- Sprinter Marissa Papaconstantinou fifth in 200m
- Canada falls in women’s wheelchair basketball quarterfinals
- Keely Shaw fourth in Para road cycling time trial
TOKYO, Aug. 31, 2021 /CNW/ – A bronze medal courtesy of runner Zachary Gingras (Markham, ON) on Tuesday has brought Canada’s medal total to 13 following the seventh day of competition at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Canada was in competition in four sports on the day, with many personal bests achieved along the way.
MEDALS WON ON AUGUST 31
BRONZE – Zachary Gingras, Para Athletics, Men’s T38 400m
OVERALL MEDAL TOTAL
Zachary Gingras (Markham, ON) won his first Paralympic medal, a bronze in the men’s T38 400m final. The 20-year-old, who improves upon an eighth-place finish at this event in the 2019 world championships, just held off a late charge by Ali Al-Rikabi from Iraq to earn the podium spot in a new personal best time of 50.85.
«It means so much. It’s been a tough 18 months for everyone so to come out here and perform the way I did is nice to show that all my hard work paid off,» said Gingras. «I just tried to run it like my heats. I went in relaxed and tried not to let the moment get to me too much. I got out fast and kept that same pace.»
Marissa Papaconstantinou (Toronto, ON) raced a strong final in the women’s T64 200m, but couldn’t hold on for a medal position ending in fifth. She hit new two new personal bests on the day, first in the heats before bettering it again in the final for a time of 27.08. This marks an improvement from Rio 2016, where she debuted as a 16-year-old and was disqualified in the 200m for stepping on the line.
«To be at my best all season right now, when it matters the most, is definitely a huge accomplishment. I really can’t be upset with the result. Obviously, there’s a desire for more but I gave it all I could today and I’m really happy with it,» said Papaconstantinou. «It was hard because when I realized I was really in the race and medaling was a potential, I think I had a moment when I stopped running my own race and tightened up a little bit. It’s a learning curve and something to improve upon in the future.»
Canada’s medal hopes were dashed in women’s wheelchair basketball after dropping a tough 63-48 decision to the United States in the quarterfinals. The Americans took control of the game early, and a superb second quarter put them up 33-23 at the half. Canada continued to fight back and in the fourth quarter got within seven points twice, but USA maintained a stronghold on the lead.
«I didn’t see us ending up losing. But I think nerves might have played a part in the start, and then it was just easy things that we just didn’t read properly like boxing out,» said Arinn Young (Legal, AB), Canada’s leading scorer with 11 points. «We weren’t taking our time on our layups; we were rushing a lot of our shots. In the end, that’s pretty much what cost us.»
The Canadians now move into the classification matches, where they will play for a final result of fifth place on Friday against Japan. With a win, they would match their result from Rio 2016.
«We’re all pretty hurt right now, and we’re going to continue to hurt, so we’re just going to try to end this tournament on a positive note with a potential win,» said Young.
Keely Shaw (Midale, SK) posted Canada’s best result in Para cycling as the sport made the switch to the road events, starting with the time trial in all classifications. The track individual pursuit bronze medallist just missed out on the podium with a fourth place in the women’s C4 category. She finished in 42:11.09, less than a minute behind third. In the same event, Kate O’Brien (Calgary, AB) did not finish.
Rio 2016 silver medallist Ross Wilson (Sherwood Park, AB) finished his men’s C1 road time trial in seventh, while in a strong men’s H3 hand cycling field, Joey Desjardins (Hawkesbury, ON) was Canada’s top racer in 11th place. Charles Moreau (Victoriaville, QC), a bronze medallist five years ago in Rio, was 12th and Alex Hyndman (Morpeth, ON) was 16th. For Desjardins and Hyndman it was their first ever Paralympic races.
Marie-Eve Croteau (Quebec City, QC) and Shelley Gautier (Niagara Falls, ON) finished the day for Canada in the women’s T1-2 competition. Croteau earned a sixth-place finish while Gautier was eighth.
Three swimmers qualified for finals on Tuesday, with Alec Elliot (Kitchener, ON) picking up a fifth-place result in the men’s 100m butterfly S10, Canada’s top finish of the day.
Sabrina Duchesne (St-Augustin-de-Desmaures, QC) was sixth in the women’s 100m freestyle S7, where she set a new personal best time of 1:14.55.
«The race was good, I would not have expected that outcome today, being sixth in the world in the 100 free is really amazing,» said Duchesne.
Nicholas Bennett (Parksville, BC) set a new national record in the heats of the men’s 200m individual medley SM14 to advance to the final, where he finished seventh and lowered his Canadian high mark yet again down to 2:13.21.
Six other swimmers raced in the morning’s heats but did not advance to their respective finals: Zach Zona (Waterford, ON), Angela Marina (Cambridge, ON), Tammy Cunnington (Red Deer, AB), Shelby Newkirk (Saskatoon, SK), Camille Bérubé (Gatineau, QC), and Katarina Roxon (Kippens, NL).
CLICK HERE for the complete Canadian Paralympic Team results on August 31.
MEDIA RESOURCES: Resources to cover the Tokyo 2020 Canadian Paralympic Team, including athlete bios, flash quotes, and access to photos and video highlights, are available at Paralympic.ca/tokyo-2020-media.
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About the Canadian Paralympic Team: Canada is represented by 128 athletes competing in 18 sports at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, taking place August 24 to September 5.
About the Canadian Paralympic Committee: Paralympic.ca
LIST OF MEDIA CONTACTS BY SPORT
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SOURCE Canadian Paralympic Committee (Sponsorships)