Note: Team Canada Games schedule: http://paralympic.ca/toronto-2015-schedule
TORONTO – Canadian swimmers and track and field athletes combined for 28 of the country’s 29 medals on Wednesday to remain second in the overall medal standings but pulled away from the third place Americans.
Priscilla Gagné of Ottawa added a silver in judo in the women’s 52 kg. Canada also has teams in sitting volleyball, wheelchair rugby, wheelchair basketball and goalball all headed to semifinals.
Brazil leads with 166 medals, Canada has 37 gold, 40 silver and 36 bronze for 113 and the U.S., is third at 75. After Tuesday Canada was only five medals ahead of the Americans. The team objective when the Games end August 15 is to stand third overall in total medals.
Canadian swimmers won 15 medals Wednesday (five gold, five silver, five bronze), bringing their total to 66 (18-27-21).
“It gives me confidence to know I can perform under pressure,” she said. “Swim with the right mindset with all the distractions.”
Aurelie Rivard earned her fourth gold of the meet and the men swept the S11-13 400-meter freestyle.
In the most anticipated race of the night Benoit Huot finished second in the S10 200-meter individual medley, while Alec Elliot was third.
Here is the para-swimming honour roll for Wednesday:
Gold: Aurélie Rivard, St-Jean-sur Richelieu, Que., S9-10 200-m IM; Tess Routliffe, Caledon, Ont., S7 100-m freestyle and 100-m breaststroke; Devin Gotell, Antigonish, N.S., S11-13 400-m freestyle; Justine Morrier, St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, S14 100-m breaststroke.
Silver: Benoit Huot, Longueuil, Que., 200-m IM; Katarina Roxon, Kippens, N.L., S9-10 200-m IM; Sarah Mehain, Vernon, B.C., 100-m freestyle; Nicolas Turbide, Quebec City, S11-13 400-m freestyle; Jean-Michel Lavallière, Quebec City, S7 100-m freestyle.
Bronze: Alec Elliot, Kitchener, Ont., 200-m IM; Camille Bérubé, Gatineau, Que., 100-m breaststroke; Tyler Mrak, Aldergrove, B.C., S11-13 400-m freestyle; Kirstie Kasko, Okotoks, Alta., S14 100-m breaststroke; Gordie Michie, St. Thomas, Ont., S14 100-m breaststroke.
Canada threw a 1-2 punch with Jennifer Brown of Calgary and Renee Foessel of Mississauga, Ont., exchanging gold/silver placings and setting continental records in two events Wednesday as Canada enjoyed its best day in athletics.
Canada accumulated seven gold, two silver and four bronze.
Brown won the women’s shot put in the F20/37/38 disability category with a best throw of 10.42 metres, an Americas record. Foessel followed at 10.14 in the six-woman final.
Later on, Foessel threw 30.75 metres in the discus for the gold and America’s mark. Brown’s best was 28.06. There were six entries.
Brown and Foessel want to continue their success.
‘’We are aiming for long term goals,’’ said Foessel. ‘’We can both achieve the podium.”
“Really fantastic synergy, we have competed together, we drive each other, when I throw well, Renee wants to throw well and vice versa,’’ added Brown.
Other victors were Jason Roberts of Toronto in the F32/33/34 shot put, Pam LeJean of Halifax in the F53/54/55 shot put with a Games record 4.22 metres, Mitchell Chase of Pickering, Ont., in the T38 1500-m, Guillaume Ouellet of Victoriaville, Que., in the T13 1500-m and Alexandre Dupont of St-Rémi, Que., in the T54 400-m.
Bronze medallists were Kyle Pettey of Brampton, Ont., in the F32/33/34 shot put, Ness Murby of Salt Spring Island, B.C., in the F11/12 discus, Leah Robinson of Kitchener, Ont., in the T37 200-m and Ken Trudgeon of London, Ont., in the F46 discus.
Competing in women’s 52 kilo class, Gagné posted a record of three wins and one loss in the round robin tournament. Her only loss was a tight second match defeat by two Shidos to Brazil’s Michele Ferreira. The Brazilian went on to win gold with a perfect 4-0 mark.
Gagné defeated Christina Thomas of the U.S., by Ippon in a mere 20 seconds as well as Andreia Canteiro of Brazil and Rocio Ledesma of Argentina, also both by Ippon.
