Canada hit the 20-medal mark in spectacular fashion Wednesday with a six-medal spectacle – its best day yet at the Paralympic Games.
Five medals were earned in the para-cycling time trials and para-swimmer Katarina Roxon of Kippens, N.L., soared to her first career Paralympic Games gold.
Roxon battled from behind to win the S8 100-metre breaststroke in an Americas record time of one minute, 19.44 seconds. An emotional Roxon shed tears of joy after winning her first medal in three Paralympic appearances.
“It’s been three years coming,” said the 23-year-old who was born missing her left arm below the elbow. “At first I didn’t want to look (at the scoreboard). I knew I was going to be happy with how I did. When I saw first, I was so shocked.”
It was Canada’s fifth swimming medal – three gold, two silver – of the Paralympics. Overall Canada has 20 medals (6-9-5) for 13th place overall in the country rankings.
Before Roxon’s heroics, Canadian para-cyclists had a medal bonanza on the first day of road competition.
Tristen Chernove of Cranbrook, B.C., won gold in the 20 kilometre men’s C2 race, finishing with a time of 27 minutes and 43.16 seconds. It is Chernove’s third medal, after winning silver and bronze in the cycling track competition.
“I felt pretty good and I enjoyed the whole race,” said Chernove. “You only get these moments so often in life, and I wanted to have a positive outlook and be in the moment, and not let the anxieties or pressures get to me. That really happened today, and that made all the difference. I just wanted to have a great bike ride in a beautiful place.”
Ross Wilson of Edmonton won the silver medal in the men’s C1. It is Wilson’s second medal, after winning silver in the individual pursuit on the track.
Bronze medals were earned by Charles Moreau of Victoriaville, Quebec in the men’s H3 competition, Michael Sametz of Calgary in the men’s C3 and Shelley Gautier of Toronto in the women’s T1–T2 category.
Canada is off to a great start in wheelchair rugby. Zak Madell of Okotoks, Alta., scored 38 points to lead the Canadians to a 68-42 win over Brazil in the opening preliminary round game for both teams.
Paddlers Christine Gauthier (Pointe-Claire, Que.) and Erica Scarff (Mississauga, Ont.) have both qualified for the finals on Thursday following strong results in heats and semis this morning. This is the first ever Paralympic Games to include para-canoe events.
There was also great news for Canada in boccia. In the BC4 individual class Alison Levine of Montreal won her final preliminary round match 6-1 over Ximei Lin of China. Levine advances to the quarterfinal on Thursday.
In para-sailing, the Canadian SKUD team of John McRoberts and Jackie Gay of Victoria produced another consistent day on the Pao Acucar course. With the exception of a penalty flag in their sixth race, they were third for race four and fourth in race five. Fortunately for the Canadian team, the Polish also suffered the same penalty leaving McRoberts and Gay third overall after six of a scheduled 11 races.
The Canadian men’s Paralympic wheelchair basketball team heads home on a high note after a 70-51 win over Algeria in a placement game to finish 11th. Nik Goncin of Regina led Canada with 19 points.
In athletics, Brent Lakatos of Dorval, Que., won his heats to advance to Thursday’s men’s T53 final. Lakatos has a gold and silver so far at the Games. Six-time Paralympian Diane Roy also qualified for the women’s T54 5000-m.
In men’s goalball quarterfinal, Canada lost a 5-4 heartbreaker to Lithuania in double overtime. The Canadian women also dropped their quarterfinal to the U.S. 2-0.
Story and Photo from the Canadian Paralympic Committee | Paralympic.ca