MONTREAL – Pierre Mainville of St-Colomban, Que., and Ryan Rousel of Saskatoon each won a gold medal in sabre on Sunday at a World Cup wheelchair fencing event held at the Claude-Robillard Centre.
It was a first career World Cup win for both combatants.
Mainville, a three-time Paralympic Games team member, defeated Maxime Valet of France in the gold medal B Class final 15-9. He was 4-2 in pool play then advanced to the championship match with quarter-final and semifinal wins.
‘’It was really moving for me to win this at home in front of my kids,’’ said Mainville, who became a paraplegic in 2001 when he was an innocent bystander in a shooting incident. ‘’I’m very proud because it is always more stressful for me to compete in front of family and friends.’’
Rousel defeated Japan’s Shintaro Kato in the A Class final.
The wheelchair fencing competition was held in conjunction with the Défi sportif AlterGo, an annual multi-sport competition for athletes with a disability held in Montreal. This year’s 35th edition attracted more than 7,000 athletes from 29 countries.
Canadian medals in boccia
Also on the schedule was a World Open event in boccia and once again Canadians figured prominently.
Montreal’s Alison Levine earned the silver medal in the BC4 class. In her final match, Levine lost to world No. 1 Steve McGuire of Britain 5-1.
“I would have liked to win, but I’m really pleased with how I played. I made a few placement errors and he got me, but I managed to defend myself for the whole game. He beat me in Montreal but one day I’ll beat him in Liverpool,” said Levine, referring to the host city for the next world championships.
Iulian Ciobanu of Montreal had the second-highest Canadian result, also in the BC4, with a personal best fourth place. In the bronze medal final, he bowed to Euclides Grisales of Colombia 8-2.
“I was already pretty tired,’’ said Ciobanu. ‘’I’m satisfied with my result. The only people who beat me were top-five and top-ten players.’’
Canada’s Para ice hockey development team also in action
Trent Seymour (Prince George, B.C.) and Tyson Rietveld (Fort Saskatchewan, Alta.) combined for 28 saves, but Canada’s National Para Hockey Development Team couldn’t find the back of the net in a 4-0 loss to the United States to finish a three-game series Sunday at the Défi sportif AlterGo.
The Americans opened with a 2-1 victory Friday before Canada bounced back to win by the same score to even the series Saturday night.
“Our two weeks (including selection camp) were all about developing players and finding out their skill level,’’ said Canada’s development team head coach and former NHLer Mike Foligno. “Working with them and making them realize the things they need to become a better hockey player and be at the national level.”