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Canadian Trail: Wheelchair rugby team wins gold at Parapan Ams

Canada's wheelchair rugby team defeated the U.S. in the gold-medal game at the Parapan Am Games on Friday night. The victory clinched Canada's spot in next summer's Rio Paralympics.

Host nation solidifies berth at Rio Paralympics

Canada wins gold medal after defeating the United States 57-54 in wheelchair rugby final. 3:42

Zak Madell scored 34 goals to lift Canada to a thrilling 57-54 gold-medal victory at the Parapan American Games on Friday.

The 21-year-old from Okotoks, Alta., was virtually unstoppable with his strength and speed, and when he forced an American turnover with about 30 seconds to play, the jam-packed crowd at the Hershey Centre rose to its feet in a noisy standing ovation.

The victory clinched Canada's spot in next summer's Rio Paralympics.

Rivard delivers on high expectations

Quebec's Aurelie Rivard was considered a favourite heading into the 2015 Parapan Am Games and she has delivered on those expectations as well as the goal she set for herself. 

On the heels of winning two gold and two silver at the world championships, Rivard had one thing in mind for these Games. 

"As much gold as possible," she said, prior to her first event. "It's going to be tough, I'm going to have to work hard, but I think it's quite achievable."

The 19 year old went out and made it happen. Seven events. Seven medals. Six gold.

Rivard swam a world record breaking time in the S10 100-meter freestyle to win a record sixth gold medal Friday night as Canada's Para-swimming team wrapped up its most successful Parapan American Games ever.

"It don't know where that came from," said a shocked Rivard after seeing her time of 59.17 seconds.

Setting a world record was something Rivard imagined at next year's Paralympic Games in Rio de Janerio, not in her seventh swim in six days at the Parapan Am Games.

"That was one of my long-term goals . . . but not at Parapans and especially on the last day," said the 19-year-old from St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., who was born missing her left hand.

"I'm tired, really tired. Physically it's been a tough summer. I still can't believe it. I was dying in the last few meters. I was trying to kick but my legs felt so heavy. When I touched the wall it took me a couple of seconds to realize it."

The six individual gold medals are the most by any Canadian woman in individual events at a single Parapan Am Games.

"I'm just so glad to do it at home," said Rivard, who also won a silver. "I'm just super excited about it. All the effort I spent is really worth it."

Impressive haul for Turbide

Nicolas Turbide of Quebec City, added another medal to his name by winning the 100m butterfly S13. The 18 year old leaves the Games with three gold and three silver.

The winning ways didn't stop there for Canada on Friday.

Tess Routliffe and Sarah Mehain finished 1-2 again as Canadian swimmers continued to pile up medals.

Routliffe wins 4th gold

The 16-year-old Routliffe and Mehain, 20, also won gold and silver, respectively, in both the 100m and 50m freestyle events in their division earlier in the games.

Routliffe, from Caldeon, Ont., won her division's 100m breaststroke event and placed second in the 200m individual medley, giving her four gold medals and a silver in Toronto.

"It was a good way to finish it off," Routliffe said of Friday's win. "It feels good to be able to finish the meet strong."

​Quebec's Justine Morrier and Kirstie Kaska of Alberta also came through with a 1-2 finish, earning gold and silver respectively in the 200m IM SM14.

Dupont continues to shine

Alex Dupont won his third gold medal in athletics, this time in the 1500m T54. He was followed by fellow Quebec native Josh Cassidy. 

Gold again for Lakatos

To top things off, Brent Lakatos of Dorval, Que., added a third gold medal from these Games to his collection by winning the 400m T53 in record time.

With files from the Canadian Press and Swimming Canada

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