OTTAWA – Canadian Para cyclists collected six medals, Para runner Nathan Riech set a world record and Canada earned more gold in Para swimming and wheelchair tennis in a productive weekend.
At the season opening Para cycling road World Cup in Corridonia, Italy, world champion Shelley Gautier of Toronto added a road race win to her time trial victory in the women’s T1 category, while Tristen Chernove of Cranbrook, BC, won the men’s C2 road race. Canada finished the four-day event with six medals – three gold, two silver and one bronze.
“I am super happy with the performances of all the Canadians,” said Sebastien Travers, Para head coach at Cycling Canada. “From the high-performance team, to the NextGen riders, to athletes riding as independents, everyone was able to get points for Canada for the Paralympic qualification process. This meets our expectations and goals for this World Cup.”
Other Canadian medals were silvers earned by Chernove in the individual time trial and Charles Moreau of Victoriaville in the men’s handcycle time trial, while Kara Douville of Calgary took bronze in the women’s handcycle time trial.
For the second week in a row in Para athletics, runner Nathan Riech of Victoria broke a world record, this time in the men’s 800-metre at the Oxy Invitational in California. Riech clocked one minute and 56.18 seconds in the T38 class to eclipse his previous world mark of 1:57.78 set last year.
Last week, he lowered his 1500-m world record, clocking 3:57.84 to better his 3:57.92 mark also set in 2018.
‘’Happy to sneak under the T-38 WR last night,’’ he tweeted. ‘’Now it’s time to put in a solid training block and get ready for races in June and July.’’
Rob Shaw of North Bay, Ont. won the inaugural Israel Open as he defeated Shraga Weinberg of the host nation in the quad final 6-2, 6-1. Shaw also didn’t lose a game in his two earlier victories in the tournament.
It was his second tournament victory this year and third final.
Shaw, ranked No. 13 in the world, also reached the doubles final with Mitch McIntyre of Regina but they lost to Weinberg and Nam Gershony of Israel 6-3, 6-3.
At the Para swimming World Cup in Singapore, Tess Routliffe of Caledon, Ont. was the winner in the women’s multiclass 50-m butterfly clocking 37.69 seconds which was worth 854 points. Routliffe, who is tuning up for the world championships in September, was Canada’s sole medallist at the event.
“I was really happy with my race,” said the Paralympic medallist from the High Performance Centre – Quebec. “We learned from the mistakes we made in the morning and I came back and swam a lot better. I’m really happy with that.”
A total of 172 athletes from 26 countries competed at the Singapore event.
“We had some good competitors in Singapore. It’s been a great meet and it’s been a lot of fun,” Routliffe said. “We had USA, New Zealand and all those guys here, it was really fun to compete on the international stage here, see some people I’m friends with and just overall get a look at where we are.”
The next stop on the circuit is May 30 to June 2 in Italy.