Paralympic wake-up call: Canadians race to bronze on the track with the best performances in their lives

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Paralympic wake-up call: Canadians race to bronze on the track with the best performances in their lives

From eighth in a world championship to bronze in the Paralympic Games, Zachary Gingras is Canada’s newest medalist in Tokyo.

The 20-year-old athlete from Markham, Ontario, who fended off a late attack from his competitors on the track, held on to a third place finish in the men’s T38 400-meter final. He also earned his first-ever Paralympic medal with a lifetime best of 50.85 seconds.

Gingras was overcome with emotion at the end of the race and draped with the Canadian flag. He told CBC Sports’ Devin Heroux, who was at the track, that he wished his parents could have been there to see it.

He adds the achievement to a silver won at the 2019 Parapan American Games in Lima.

Fellow Canadian Marissa Papaconstantinou raced shortly after and nearly had a bronze medal herself before being passed in the closing seconds of a strong race to finish fifth.

Here’s more of what you missed in Tokyo on Tuesday:

An almost podium result when the cycling starts

Cycling took to the roads of Tokyo on Tuesday, with 57 medals up for grabs on the first day of competition alone.

In the women’s C4 time trial, Canadian Keely Shaw nearly earned another medal at these Games with her fourth place finish – the highest achieved by a Canadian cyclist in Tokyo on Tuesday.

She shared her goals on Twitter after the race:

  1. Have fun on the bike
  2. Leave my heart and soul on the course

“The above goals have certainly been achieved, but I can’t say I’m not disappointed to be just off the podium. As they say, ‘life is like riding a [bike.] To keep your balance, you have to keep moving,” she wrote.

Two other toppers from the road cycling race: Sarah Storey from Great Britain was the first to win a gold medal in the women’s race. She raised her medal tally in the C5 time trial and won a 16th Paralympic gold medal.

Meanwhile, Guyana had its first ever Paralympic race in the men’s C5 time trial. Walter Grant-Stuart rode the 32-mile course and finished in 13th place.

Canada loses quarters to competitor US

Canadian hearts were on the field after a quarterfinal loss in wheelchair basketball to the United States on Tuesday.

The women’s team was unable to drop baskets as much as their US counterparts, beating them 63-48 to advance to the semifinals.

VIEW | Canada beats United States in women’s wheelchair basketball:

Canada ousted in women’s wheelchair basketball quarter-finals with loss to US

Canada was defeated by the United States 63-48 in the quarter-finals of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. 1:15

It means that the Canadians, aspiring to find the podium in Tokyo for the first time since 2004, are out of a medal.

But they leave strong performances in Japan and have one game left to determine whether they finish fifth or sixth.

Afghan athlete competes in Tokyo

It was not clear whether Paralympians from Afghanistan would be able to participate in the Games. But on Tuesday, Afghan athlete Hossain Rasouli went to the National Stadium to compete in the men’s T47 long jump.

Rasouli and his other teammate, Zakia Khudadadi, had recently been evacuated to France after Kabul fell to the Taliban.

Team Canada’s Zachary Gingras celebrates winning the bronze medal after competing in the men’s 400m T38 final in Tokyo. (Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images)

Although Rasouli missed the sprint event – his strongest point – he was still able to compete in Tokyo. He finished last in 13th place in the long jump, but set a personal best of 4.46 meters.

Mexican swimmer at the top of the world after 17 years

It’s been 17 years since Arnulfo Castorena of Mexico won Paralympic gold in the men’s SB2 50m breaststroke – and 21 years since he first won it.

Now he has done it again.

At the age of 41, the reigning world champion completed his comeback by winning gold in Tokyo. The Mexican swimmer ran to the finish in 59.25 seconds.

He raised a fist in the pool triumphantly, back on top of the world.

Hossain Rasouli from Afghanistan competes in the men’s T47 long jump final at the Tokyo Paralympic Games. (Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

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