Friday, June 14, 2024

Paralympics: bitter bronze medal for Aurelie Rivard

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Virginia Whitehead
Virginia Whitehead
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Paralympic swimmer Aurelie Rivard (S10) climbed to the Paralympic podium for the sixth time in her career on Wednesday, after finishing third in the 50m freestyle final. A bronze medal she didn’t necessarily want to add to her collection.

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The Paralympic champion in the event, Quebec, scored the second fastest time in qualifying, behind Anastasia Gontar, of the Russian Paralympic Committee.

Rivard did not deliver a performance that lived up to his expectations in the Grand Final that was played a few hours later.

The chronometer stopped at 28.11 seconds. Once again, Anastasiia Gontar was the fastest, clocking in at 27.38 seconds, 0.01 seconds faster than the world record set by Rivard. And the Dutch Chantal Zederfeld (+0.04 seconds) won the silver.

Once the race is over, you can see the disappointment on the athlete’s face from Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, who was taking part in his first international event in nearly two years, due to the pandemic.

“There are several things I’ve done wrong. I’m not really a runner so I tried to make up by swimming faster and I lost some distance. I slowed down as the race progressed,” Aurelie Rivard commented in an interview with Sportcom.

Alexander Elliott (S10) was also suspended in qualifying on Wednesday in the men’s 50 freestyle qualifier. He completed the distance in 25.22 seconds to finish fifth in his wave.

Australian Rowan Crothers won the gold with a time of 23.21 seconds. He beat the Rio Paralympic champion Maxim Kripak (+0.12 seconds), as well as Brazilian Philip Andrews Milo Rodriguez (+0.29 seconds), second in 2016.

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Just like her return to training in Quebec, Aurélie Rivard needed a period of adjustment at the Tokyo Aquatics Center.

The temperature, both poolside and outside, was a significant factor that the 25-year-old semi-swimmer, by her own admission, underestimated in the Japanese capital.

“I was so hot and it kind of grated on me,” she said. There are some things I couldn’t remember and I felt less comfortable. I was looking for my standards. It’s disappointing, I’ll try to leave that in the pool before I leave.”

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Rivard intends to make people quickly forget this bronze medal and take a step or two up the podium during his upcoming events. She will qualify in the 100th freestyle on Saturday to defend her title at the Paralympic Games in Rio.

“I am still happy that day one is over and the ice has broken. I don’t want this race to reflect all my preparation. […] I give myself the evening to be angry and disappointed, and then move on.”

This is Canada’s second medal at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo. Earlier on Wednesday, track racer Kelly Shaw took bronze in the individual 3,000m race in the C4.

Canada got off to a good start in women’s basketball

The women’s wheelchair basketball team, who led with only half possession, scored a solid victory to score a 73-54 victory over the British team on Wednesday at the Tokyo Paralympics.

It was the Canadians’ first game in the Japanese capital and their first international outing in nearly two years, due to the pandemic.

However, the biggest star of the day was Kathleen Dandino. The British Columbian was intractable and her statistics leave no doubt. She managed a three-pointer in the win, with a total of 32 points, 20 rebounds and 11 assists.

“She’s a star player, I’m not surprised, she’s someone who works hard and really deserves her success,” Quebec’s Rosalie Lalonde told Sportcom, who dominated her opponents at the end of the match, with 20 points in this duel. , including 15 in the fourth quarter.

The rivalry was fierce in the first two quarters, with the Maple Leaf reps leading 29 to 26. However, Quebec coach Marc-Antoine Ducharme did not need to make any adjustments before the match resumed. In fact, his protection widened the gap to 48 to 36 in the third quarter.

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“We were dreading such a start to the match. “We knew the first half could be chaotic, it was time to go back, find our rhythm and release the pressure. Nobody panicked, and I personally knew we would be back again. There was no problem,” Lalonde said. .

Also from the Canadian squad, Cindy Ole collected three points against two for Elodie Tessier. Sandrine Birubi did not play. As for the British silver medalists at the 2018 World Championships, Madeleine Thompson took first place with 11 points.

The Canadians qualified for the Tokyo Paralympic Games in 2019 by reaching the final at the Paraben m Games in Lima, where they won the gold medal. They will resume work on Friday against the Japanese. The men’s team, which includes Quebecers Jonathan Vermet and Vincent Dallaire, will start its tournament on Thursday against Spain.

Rugby in a wheelchair: Canada defeated

The Canadian team, which is based on Quebec team members Fabien Lavoie, Anthony Letourneau and Patrice Simard, played their first game at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo. She was in the whole game but lost 50-47 to the British, fourth in the 2018 World Championships.

They led by two points in the first quarter and were able to hold onto it until the end of 32 minutes of play.

Albertan Zack Madele was the most prolific in the Canadian camp. He finished the match with 31 points and scored in attempts. Letourneau finished with two points, while Simard was eliminated from the scoring net. For its part, Lavoie was not used.

Coach Patrick Cottier’s side will face Team USA in their second game of the tournament on Thursday. Three matches scheduled in the preliminary stage before the semi-finals and classification matches.

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Pierre Mainville was eliminated in the round of 16

The only Quebec player to reach the Elimination Round on Wednesday, wheelchair fencer Pierre Mainville was stopped in the Class B knockout stages.

The San Colombian athlete concluded the group stage with a victory and four defeats. A file that still allows access to the next stage. And his career ended after a 15-9 setback at the hands of French Maxime Valet.

Mainville also lost to Valet in his first duel of the day. The representative of France finished the competition in fourth place. According to Mainville, who is participating in the fourth Paralympics, “a lot of accumulated fatigue” led to this poor performance.

Mathieu Heber also had trouble, suffering four defeats in the same number of group stage duels. An outing he described as “a hard day at the office”.

“It’s such a shame that this happens in games. I found myself slow compared to the others in my hens. They seemed in a class of their own. It was a very fast match, especially in the beginning of the action and obviously I wasn’t in it.”

On the women’s front, Ruth Sylvie Morell lost her four fights of the day in the Class A chickens, including one against potential silver medalist Nino Tipilashvili of Georgia.

“The pandemic changed all our plans and I thought that by doing daily exercises and observing my opponents, I would be prepared. Unfortunately, they changed their fighting style and I did not adapt quickly enough to face them,” Morrell said.

Mainville will fight in épée Thursday, in Class B. Countryman Ryan Roussell will return in Class A. Hébert and Morel will return to action Saturday, in frustration.

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