Canada's Aurelie Rivard Swims To Gold At The Paralympics

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RIO DE JANEIRO — Swimmer Aurelie Rivard won Canada's first gold medal at the Paralympic Games, and she did it in commanding fashion.

The 20-year-old from St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., won the S10 50-metre freestyle in a world record time of 27.37 seconds on Friday, about an hour after Canada won its first medals of the Games — two silvers in track cycling.

aurelie rivard
Aurelie Rivard smiles during a media availability for the Canadian Paralympic Swim Team. (Photo: Chris Young/The Canadian Press)

Rivard, competing in her second Paralympic Games, finished ahead of New Zealand's Sophie Pascoe and China's Yi Chen.

Rivard had broken the Paralympic record in her qualifying heat in the morning.

Earlier Friday, cyclists Ross Wilson and Tristen Chernove earned silver medals in different track disciplines.

Wilson, from Sherwood Park, Alta., lost the men's C1 3,000-metre final to top qualifier Li Zhangyu of China. Chernove, from Powell River, B.C., won Canada's second silver moments later in the C2 3,000 against China's Guihua Liang.

Michael Sametz of Calgary advanced to the bronze-medal race in the C3 3,000 after placing third in qualifying.

Wheelchair racer Brent Lakatos, a triple-silver medallist four years ago in London, finished first overall in the wheelchair racing heats in 14.43 seconds.

Team Canada on Friday

Five other para-swimmers also competed in finals on Friday night: Nathan Stein of Surrey, B.C., and Alec Elliot of Kitchener, Ont., in the men's S10 50 freestyle, Tess Routliffe of Caledon, Ont., and Sarah Mehain of Vernon, B.C., in the women's S7 50 freestyle, and Nathan Clement of West Vancouver in the S6 50 butterfly.

In women's goalball, Canada lost its opening game 12-4 to Turkey.

In mixed coxed four rowing, Canada's team of Victoria Nolan, Meghan Montgomery, Andrew Todd, Curtis Halladay and coxswain Kristen Kit were third in their heat to advance to repechage.

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