Sept. 14, 2016 – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - With a fifth place finish in her section of the women’s T54 wheelchair 5000-metres, Diane Roy has advanced to Thursday’s final. After crossing the finish line in 11:58.04 Roy explained, “The race went well. It was very strategic. We as a group agreed that we would keep a constant pace. But with three laps to go, the rhythm increase and I chose to let them go as I felt my body was not completely ready to push after the 1500-metres yesterday. I knew that my time would be good enough to get me into the final.”
Brent Lakatos of Dorval, Que., and Jean-Philippe Maranda from Sherbrooke, Que., both took part in the T53 800-metre heats on Wednesday morning. Lakatos used a late charge over the final lap to secure his spot to the final in 1:43.37. Lakatos explained, ”It was a good race and my objective was achieved. The other heat went fast but I knew that nobody would try to push it too much and take the lead. I stayed with the pack and when it was time, I moved in front."
Maranda’s placing of eight in his section and time of 1:44.98 were not enough to advance to the final round. "I feel relieved that my individual races are over. I just need to focus on the relay. During the race, I had a small hesitation whether to follow the Thai racer and it cost me. I will learn from it and be better in the future,” said Maranda.
It was a tough night for a couple first time Canadian Paralympians as Austin Smeenk Oakville, Ont., and Marissa Papaconstantinou of Tortonto, Ont., were each disqualified due to a lane violations. Smeenk was participating inT34 800-metre final and Marissa Papaconstantinou after initially finishing 3rd in her section of the women’s T44 ambulatory 200-metre dash. Smeenk explained, “I feel a little let down but also fortunate after my first Paralympic Games. I am looking forward to next year’s World Championships in August.”
Josh Cassidy of Guelph, Ont., and Alex Dupont of Clarenceville, Que., were both unsuccessful in their bids to qualify for the men’s T54 wheelchair 800-metre final. Dupont finished 7th in his section (1:40.37), while Cassidy was 8th (1:39.86).
Day 8 preview
Times listed in Eastern Time
After finishing 9th in the 1500-metres, 2015 IPC 5000-metre champion Guillaume Ouellet of Victoriaville, Que., will look to challenge for a podium spot in the 5000-metre T13 final at 9:00 a.m.
Diane Roy competes in the women’s T54 wheelchair 5000-metre final at 4:30 p.m.
As mentioned above, Brent Lakatos will go for medal number three tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. in the men’s T53 Wheelchair 800-metre final.
For more information, a complete schedule of events and more visit Athletics Canada’s Paralympic Games Hub page.