next up, the Canadian Women will face Australia Saturday September 1 at 6:30pm BST.
Fergus, Ontario's Patrick Anderson continued to wield the hot hand on Friday as he helped lift the Canadian Men's Wheelchair Basketball Team to convincing 70-54 win over Great Britain. Anderson had a dominant performance in which he paced the floor in four categories. With 29 points, 14 rebounds, 10 assists, and 4 steals, he accomplished the incredibly rare feat of recording a triple-double at the Paralympics (the only known time this has happened in Canadian history.)
Canada also benefitted from the strong play of David Eng (Montreal, QC) and Richard Peter, (Vancouver, BC) who had 13 points and 12 points respectively.
The Canadian Men improve to 2-0. Their third game will be Saturday September 1st at 9:15pm BST against Poland.
About the Canadian Paralympic Committee
The Canadian Paralympic Committee is a non-profit, private organization with 46 member sports organizations dedicated to strengthening the Paralympic movement. The Canadian Paralympic Committee's vision is to be the world's leading Paralympic nation. Its mission is to lead the development of a sustainable Paralympic sport system in Canada to enable athletes to reach the podium at the Paralympic Games. By supporting Canadian Paralympic athletes and promoting their success, the Canadian Paralympic Committee inspires all Canadians with a disability to get involved in sport through programs delivered by its member organizations.
SOURCE: CANADIAN PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE (CPC)
For further information:
Press Chief / Chef de Presse
Canadian Paralympic Team / Equipe paralympique canadien
London : 07510 875 867
Assistant Press Chief / Chef de Presse adjointe
Canadian Paralympic Team / Equipe paralympique canadien
London : 07510 875 869