Weekend round-up: Aurélie Rivard caps World Series with gold

Rivard wins gold in Sheffield; Smeenk, Lakatos lead Canadians at Swiss Open

SHEFFIELD, England – Aurélie Rivard of Swimming Canada’s High Performance Centre – Quebec won gold in the women’s 400-m freestyle on Sunday for her third medal this week at the fifth stop on the Para swimming World Series circuit.

Rivard, a triple gold medallist at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio, clocked four minutes and 33.68 seconds for the victory. She tied for first with Naomi Maike Schnittger of Germany while Liesette Bruinsma of the Netherlands was third.

‘’She’s only been faster twice so this was a great swim for Aurélie,’’ said HPC Quebec head coach Mike Thompson. ‘’The way she’s been training this season is different than what she is used too. She’s doing a lot of racing and doing a lot of things at speed. That’s starting to pay off.

‘’We’re not used to seeing these results this early in the season. I’m pretty excited about it.’’

On Saturday, Tess Routliffe of HPC-Quebec won the bronze medal in the women’s 50-m butterfly. She clocked a personal best 37.48.

Smeenk, Lakatos lead Canadians at Swiss Open

NOTTWIL, Switzerland – Brent Lakatos of Dorval, Que., lowered the Canadian record in the T53 men’s 5000-m en route to three medals at the Swiss Open Para athletics competition.

Lakatos, a triple medallist at the Paralympic Games in 2016, clocked nine minutes and 46.03 seconds to win the bronze medal in the wheelchair race which combined the T53 and T54 classes.

‘’I kept pace with the two leaders and they were going very fast,’’ said Lakatos, also third in the 400-m and 1500-m this past weekend. ‘’For me it’s great to get the Canadian record at this point in the season.’’

Austin Smeenk of Oakville, Ont., produced three medal performances as well. He was second in the T34 100-m and 200-m wheelchair races and third in the 800-m. Lee Leclerc of Baie-St-Paul, Que., added a silver in the T34 1500-m.

Canada secures a spot for the 2019 World Team Cup in wheelchair tennis

APPLEDOORN, The Netherlands – Thanks to a 3-0 win over the Netherlands, the host nation for the 2018 BNP Paribas World Team Cup, Canada secured direct entry into next year’s competition.

After losing 3-0 to the American quad team on the opening day of action, the Canadians redeemed themselves with an upset win over the host nation. 

In his 10th appearance at the WTC, Gary Luker gave his team the first point with his impressive 6-0, 6-0 victory over Coen Van Werkhoven. Rob Shaw then secured the win for the Canadian squad by defeating Nils Vink in straight sets 6-3, 6-3. In the doubles rubber, the duo continued with their momentum, securing a third point.

After the win, team coach Christian Gingras was pleased. 

“We are delighted with our performance today. The guys stayed very focused on the task and played solid tennis. We are happy that we secured our direct entry for next year’s WTC in Israel.”

Canada placed sixth overall in the tournament.

Goalball world championships get underway in Sweden

MALMO, Sweden – Canada’s women’s team opened the world goalball championships with a 9-4 victory over Algeria on Sunday but lost 2-1 to Greece on Monday morning.

The Canadian men lost their first two games on Sunday 11-6 to Japan and 11-3 to Germany. 

Competition continues through to Thursday. Games are streamed live at http://wcg18.se/.