Aurelie Rivard of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec won Canada’s first gold medal of the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo in 2021 on Saturday. She placed first in the women’s 100-metre freestyle swimming event in the S10 category (that is for athletes with cerebral palsy or a missing limb). In Rivard’s case, she does not have a hand.
Rivard’s first-place time of 58.14 seconds in the final was a world record. In fact, Rivard broke her own world record that she set in the preliminary heats of 58.60 seconds. Chantalle Zijderveld of the Netherlands won the silver medal with a time of 1:00.23. Lisa Kruger of the Netherlands won the bronze medal with a time of 1:00.68. Rivard earned a medal by 2.66 seconds over fourth-place finisher Bianka Pap of Hungary, who had a fourth-place time of 1:00.80.
This was Rivard’s fourth Paralympic gold medal. She previously won the gold medal in the women’s 50-metre freestyle, 100-metre freestyle, and 400-metre freestyle in the S10 classification at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Meanwhile, Canada won a second Paralympic medal on Saturday. Brent Lakatos of Dorval, Quebec won the silver medal in the men’s 5000-metre wheelchair racing competition in the T53/54 classification. Lakatos posted a time in the final of 10:30.19 to reach the podium by 0.31 seconds over Daniel Romanchuk of the United States, who had a fourth-place time of 10:30.50. Marcel Hug of Switzerland won the gold medal with a time of 10:29.90, and Putharet Khongrak of Thailand won the bronze medal with a time of 10:30.37. This was Lakatos’s eighth career Paralympic medal.
Team Canada has now won eight Paralympic medals at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo in 2021. They are at one gold medal, five silver medals, and two bronze medals.