Silvers from Kate O’Brien and Priscilla Gagné bring Canada’s medal total to six at Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games

Canadian Paralympic Committee

August 27, 2021

Opening Ceremony flag bearer Priscilla Gagné a silver medallist in Para judo


TOKYO – Canada has won two medals for the third consecutive day at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, bringing the nation’s total to six following the conclusion of competition on Friday August 27. 

SILVER – Kate O’Brien, Para Track Cycling, Women’s C4-5 500m Time Trial 
SILVER – Priscilla Gagné, Para Judo, Women’s 52kg 

Gold: 0
Silver: 4 
Bronze: 2 
Total: 6


•    Para cyclist Kate O’Brien (Calgary, AB) clinched a silver medal in the women’s C4-5 500m time trial, finishing in second behind defending Paralympic champion Kadeena Cox, who broke O’Brien’s world record from 2020 en route to the gold. The reigning world champion in this event, O’Brien was making her debut Paralympic appearance. She formerly competed in track cycling at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Canada concludes the track portion of Para cycling in Tokyo with three medals, one per day of competition – O’Brien’s silver, another silver courtesy of Tristen Chernove (Cranbrook, BC) and a bronze from Keely Shaw (Midale, SK). Road cycling commences on August 31.

“The race today was definitely harder than I anticipated, I felt like the start was pretty good and then the last half lap I just didn’t quite have it in me,” said O’Brien. “But that’s okay, and it’s kind of the first time in my sporting career that I’ve realized my best was that today, and it wasn’t the gold medal winning best but that’s okay because I did what I could today. It’s actually an amazing feeling being here with everyone and coming back after my injury four years ago.”  

•    Canada’s Opening Ceremony flag bearer Priscilla Gagné (Sarnia, ON) is going home with a silver medal. With victories in the quarterfinals and semifinals earlier in the day, she faced off against Algeria’s Cherine Abdellaoui for gold, with her opponent taking the bout by ippon. This is the first Paralympic medal for Gagné, who improves from a fifth-place at Rio 2016, and the first for a Canadian woman in the sport of Para judo. 

“It’s very rewarding to win this medal. There’s been a lot of hard work over the last five years; especially the last year and a half has been crazy,” said Gagné. 

“I thought of so many people once the competition was over. All the Senseis over the years, my family, of course my coach Andrzej Sadej. It’s wonderful to know my 85-year-old grandmother will be able to see this.”

•    In Para swimming, Danielle Dorris (Moncton, NB) and Camille Bérubé (Gatineau, QC) finished fourth and fifth in the women’s 200m individual medley SM7 final. Dorris, who was in second position heading into the final 50m, just missed out on the podium as she was out-touched at the wall by five-hundredths of a second for third place. For Bérubé, it was a landmark first final in her third Paralympic Games; it was also Dorris’ first in her second Games. 

“I really enjoyed that, it was a lot better than the morning, I swam it a lot better, which was my plan, so I’m very happy with it,” said Dorris. 

“It was a really good race; I had a lot of fun,” said Bérubé. “It’s the fastest time that I’ve gone in probably five years and a best time in this sport class, so I’m definitely thrilled with that and it’s a great start to the rest of the week.” 

Seventeen-year-old Nicholas Bennett (Parksville, BC) qualified for his maiden Paralympic final in the men’s 200m freestyle S14 and finished sixth, setting a new Canadian record of 1:56.52. Fellow final first-timer Angela Marina also earned a sixth-place result in the women’s 200m freestyle S14. Matthew Cabraja (Brampton, ON) did not advance to the final in the men’s 50m freestyle S11. 

•    The first day of Para athletics competition saw seven-time Paralympic medallist Brent Lakatos (Dorval, QC) take to the track for his opening event of Tokyo 2020. He qualified for the men’s T54 5000m final, finishing second in his heat with a time of 10:15.15. The final will take place on Saturday. 

In the field events on Friday, Charlotte Bolton (Tillsonburg, ON) finished sixth in her Paralympic debut in the women’s F41 shot put. Fellow Paralympic debutant thrower Sarah Mickey (Redcliff, AB) also finished sixth, in the women’s F55 discus. 

“Overall, it went well,” said Bolton, age 18. “I was a little nervous at the beginning, but I’m glad I was able to pull it together. Now that I’ve shaken the nerves out, I’m going to go back, do some disc training and hopefully pop out some new personal bests. The Paralympics are very big. It’s a little overwhelming. There are lots of people and lots of staff doing a good job of keeping us all on track.”

•    Canada’s Para rowers will all next race in the repechage following the results of Friday’s races. In their first-ever Paralympic event, Jessye Brockway (Mill Bay, BC) and Jeremy Hall (St. Paul, AB) finished sixth in their mixed double sculls heat. In the mixed coxed four, Kyle Fredrickson (Duncan, BC), Bayleigh Hooper (Chatsworth, ON), Victoria Nolan (Toronto, ON), Andrew Todd (Dartmouth, NS) and coxswain Laura Court (St. Catharines, ON) were fourth in their heat.   

•    Canada picked up a dominant victory in women’s wheelchair basketball, defeating Japan 61-35. The Canadians led the game from start to finish. Kady Dandeneau (Pender Island, BC) was again the high scorer for Canada with 19 points, with Arinn Young (Legal, AB) and Cindy Ouellet (Quebec City, QC) were also in double digits, pitching in 13 and 10 points each. The Canadian women are now 2-0 in group play. 

Canada’s men’s team lost an incredibly close thriller 77-73 to Turkey after pushing the game into overtime. Trailing five with just under a minute left in regulation, Nik Goncin (Regina, SK) made a huge three-pointer to keep Canada in it before hitting the game-tying bucket with 6.1 seconds left. Ultimately, Turkey just pulled out the win, dropping Canada’s round-robin record to 0-2. Goncin was a star for Canada with a triple double (33 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists) while Patrick Anderson (Fergus, ON) controlled the boards with 22 rebounds, along with 24 points and nine assists. 

“We take a bitter taste in our mouths away from it – missed opportunity. On the other hand, we had some inspiring stretches,” said Anderson. “We played some pretty consistent, disciplined defense throughout the game – which is probably the most important thing going forward. Nik [Goncin] showed what a gamer he is – those are all positives.”  

•    Canada’s women’s sitting volleyball team’s opener against Brazil was as close as it could be, as the marathon match went deep into a fifth set – but Canada ultimately came out on the losing end 3-2. It was the team’s first of three preliminary matches. 

•    Canada’s wheelchair rugby team notched its first triumph of Tokyo 2020 to close out the round-robin, taking down New Zealand 51-36. With a 1-2 record, Canada’s best potential finish now is fifth place, with the 5-6 classification match taking place on Saturday.  

•    In Para equestrian, Winona Hartvikson (Langley, BC) and Onyx finished ninth in the Grade I individual test, just missing out by one spot qualifying for the individual freestyle test taking place in a few days. In the same event, Jody Schloss (Toronto) and Lieutenant Lobin were 11th. 

In the Grade III event, Beijing 2008 gold medallist Lauren Barwick (Aldergrove, BC) and her horse Sandrino posted a ninth-place finish as well while Roberta Sheffield (Lincolnshire, England) and Fairuza ended up in 12th.   

•    Para archery’s Karen Van Nest (Wiarton, ON), in her sixth Paralympic Games, was 11th in the women’s compound open ranking round which qualifies her for the round of 16 eliminations on August 29. 

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