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Aurélie Rivard captures Canada’s 1st gold medal at Tokyo Paralympics

Gold medalist Aurelie Rivard of Canada poses during the medal ceremony for the Women's 100m Freestyle - S10 Final on day 4 of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre on August 28, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images

Aurélie Rivard has captured Canada’s first gold medal of the Tokyo Paralympics.

The 26-year-old from Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, Que., smashed her own world record in both her heats and final of the 100-metre freestyle on Saturday.

Read more: Canada now has 4 medals at the Tokyo Paralympics as 2 athletes score silver

Rivard, who was born with an underdeveloped left hand, touched the wall in 58.14 seconds, beating Chantalle Zijderveld of the Netherlands by more than two seconds.

The medal was Rivard’s second in Tokyo, and the seventh Paralympic medal of her career.

She was named Canada’s flag-bearer for the closing ceremony in Rio after her triple gold-medal performance at the 2016 Olympics.

The Paralympics are Rivard’s first competition since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

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