Bianca Borgella and Guillaume Ouellet win Canada’s first medals at 2023 World Para Athletics Championships

Canadian Paralympic Committee

July 10, 2023

Both visually impaired runners collect bronze

Borgella worlds

PARIS – Newcomer Bianca Borgella of Ottawa and veteran Guillaume Ouellet of Victoriaville, Que., each won a bronze medal on Monday at the 2023 World Para Athletics Championships. They are Canada’s first podiums of the competition.

The women’s T13 100m final for the visually impaired was a photo finish with Lamiya Valiyeva of Azerbaijan awarded the gold ahead of Adiaratou Iglesias of Spain. Both clocked 11.99 seconds. After review, it was determined that Valiyeva took the title by 0.001 seconds.  

Borgella, in her world championships debut, took third in 12.16. The 20-year-old Canadian went a personal best and Canadian record 12.03 in Sunday’s heats.

‘’It wasn’t the time I was expecting but I’ll take into consideration that it’s my first worlds,’’ said Borgella, who’ll race the 200m later this week. ‘’I was happy to experience it. I shouldn’t be too hard on myself. All I can do is my best on that day, and the next day be stronger, keep training and work harder and one day bring back the gold in the 100.’’

Earlier Monday, Ouellet won his third career world championships medal finishing third in the men’s T13 5000m. The 36-year-old visually impaired runner won gold in 2015 and was third in 2017.

Yassine El Ataby Ouhdady of Spain took the gold clocking 15:16.97 seconds. Jaryd Clifford of Australia was second in 15:18.23, and Ouellet followed in 15:22.85 as he battled from fourth spot on the last stretch.

”The first two laps were pretty normal, then it slowed down a lot,” said Ouellet. ”It was more tactical than I expected. In the last lap I fought for my position, I knew there was a medal on the inside in the last 200 and I fought as I hard as I can to catch the Kenyan in third place.

”I’m really happy about the plan and happy with the result.”

Sheriuana Haase posted a personal best and Canadian record 12.47 for second in her heat to advance to the women’s T47 100m final set for Tuesday. It was the fifth best time overall.

Austin Smeenk of Mississauga, Ont., was also second in his heat in the men’s T34 400m clocking 49.68 to advance to Tuesday’s final. That was third best overall.

Nathalie Thirsk of Edmonton did not advance in the women’s T38 100m heats.

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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