Canada's women's sitting volleyball places 4th after hard-fought battle with Brazil
Canada's Riech sets Paralympic record, wins men's 1,500-metre race by wide margin
The Canadian women's sitting volleyball team has placed fourth in its tournament after a hard-fought battle against Brazil in the bronze medal match at the Tokyo Paralympic Games.
Brazil — the Rio 2016 bronze medallists — defeated Canada 3-1 (25-15, 24-26, 26-24, 25-14) to reach the podium once again in Tokyo.
The Canadian women improved their result from Rio 2016, where the team made its Paralympic debut and finished seventh.
Brazil, ranked No. 3, had an aggressive first and took the win by 10 points. But the fifth-ranked Canadians were fighters in the second and pushed for the win with an ace from Jennifer Oakes, even as Brazil tried to stage a comeback.
WATCH | What you missed on Day 11 in Tokyo:
Despite Canada having a seven-point lead in the third, the Brazilians managed to bounce back and claim the set. And though the Canadians made moves toward the end of the fourth, Brazil had a steady lead and captured it for the victory.
Brazil and Canada had met earlier in group play, a five set epic that saw the Brazilians take the win. The Canadian women were the country's last team to finish up its tournament in Tokyo.
Heidi Peters, the highest scorer across the women's tournament, had a 14-point game. Katelyn Wright, team captain Danielle Ellis, and Oakes all reached double-digits as well, marking 13, 12, and 11-point games, respectively.
China — who beat Canada in the semifinals — will take on the United States in a fight for gold for a fourth consecutive time. The United States are playing as the defending champions.
WATCH | Canada loses to Brazil in bronze medal match of sitting volleyball:
Riech sets Paralympic record, wins 1,500m gold
Nate Riech of Victoria, B.C., raced to a Paralympic record time of three minutes 58.02 seconds en route to Canada's fifth gold medal of the Tokyo Games in the men's T38 1,500-metre final.
The 26-year-old won by a landslide in what was his debut Games, capping a successful buildup after winning both the IPC World Championships and the Parapan American Games in record time in 2019.
WATCH | Nate Riech sets Paralympic record, runs to T38 1,500m gold:
Riech also improved upon his own world record time in the 1,500-metre discipline in May at a meet in Azusa, Calif.
Fellow Victoria native Liam Stanley — a T37 athlete — finished fifth in the race, setting a new Paralympic record for his classification in the distance.
Read more about Riech's win and results in the men's T38 1,500-metre final here.
Meanwhile, Canada's Renee Foessel placed fourth in the women's F38 discus throw. Foessel, of Orangeville, Ont., entered as the reigning T38 world record holder, but her throw of 32.23 metres was short of getting her on the podium.
China's Mi Na took gold with a throw of 38.50 metres — a T37 world record.
Canadian Jenn Brown, of Calgary, Alta., was also competing in the event and placed in eighth with a mark of 27.57 metres.
Thomas Normandeau of Peace River, Alta., wrapped up Canada's athletics campaign on Day 11, racing to a sixth-place finish in the men's T47 400-metres with a time of 50.02 seconds.
Austin Smeenk rolls to 5th on Tokyo track
Canada's Austin Smeenk secured a career-best Paralympic finish on Saturday in Japan.
Smeenk placed fifth in the men's T34 800 metres with a time of one minute 47.58 seconds on a misty morning at Tokyo's Olympic Stadium.
Smeenk previously placed seventh in the T34 100m. In his Paralympic debut in 2016, the Oakville, Ont., native placed sixth in the 100m and eighth in the 800m.
Starting in Lane 8, the 24-year-old Smeenk held steady in second place for much of the first 400 metres. But as the wheelchair racers reached the bell lap, the eventual medallists made their moves, leaving Smeenk in their wake.
Tunisia's Walid Ktila won gold at 1:45.50, while Mohamed Alhammadi of the United Arab Erimates took silver (1:45.59) and China's Wang Yang earned bronze (1:45.68).
The T34 category is for athletes whose lower-body movement is impacted to a high degree, with their arms and trunk less affected.
Canadian canoe trio competes in finals
Three Canadians competed in canoe sprint finals at the Sea Forest Waterway in Tokyo on Saturday. None made the podium.
Mathieu St-Pierre of Shawinigan, Que., claimed the highest placement, finishing fifth in the men's Va'a single 200-metre race at 56.029 seconds.
St-Pierre, 33, was competing in his first Paralympics.
Meanwhile, two Canadian women placed last in their respective races.
Brianna Hennessy completed her KL1 race in 58.233 seconds, while Andrea Nelson posted a time of 56.637 seconds in the KL2 race.
While St-Pierre was in a single-person canoe, Hennessy and Nelson raced in kayaks.
Canadian shooting athletes compete
Canadians Doug Blessin and Lyne Tremblay competed at the Asaka Shooting Range in the R9 mixed 50-metre rifle Prone SH2 qualifying round on Saturday.
Blessin, of Port Coquitlam, B.C., had a total score of 610.3 to place 28th in the qualifier. Tremblay, of Magog, Que., was right behind him in 29th with 586.8.
Only the top eight moved on to the finals.
WATCH | What you missed on Day 10 in Tokyo:
With files from Myles Dichter, Christine Rankin, Dion Caputi