Swimmer Aurélie Rivard collected her third gold, fourth medal and second world record to highlight a productive four-medal day for Canada on Thursday at the Paralympic Games.
Bronze medals were earned by para-swimmer Benoit Huot of Longueuil, Que., his 20th career Paralympic medal, wheelchair racer Brent Lakatos of Dorval, Que., in the men’s T53 800-m and para-cyclist Charles Moreau of Victoriaville, Que., in the men’s H3 road race
Canada now has 24 medals at the Games with seven gold, nine silver and eight bronze for 13th in the country standings.
Rivard won the S10 400-metre freestyle in 4:29.96, shaving 2.83 seconds off the old world record set by France’s Elodie Lorandi in 2013. Huot swam a personal best 4:04.63 to finish third in the S10 400-m freestyle. After touching the wall, he looked at the clock then pumped his fists in celebration.
“I’m so happy, I really wanted it,” said Rivard of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que. “I was so nervous before the race. I’m so happy and so relieved because I have been training for this for so long. It’s so amazing. “
Huot fought back tears when talking to reporters.
“I feel like it’s a Hollywood script,” said the five-time Paralympian. “It was one of the toughest races I have ever done. ’Finishing with the 20th medal, probably in my last Paralympic race, I can’t be more happy.”
In para-cycling, Charles Moreau of Victoriaville, Que., won his second bronze medal of Games , the ninth medal for Canada’s para-cycling team in Rio.
Moreau finished the men’s H3 category 60 kilometre road race in a six rider sprint for the finish. Moreau won a bronze medal the previous day in the individual time trial.
‘’I am ecstatic,’’ said Moreau. ‘’I couldn’t ask for more. In the road race you can always have some surprises, bad luck and accidents. I had some doubts at about three kilometres from the end. The Italians did a really good job of working together, so I was happy just to manage third.”
In athletics, Lakatos won his third medal at these Games his sixth overall. In an extremely close race, Lakatos edged his competitor at the finish by two-hundredths of a second to secure bronze.
“I am happy with the bronze,’’ he said. ‘’I knew it would be very difficult today. The 800-metres is not my strongest event. I wasn’t able to fight for a position at the beginning. I chose to go in the front so I could control the race a little more. “
Guillaume Ouellete added a fourth in the T11 5000-m final.
In wheelchair rugby, Trevor Hirschfield scored the winning goal with 0.9 seconds left in the first overtime as Canada defeated Britain 50-49 and secured a spot in the semifinals. The Canadians improved to 2-0 and close out the preliminary round Friday against Australia. Zak Madell led Canada with 30 goals.
In para-canoe, Christine Gauthier of Pointe-Claire, QC finished fourth in the women’s KL2 200m while Erica Scarff of Mississauga, Ont., was seventh in the KL3. This was the first time paracanoe was in the Games.
In boccia, Alison Levine of Montreal lost the BC4 mixed individual boccia quarterfinals 3-2 to Pornchok Larpyen Thailand. Levine earns a fifth place ranking in the event.
“It’s very hard to be upset after you play one of the best games of your life,” said Levine. “I had the best game of my life, and to do what when it counts is even more incredible.”
In sailing, John McRoberts, Victoria and Jackie Gay, Victoria were second and fifth today in Skud 18 and are second overall after eight of 11 races. Paul Tingley, Halifax; Logan Campbell, Saskatoon; Scott Lutes, Montreal are third overall in three –man sonar after winning race eight.
Canada’s Lauren Barwick has qualified to move on to the final Freestyle Test on Friday to close out para-dressage competition.
In women’s sitting volleyball, Canada defeated Rwanda 3-0 (25-21, 25-15, 25-20) on Thursday to finish in seventh place overall at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Story and Photo from the Canadian Paralympic Committee | Paralympic.ca