“Hearing both of my coaches giving support, one from the side, one from the coach’s box, along with my family in the stands, made all the difference,” said Gagné. ‘’They really compliment each other and it’s having that support that ultimately pushed me to perform better on the mat.”
In one of the most exciting wheelchair rugby games in recent memory, Canada was narrowly defeated 60-59 by the USA in double overtime in the final round robin game of the Toronto 2015 Parapan Am Games. Canada will now play Brazil tomorrow to earn a spot in the gold medal game and a chance for a rematch.
“Games like these come down to little mistakes,” said head coach Kevin Orr. “You can’t afford to make little mistakes at this level, and that’s what cost us.”
Canada will face Brazil in the semi-finals tomorrow at 5:45 pm at the Mississauga Sports Center.
The ability to fight through adversity was key for the unbeaten Canadian Parapan Am Men’s Wheelchair Basketball Team Wednesday when they routed Puerto Rico 73-34 in order to earn their spot in Friday’s semifinals. Carrying a 4-0 record Canada will now face 3-1 Brazil for their chance to advance to the gold medal final. With two berths available, a win on Friday would guarantee the Canadian Men a spot in the Rio 2016 Paralympics.
“Step by step, inch by inch, and game by game, we are building toward our goal of securing our spot in Rio. We are a young team that is rebuilding, and we know what we have to do to be successful. We are focused on the outcome and despite the challenges we are confident in our ability to get there,” said Team Canada’s head coach Steve Bialowas.
Despite outscoring their opponents by 39 points, the Canadians struggled to find their rhythm at times. They shot just 36% from the field in the first half, but still managed to establish a 12-point lead heading into the break. Puerto Rico’s Carlos Ocasio stole some of the momentum by beating the buzzer with a long distance three-pointer making the score 34-22 at the end of two frames.
Canada’s men’s and women’s teams are headed to the semifinals in goalball despite losing their final preliminary round matches on Wednesday.
In a showdown for first place in the men’s preliminary round standings, Canada lost 12-2 to world champion Brazil for its first loss of the tournament after five games. Brendan Gaulin of Laval and Bruno Haché of Dorval scored for Canada.
In the very next match, it was a battle for second spot between Canada and the U.S., in women’s play which the Americans won 5-2. Cassie Orgeles scored both Canadian goals.
Canada replays the Americans in one women’s semi on Friday at 11:30 a.m. and the men also face the Americans in their semi at 2:30 p.m. The women’s medals matches are Friday evening starting at 6:30 p.m. and the men’s medal matches are Saturday at 10 a.m.
Veteran Doug Learoyd of Calgary scored 19 points to lead Canada to a 25-19, 25-23, 25-19 victory over Colombia in men’s sitting volleyball on Wednesday at the Parapan American Games.
The victory sets the stage for a huge Canada-U.S. showdown in the semifinal. The winner of that match will put its ticket in the hat for the 2016 Paralympic Games. Canada must win gold here or place second to Brazil to go to Rio.
“We know that either way our opponent in the semis will be a very good team,’’ said Canada’s head coach Ray Sewell, after Canada’s match but before the Brazil-USA game. ‘’A little bit of a different game plan if it’s the United States or Brazil. We will take the night off and prepare in the morning. We will have a game day practice and we know what each team will bring and we know what to fix because of our matches earlier in the week.”
Ian Kent of Eastern Passage, N.S. and Masoud Mojtahed, a former Montreal resident and now in Texas, have advanced to the gold medal match in men’s team competition in table tennis.
Kent and Mojtahed defeated and Ecuadorian pair 2-0 in its semifinal. They combined forces in doubles for the first win (3-0) then Kent took the singles match over Paul Polo Astudillo 11-5, 9-11, 11-8. 11-4 to clinch the match.
“We will be here to put our best foot forward on home soil and go for gold,’’ said Kent.
The Canadians face Brazil for gold at 10 a.m. at the Atos Markham Centre.
Canada lost 8-0 to world number-three Brazil on Wednesday in football 7 at the Parapan American Games.
The Canadians are third in the preliminary round standings with a win and two losses for three points. They finish the prelims against winless Venezuela on Thursday at 11 a.m. and will most like meet the U.S. for bronze on Saturday at 9 a.m.