Best day yet for Canada with three medals at World Para Athletics Championships

Canadian Paralympic Committee

July 13, 2023

Team surpasses medal total from last worlds in 2019, equals Tokyo haul

Austin Smeenk

PARIS – Austin Smeenk of Mississauga, Ont. and Zachary Gingras of Markham, Ont. each took a silver medal and Marissa Papaconstantinou of Toronto added a bronze on Thursday at the 2023 World Para Athletics Championships.

With the three medals, Canada now has four silver and four bronze and surpasses its medal total from the last worlds in 2019 and equals its amount from the Tokyo Paralympics in 2021. There are still four days of competition remaining.

Smeenk collected his second medal this week finishing second in the men’s T34 100m wheelchair race. Chaiwat Rattana of Thailand was the victor in 15.01 followed by Smeenk in 15.10 who nipped Ktila Walid of Tunisia at the finish as he ranked third at 15.11.

‘’The race felt fantastic,’’ said Smeenk, 26, who earned third in the 400m earlier this week. ‘’I got off the line with pure response, nothing but instinct, trusted the training and just executed it.’’

Gingras improved on his bronze medal result at the last Paralympic Games moving up a spot with a personal best 50.23 in the men’s T38 400m. Jaydin Blackwell of the U.S. took the gold in a world record 48.49 followed Gingras while Ali Al-Rikabi of Iraq was third in 50.61.

‘’As everyone knows the 400 is a rough race regardless, but when it has an outcome like this it tends to be fun,’’ said the 21-year-old athlete.

Blade runner Papaconstantinou repeated her exploits from Tokyo with the bronze in the women’s T64 100m with a personal best 12.95. Fleur Jong of the Netherlands was first in 12.47 and Sara Andres Barrio of Spain second in 12.83.

‘’It feels good to come back a couple of years later from Tokyo and have a similar finish,’’ said Papaconstantinou, 23. ‘’This time I was at the front of the race which was new for me so it felt good to get out really quick. I felt, calm, relaxed and was having a lot of fun.’’

Anthony Bouchard of Quebec City was eighth in the men’s T52 400m final.

Four other Canadians advanced to finals.

For the men, Brent Lakatos of Dorval, Que. was third in his heat in the T54 1500m, David Johnson of Victoria was second in his heat in the T12 400m, and Thomas Normandeau of Peace River, Alta. was fourth in his heat in the T47 400m.

For the women, Amanda Rummery of Sherwood Park, Alta. was third in her heat and third overall with a season’s best 53.97 in her T47 400m.

The event continues in Paris through July 17. CBC Sports is streaming the event on, CBC Gem and the CBC Sports app for mobile devices. The schedule is available here:

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