A week to remember for Canadian Paralympic sport

Canadian Paralympic Committee

September 17, 2018

Two world championship titles and wheelchair marathon victory



OTTAWA – For Stefan Daniel, he regained a love of his sport. For Andrew Todd and Kyle Fredrickson it consolidated a partnership. For Brent Lakatos it solidified a major decision made in 2017. 

It was a memorable week for these Canadian Para athletes – world titles for Daniel, Todd and Fredrickson, and a marathon victory for Lakatos – perhaps a turning point in their preparations for the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

In 2017, Lakatos rewrote the record book on the track in the T53 category with world records in the 100m, 200m, 800m and 1500m that are still standing at the end of 2018. However the idea to race marathons was already brewing.

On Sunday, he won the men’s wheelchair race at the Berlin Marathon beating Paralympic and defending champion Marcel Hug of Switzerland in the process. It was his first marathon win.

‘’I was preparing all season for the marathon, because it takes a lot of commitment and time to get to the top level,’’ said Lakatos, 38, from Dorval, Que. ‘’I targeted Berlin 2018, because I thought that if I gave myself 1.5 seasons I would have a good indicator of if I could do well in the marathon.’’

Now, it appears the marathon could be on his Tokyo 2020 Paralympics schedule.

‘’The result yesterday was a surprise for lots of people, myself very much included. But the good result means that the decision is made and I will continue training for the marathon, with the goal being 2020.”

Daniel questioned his love for the sport

At the 2018 World Triathlon Grand Final (the world championships for triathlon) in Gold Coast, Australia, Daniel successfully defended his world title in the PTS5 category. But heading into the event, the 21-year-old Calgarian had struggled this season and was losing his confidence.

Stefan daniel

“This title is a bit more special than the others,” said Daniel, 21, born with bilateral radial club hands. “I have faced quite a bit this year and haven’t raced well until now so it is a big relief more than anything. I didn’t really expect it today.’’

Mid-season, Daniel received some strong advice. 

‘’In mid-July I sat down with my coaches and my parents and I just tried to find the love of the sport again,’’ he said. “I had been struggling, so I have just taken every day and enjoyed it and putting less pressure on myself going into races has made a big difference.”

Frenette finishes despite broken arm

There was another great Canadian story Down Under in the women’s standing race. Kamylle Frenette of Dieppe, N.B., finished fourth in her world championship debut despite breaking her arm when she crashed in the bicycle portion of the race.

When she crashed she still had 15 kilometres remaining the cycling portion plus the five-kilometre run.

‘’I got up right away and took off,’’ she told Radio-Canada. ‘’I didn’t have time to think about it or stop. It hurt but I never thought it was broken. It’s only when I crossed the finish line that I realized there’s something really wrong with my arm.’’

Para rowers reach new heights

Over in Plovdid, Bulgaria at the world rowing championships, Todd and Fredrickson took the world title in the men’s PR3 pairs Para rowing event and Jeremy Hall of Edmonton added a silver in PR2 singles.

“It’s awesome to win this gold medal,’’ said Fredrickson. ‘’It’s really meaningful to be able to learn from Andrew’s rowing experience. I think that’s helped a lot. We both started our rowing careers at a similar age and we definitely work well together in the boat.” 

Todd and Fredrickson were also fourth with Victoria Nolan of Toronto, Bayleigh Hooper of Peterborough, Ont., and coxswain Laura Court of St. Catharines, Ont., in the PR3 mixed coxed four and Tracy Van Asseldonk of Delta, B.C., was sixth in the PR1 women’s single repechage.

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