Canadian Parapan Am Team on Day 8: A nine-medal bonanza – Four medals in Para road cycling, three in Para swimming – Rob Shaw wins wheelchair tennis gold – Canadian women win gold; men advance to final in wheelchair basketball
Lima, August 30, 2019 – Thanks to a superb nine-medal performance on Friday, the Canadian Parapan Am Team is up to 45 medals at the Lima 2019 Parapan Am Games. The nation won four gold, two silver, and three bronze across four sports – Para cycling, wheelchair tennis, wheelchair basketball, and Para swimming.
|Gold – 14||Silver – 16||Bronze – 15||TOTAL – 45|
TOP HIGHLIGHTS OF THE DAY
Canada is a Parapan Am Games champion in women’s wheelchair basketball following a nail biting 67-64 triumph over the USA in the gold-medal game. Canada trailed at the end of each of the first three quarters, but it was a 20-12 fourth quarter that sealed the deal. Kady Dandeneau led the way for her team with 25 points, including a couple key shots late in the game, while Arinn Young added 20 of her own. This reverses the result from Toronto 2015 four years ago, when Canada lost to the Americans in the final.
“The team chemistry, this group of ladies has gotten so close together. This win just feels really good for everyone and that’s what I’m taking away from this tournament. All the memories we got together from it.”
– Arinn Young
“These are the moments that every athlete dreams of. All the time you put in training, all those long hours in the gym, all the pain from lifting or whatever it is you’re doing, this is the moment that makes it all worth it. Being able to play in that type of game is the greatest. That is what you worked for as an athlete. To be able to get there and achieve your goal, to get the gold medal. There is just no better feeling.”
– Kady Dandeneau
The Canadian men’s wheelchair basketball team is not done yet in Lima, but they have already accomplished one major goal – qualifying for Tokyo 2020. Thanks to their 62-42 win over Colombia in the semifinals, the team advances to the gold-medal game and thus secures the Top 3 position it needed to make the Paralympic Games. Patrick Anderson was the scoring leader with 20 points, while Nik Goncin (14), Bo Hedges (12), and David Eng (10) all also contributed double digits.
“I’m feeling proud of our program and the way that everybody has really improved since last summer after the disappointing result at Worlds and everyone responded to the challenge to try and climb back up to one of the top teams in the world. This was a big step for us, but we are not satisfied yet.”
– Patrick Anderson
Rob Shaw made Canadian tennis history by becoming the first player, stand-up or wheelchair, to win a multi-sport medal in singles and he did so by beating world No. 2 David Wagner of USA for the gold medal. It was Shaw’s first win over Wagner in eight tries, and he came out firing to a 4-0 start en route to a 6-1, 6-3 victory in the quad singles tournament. Shaw also becomes the first quad tennis champion at a Parapan Am Games, with the classification making its debut at these Games here in Lima.
“It’s definitely the biggest win so far of my career as far as the magnitude of the stage, the amount of fans in the crowd. I’ve had bigger emotional ones for sure, but as far as the complete package, nothing is bigger than winning a gold medal.”
– Rob Shaw
Canada’s Para cyclists continued to race to the podium, capturing four medals on the first day on the road. In his first multi-sport Games, hand cyclist Matthew Kinnie sat atop the mixed H1-5 time trial standings, winning a gold medal in 31:17.880. Michael Shetler also won his first medal, a bronze in the mixed T1-2 time trial.
“Winning the gold medal was a little bit surprising and satisfying after a long season training and working really hard to get a result like that. To be able to lay down a good race on a nice course down by the coast in Peru was a pretty awesome experience and pretty exciting.”
– Matthew Kinnie
Canada’s three tandem bikes now have seven medals from Lima 2019, adding two to their five won on the track. Lowell Taylor and pilot Andrew Davidson claimed silver in the mixed tandem time trial (their second silver of the Games), while Carla Shibley and pilot Meghan Lemiski took the bronze. Shibley and Lemiski now have a medal of every sheen, thanks to their earlier gold and silver in the velodrome.
“I think it’s really cool that I have one of every colour. Over the years I kind of felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere being an athlete and this year I feel like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and this is just the start and I can’t wait to see what else is going to happen.”
– Carla Shibley
Nicholas Bennett took over the swimming pool for a third night at these Games, claiming his third gold medal and fourth overall in the men’s S14 category. He finished first in the 200m individual medley in a Canadian record time of 2:15.56, while teammate Tyson MacDonald earned the silver (his third medal in Lima) in a time of 2:19.60. This is the second time Bennett, age 15, and MacDonald, age 23, have the shared the podium together in Lima. Canada’s third medal of the night was Arianna Hunsicker with her fifth bronze of the Games, in the women’s S10 400m freestyle. With one day left in the pool, Canada has 20 medals in the sport.
“I said on day one or two that I wanted to go 1-2 in something and leave it to the 200 IM to go 1-2 for Canada. I’m pretty sure I was near dead last in the fly, that’s my worst stroke so I really tried to bring it home in the last 150 and I got the job done, I couldn’t be more proud.”
– Tyson MacDonald
Canada will be playing for gold in Para badminton after Yuka Chokyu advanced to the women’s wheelchair singles final on Friday with a win over Brazil’s Souza in the semifinals. Olivia Meier is also in medal contention in both standing women’s singles, and mixed doubles (with Pascal Lapointe) after three wins across both categories on the day. In men’s wheelchair doubles, Bernard Lapointe and Richard Peter fell in the semifinals, as did Wyatt Lightfoot, William Roussy, and Pascal Lapointe in their respective classes. They will all now play for bronze.
In what was a thrilling women’s goalball game, the Canadians took on Brazil in the semifinals and with the score tied at 3-3 following Amy Burk’s late goal, the game went into sudden death overtime. One three-minute overtime period came and went with no goal, but near the end of the second OT Brazil was able to secure a goal, and thus the win 4-3. The women will now face off against Mexico in the bronze-medal match on Saturday.
Following the conclusion of round-robin individual play in boccia, four Canadians advanced to the elimination round. Marco Dispaltro defeated teammate Iulian Ciobanu 7-1 in the BC4 semifinals – Dispaltro moves into the gold-medal game, while Ciobanu will play for bronze. Ciobanu had earlier ousted fellow Canuck Alison Levine in the quarterfinals. For his part, Eric Bussiere fell in the BC3 quarterfinals.
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About the Canadian Parapan Am Team: Canada is represented by 151 athletes competing in 13 sports at the Lima 2019 Parapan Am Games, taking place August 23 to September 1.
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