Michelle Stilwell leads strong Canadian effort at Paralympics
Canada claims gold, silver, bronze on Day 3
Wheelchair racer Michelle Stilwell added to Canada's Paralympic medal haul, claiming gold in the women's 400-metre T52 final in Paralympic record time Saturday morning in Rio.
The 42-year-old from Parksville, B.C., clocked in at one minute, 5.43 seconds to convincingly claim her fifth-career Paralympic gold.
"It was amazing to start so strong,'' said Stilwell. ''The race was fluid. I felt confident and relaxed through the whole race and to cross the line first and to bring the gold home for Canada, well, it was the moment I was working for."
Stilwell was over two seconds faster than Belgium's world-record holder Marieke Vervoort, who came in second at 1:07.62. Kerry Morgan, of the United States, rounded out the podium.
Stilwell, who also competes in the 100 and holds the world record in that distance, is the only the second female Paralympian to have won gold in two separate summer sports. She also took the top prize at the 2000 Sydney Paralympics as a member of Canada's women's wheelchair basketball team.
Stilwell will try to improve on her silver-medal performance at the 2012 London Paralympics when she races in the 100 next weekend.
Chernove wins 2nd medal in Rio
Para-cyclist Tristen Chernove became Canada's first multiple medal winner at the Games. The 41-year old, who won silver in the C2 3000 individual pursuit Friday, claimed bronze in the C1-3 1000 time trial Saturday by setting a new Paralympic record in the C2 classification.
The event, which is open to cyclists in the C1, C2 and C3 classifications, was won by Li Zhangyu, a C1 cyclist from China, in world-record time.
🇨🇦 Tristen Chernove wins <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Bronze?src=hash">#Bronze</a> in the 1,000m time trial (C1-3), becomes 1st double medallist for CAN at <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Rio2016?src=hash">#Rio2016</a> <a href="https://t.co/FXi42u3UQC">https://t.co/FXi42u3UQC</a>—@CBCOlympics
Stefan Daniel medals in inaugural para-triathlon
Calgary's Stefan Daniel claimed silver in the debut of men's triathlon PT4. The 19-year-old Paralympic debutante came in at 1:03:05.
Daniel was just 28 seconds off the gold-medal pace set by Germany's Martin Schulz. Spain's Jairo Ruiz Lopez earned bronze.
Huot left wanting, 3 Canadians finish 4th
Benoit Huot will have to wait to claim his 20th Paralympic medal. The Canadian veteran finished fifth in the 100 backstroke S10 on Saturday. Teammate Alec Elliot finished seventh.
Aurelie Rivard was the third Canadian to finish in fourth place Saturday evening. Rivard, who won Canada's first gold medal on Friday, missed the podium by less than a quarter of a second in the women's 100 backstroke S10 final.
🇨🇦 Aurelie Rivard misses podium by .23 seconds in 100 backstroke S-10 final <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Rio2016?src=hash">#Rio2016</a> <a href="https://t.co/3z5nepaVkP">https://t.co/3z5nepaVkP</a> <a href="https://t.co/TcecFMtZfP">https://t.co/TcecFMtZfP</a>—@CBCOlympics
Earlier, swimmer Tess Routliffe missed the podium by less than half of a second in the women's 100 breaststroke SB7. The 17-year-old from Caledon, Ont., finished fourth with a time of 1:35.09.
CAN Tess Routliffe finishes 4th in the women's breaststroke-SB7 final <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Swimming?src=hash">#Swimming</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Rio2016?src=hash">#Rio2016</a> <a href="https://t.co/3z5nepaVkP">https://t.co/3z5nepaVkP</a> <a href="https://t.co/doYXVhHFr1">https://t.co/doYXVhHFr1</a>—@CBCOlympics
On the track, Mitchell Chase ran a season-best 4:28.44 to finish fourth in the 1500 T38 final. Despite missing the podium, the 19-year-old from Pickering, Ont., had a memorable introduction.
🇨🇦 Mitchell Chase is ready to go! Are you? <a href="https://t.co/HLoa61CF6B">https://t.co/HLoa61CF6B</a> <a href="https://t.co/rGxagyMWnw">https://t.co/rGxagyMWnw</a>—@CBCOlympics
"I like his attitude, I like the way he's looking at things," Athletics Canada head coach Peter Eriksson said.
"Even if he's not on the podium this time, he will be on the podium next."
Riding on the momentum of his season-best performance, Chase says he has a closer target in mind than the 2020 Tokyo Games — the 2017 world championships in London.
"I'm always going try to be the best that I can be," Chase said after his race. "I think in a years' time in London, I'm going to be on the podium competing with the top three boys."
Women's basketball perfect, men's team winless
The Canadian women's wheelchair basketball team moved to 2-0 with a 73-28 win over Argentina this morning.
Today's women's wheelchair basketball win wasn't Darda Sales' first taste of international success in Rio de Janeiro, but it's the first time it has happened here on hardwood. Nine years ago, Sales was in Rio at the Parapan Am Games winning two gold and three silver medals in swimming.
Like several of her teammates, Sales found success at high levels in other sports before gravitating towards the women's national wheelchair basketball team.
"The biggest thing that I have had to learn is how to realize that I don't control everything and I can't control everything," said Sales. "I actually think that's helped me as a person. It's OK to not be in control, take a deep breath, and let others have a role for a time."
The women will continue preliminary play against Germany on Sunday at 9 a.m. ET.
On the men's side, things are trending in the opposite direction as Canada dropped to 0-3 on the tournament.
The horn sounds! AUS tops CAN 78-53 in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WheelchairBasketball?src=hash">#WheelchairBasketball</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Rio2016?src=hash">#Rio2016</a> <a href="https://t.co/k5Wu8B2eGJ">https://t.co/k5Wu8B2eGJ</a> <a href="https://t.co/R0qtOIQroj">https://t.co/R0qtOIQroj</a>—@CBCOlympics
Canadian rowers to battle for podium
Canada's LTA mixed coxed four team took care of business on Saturday, placing first in their repechage and earning a spot in Sunday's final.
The crew is now looking to win Canada's first ever Paralympic medal in the sport.
Like their Olympic counterparts, the five team members centralized and have spent much of the last year working together at Rowing Canada's high performance centre at Elk Lake in Victoria, B.C. — a first for Canada's para-rowing program.
"It's huge, I think that's what's made the difference. In the two Paralympics before, we were sixth and seventh, and now we're looking at pushing for a medal," said Victoria Nolan.
With files from Braydon Holmyard, Keegan Matheson and Wendy-Ann Clarke