TOKYO – Canada added two silver medals on the second day of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games on Thursday, increasing the nation’s total to four overall, while also earning a big win in women’s goalball preliminary action.
MEDALS WON ON AUGUST 26
SILVER – Tristen Chernove, Para Track Cycling, Men’s C1 3000m Individual Pursuit
SILVER – Nicolas-Guy Turbide, Para Swimming, Men’s 100m backstroke S13
OVERALL MEDAL TOTAL
• Para cyclist Tristen Chernove (Cranbrook, BC) captured Canada’s first silver medal of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, finishing second in the men’s C1 3000m individual pursuit in the afternoon. He qualified for the gold medal race with a second-best time of 3:40.591, but RPC’s Mikhail Astashov was the clear champion in the final, overtaking Chernove after having set a new world record in qualifying. This is Chernove’s second silver medal in the track individual pursuit, having earned the same podium position at Rio 2016 in the C2 classification. He now has four Paralympic medals to his name (one gold, two silver, and one bronze).
“I was super thrilled to make it into the final,” Chernove said. “The final was not so great, obviously no one ever wants to get caught, I knew [Astashov] would go out fast, and I tried to start fast, but I probably started too fast.”
• Nicolas-Guy Turbide (Quebec City, QC) won a silver medal in the men’s 100m backstroke S13 – matching his performance from the 2019 world championships and upgrading his bronze from this event at Rio 2016. Fourth at the turn, Turbide came on strong in the back 50m to finish second behind Belarusian Ihar Boki, who broke his own world record in claiming gold.
“I feel pretty emotional tonight actually, it's not my usual self, but I had a year and a half filled with injuries that actually made me doubt that I would come here today at these Games,” said Turbide. “Going back home with a medal is the best result that I could have hoped for, and it shows that being resilient during the year and believing in myself made the difference tonight.”
Other results saw Katarina Roxon (Kippens, NL) just missing out on a podium in the women’s 100m breaststroke SB8, finishing in fourth. She had been the defending Paralympic champion in the event. James Leroux (Repentigny, QC) was sixth in the men’s 100m breaststroke SB9 while 19-year-old Matthew Cabraja (Brampton, ON) posted a seventh-place result in the men’s 400m freestyle S11 in his first ever Paralympic final.
“It went really well, I’m really happy with how consistent it was compared to the morning,” said Cabraja. “I’m happy to be under five [minutes] again, I’m honestly really proud of that race.”
• With a stellar 6-2 triumph over Israel, Canada is officially on the board in women’s goalball. The team now has a 1-1 record with two games remaining in the group stage. Emma Reinke (St. Thomas, ON), who is competing at her first Games, scored four goals for Canada. She, Maryam Salehizadeh (Vancouver, BC) and Meghan Mahon (Timmins, ON) played all 24 minutes for Canada.
“That felt amazing. It was a huge confidence boost, and I couldn’t be happier. We showed we have all the tools to succeed,” said Reinke.
• Taking on the reigning Paralympic silver medallists Spain, the Canadian men’s wheelchair basketball team dropped a 78-41 decision to open its Tokyo 2020 tournament. Shooting 27 per cent from the field, the Canadians were unable to gain any traction against their formidable opponents. Nik Goncin (Regina, SK) led scoring for Canada with 15 points, while Patrick Anderson (Fergus, ON) and Colin Higgins (Rothesay, NB) each added eight points.
“I thought the last two years we made the best of it, but not being able to play together for two years against international competition is tough,” said Higgins. “Not making any excuses. It's a short and long tournament. It's good that we got this game out of the way, and we’ve got another game tomorrow to look forward to. The guys are chomping at the bit. They got a little taste. They’re looking forward to tomorrow, for sure.”
• In wheelchair rugby, Canada faced a familiar foe in the United States but lost another close battle 58-54 to fall 0-2 in the group stage with one game remaining. Canada was up 28-27 at halftime, but USA (who won silver at Rio 2016) came out strong in the third quarter and ultimately grabbed a lead they would keep till time ran out. Zak Madell (Okotoks, AB) was an offensive force for Canada with a game-leading 31 tries.
“They [USA] are a big, strong team. You know they are always going to compete hard; they are one of the favourites going in, you know you’re in for a battle every time you play against them,” said assistant coach Dave Willsie following the game. “We matched up well, I don’t remember a team creating that many turnovers against them. If we just took care of the ball a little better, I think the outcome would have been different.”
• In wheelchair fencing, it was the epee competition on Thursday. Canadians Pierre Mainville (St-Colomban, QC) and Ryan Rousell (Saskatoon, SK) did not advance out of pool play in their respective events. For Mainville, it was his last Paralympic competition, as he says this will be his final Games. Tokyo 2020 is his fourth Paralympic appearance.
“Today the matches were all hard, I had a problem with my strength, my hand, and I couldn’t do my game,” said Mainville. “This is my last Paralympic Games so it’s kind of nostalgic. Usually my family comes to the Paralympics and now they couldn’t because of COVID so I had a lot of emotion about that, this being my last Games.”
CLICK HERE for the complete Canadian Paralympic Team results on August 26.