September 9, 2016 7:28 pm
Updated: September 10, 2016 3:58 pm

Rivard wins Canada’s first Paralympic gold medal

FILE - Canadian swimmer Aurelie Rivard and wheelchair racer Brent Lakatos broke Paralympic records in their respective morning heats on Friday at the Paralympic Games. Rivard swims during a media availability as the Canadian Paralympic Swim Team for Rio 2016 is announced in Toronto in an August 29, 2016, file photo.


Swimmer Aurelie Rivard won Canada’s first gold medal at the Paralympic Games, and she did it in commanding fashion.

The 20-year-old from St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., won the S10 50-metre freestyle in a world record time of 27.37 seconds on Friday, about an hour after Canada won its first medals of the Games — two silvers in track cycling.

Rivard, competing in her second Paralympic Games, finished ahead of New Zealand’s Sophie Pascoe and China’s Yi Chen.

Rivard had broken the Paralympic record in her qualifying heat in the morning.

Earlier Friday, cyclists Ross Wilson and Tristen Chernove earned silver medals in different track disciplines.

Wilson, from Sherwood Park, Alta., lost the men’s C1 3,000-metre final to top qualifier Li Zhangyu of China. Chernove, from Powell River, B.C., won Canada’s second silver moments later in the C2 3,000 against China’s Guihua Liang.

Watch below: Edmonton cyclist Ross Wilson captured silver in the men’s C1 3,000-metre individual pursuit final on at the Rio Paralympics on Friday. China’s Li Zhangyu won gold. (Video provided courtesy Canadian Paralympic Committee/CIBC.)

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WATCH: Rio Paralympics: Edmonton’s Ross Wilson sets new Paralympic record

Michael Sametz of Calgary advanced to the bronze-medal race in the C3 3,000 after placing third in qualifying.

Wheelchair racer Brent Lakatos, a triple-silver medallist four years ago in London, finished first overall in the wheelchair racing heats in 14.43 seconds.

Five other para-swimmers also competed in finals on Friday night: Nathan Stein of Surrey, B.C., and Alec Elliot of Kitchener, Ont., in the men’s S10 50 freestyle, Tess Routliffe of Caledon, Ont., and Sarah Mehain of Vernon, B.C., in the women’s S7 50 freestyle, and Nathan Clement of West Vancouver in the S6 50 butterfly.

In women’s goalball, Canada lost its opening game 12-4 to Turkey.

In mixed coxed four rowing, Canada’s team of Victoria Nolan, Meghan Montgomery, Andrew Todd, Curtis Halladay and coxswain Kristen Kit were third in their heat to advance to repechage.

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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