Canadian Aurélie Rivard’s first title defence in Tokyo didn’t go as planned.
But the 25-year-old is off to a roaring start in her second.
Rivard set a world record of 58.60 seconds in her women’s S10 100-metre freestyle qualifying heat at the Tokyo Paralympics on Saturday in Japan.
Rivard, of St-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, Que., will swim for a medal on Saturday at 4:20 a.m. ET, looking to capture Canada’s first gold medal of these Paralympics.
Rivard took top spot in the podium in this event in 2016, and in the 50- and 400-metre freestyles. She also won silver in the 200-metre individual medley in Rio.
WATCH | Canada’s Rivard sets world record in qualifying:
But Tokyo got off to a relatively rocky start for Rivard, who fell to third in the 50-metre and later said: “I didn’t have a bronze medal in my collection and I didn’t really want one. I didn’t have a good race.”
WATCH | What you missed on Day 3 of competition in Tokyo:
Rivard entered Tokyo having not swam at a meet throughout the entire pandemic.
Still, there now appears to be a bronze-coloured chip on her shoulder.
Also in the pool, Canada’s Camille Bérubé squeaked into the women’s SB6 100-metre breaststroke final with the eighth-best qualifying time.
One day after coming fifth in the women’s SM7 200-metre individual medley, she broke a Canadian record in the breaststroke event. Competing in her third Paralympics, she finished in one minute and 42.80 seconds.
Meanwhile, Canada’s Danielle Kisser also competed in the event, coming sixth in her heat with a time of 1:49.04.
While Nikita Ens came last in her heat of the women’s 150-metre individual medley SM1 event, she also emerged with a new Canadian record.
Ens, 32, from Saskatchewan, finished the race in 4:34.01 to place sixth in her heat in her Paralympic debut.
Canada’s Tammy Cunnington competed in the women’s 150-metre individual medley SM1, placing fifth in her qualifying heat with a time of 3:41.06.
Matthew Cabraja of Canada also swam a personal best time in the 100-metre backstroke S11 qualifier, placing fifth in his heat with a time of 1:13.98.
Tuomela 5th in para-triathlon
Para triathlete Jessica Tuomela placed fifth at the Tokyo Paralympics on Saturday in Japan.
Led by guide Marianne Hogan, the 38-year-old crossed the finish line in one hour 12 minutes 53 seconds in the PTVI1 category, which is reserved for fully blind athletes.
Tuomela’s latest race comes 21 years after her only Paralympic medal — silver, won as a swimmer in the 50-metre freestyle in 2000.
Spain’s Susana Rodriguez won gold in 1:07:15, while Italy’s Anna Barbaro took silver at 1:11:11 and France’s Annouck Curzillat brought home bronze with a time of 1:11:45.
Tuomela, the Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., native, who now resides in Victoria, competed in three Paralympics from 2000 to 2008 as a swimmer, only earning that one podium finish.
But she felt as though she had unfinished business.
“Instead of training for one sport, I thought, ‘Why not [train] for three?'” she told the Times of India recently.
“That’s how I got into triathlon. I went from a sport where I won medals for myself. Now I entered a sport where I am tied to another human being the entire race. That totally changes the dynamic of the race. It’s about teamwork now.”
Hogan, a 31-year-old from Montreal, became Tuomela’s guide in 2019 and quickly earned a trio of third-place finishes, including bronze at that year’s world championships in Switzerland.
But it wasn’t to be on Saturday. Tuomela looked to be in good shape early, emerging from the 750-metre swim in second place and maintaining that position over 20 kilometres on a tandem bike with Hogan. It was the five-kilometre run where Tuomela fell back at the Odaiba Marine Park on another stiflingly hot day in Tokyo.
Ouellet falls off in men’s T12 5,000m
Canada’s Guillaume Ouellet led for much of the men’s T12 5,000-metre on Saturday, but faded over the final kilometre to place fifth.
Ouellet, of Victoriaville, Que., made his move early to lead the pack, but was slowly overtaken by athlete after athlete over the final 1,200 metres or so.
The 34-year-old finished with a time of 14:47.47. He placed fourth in the event for the partially blind five years ago in Rio.
Spain’s Yassine Ouhdad El Ataby took gold at 14:34.13, with Australia’s Jaryd Clifford claiming silver (14:35.52) and Russian Aleksander Kostin earning bronze (14:37.42).
Ouellet won the event at the 2015 world championships and took third in 2017, but has never reached a major international tournament podium otherwise.
Canadian goalball women edged by Australia
The Canadian goalball team fell to 1-2 with its 4-3 loss against Australia on Saturday.
Emma Reinke, coming off a four-goal performance in Canada’s lone win, scored another pair in the loss.
Australia’s Meica Jayne Horsburgh was responsible for all of her side’s goals, including a penalty tally that ultimately stood as the winner.
The top four teams in each pool reach the quarter-finals. Canada now sits fourth in its group, tied with an Australian team that previously lost by 11-1 and 6-0 margins.
Canada’s final match comes against China on Monday at 1:45 a.m ET.
Canadian boccia star Alison Levine got a winning start in Tokyo, taking her opening match against Martin Streharsky of Slovakia.
The Montreal athlete won 4-3, with all three of Streharsky’s points coming in the third end. Levine enters the competition ranked No. 1 in the world in her classification, BC4.
Levine will next play Wai Yan Vivian Lau of China on Sunday.
Meanwhile, two fellow Canadians lost their openers to Portugal players: Canada’s Danik Allard was defeated 8-4 by Cristina Goncalves in the BC2 class, while Iulian Ciobanu of Canada dropped his match 3-2 to Carla Oliveira in the BC4 class.
Canadian men record 3rd loss in hard-fought game
For a time it seemed Canada’s men’s wheelchair basketball team would get its first win in Tokyo — and against host Japan, too. Canada was on top for the majority of the game, at one point building an 11-point lead.
But Japan came back in the fourth quarter, outscoring Canada and eventually taking the win 62-56. The team remains undefeated with three wins.
WATCH | 5 Canadian Paralympians you should know:
Canada is currently in fifth of the Group A standings with three losses. Patrick Anderson scored 22 points in the game and had 12 rebounds. Nikola Goncin notched 20 points and 13 rebounds.
The Canadian men play Korea at 4 a.m. ET on Sunday.
Canada finishes up in wheelchair fencing
Two Canadian athletes — Sylvie Morel of Pincourt, Que., and Matthieu Hébert of Beauharnois, Que., — finished up competing in Tokyo in their foil events on Saturday.
Morel started out with a win over Brazil’s Carminha Oliveira, but lost her next four bouts in the women’s Class A division. In the men’s Class A division, Hébert also lost his four bouts.
Para rowing repechages
Canada’s PR3 mixed coxed four team placed fourth in its repechage heat, finishing in seven minutes 15.81 seconds. They’ll miss the chance to compete for medals and will instead compete in the B finals on Sunday.
The Canadian PR2 mixed double sculls team of Jessye Brockway and Jeremy Hall also competed on Sunday, placing fifth in a repechage. The duo will also compete in a B finals.
Published at Mon, 23 Aug 2021 16:21:49 +0000