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ATHLETICS

September 14, 2008
CBC

More medals, world records for Petitclerc

What a day for Chantal Petitclerc.

In the span of 90 minutes, the Canadian wheelchair racer won two gold medals and established two world records at the Paralympic Games Sunday in Beijing.

Petitclerc, from Montreal, captured the gold in the 200-metre final with a winning time of 27.52 seconds.

The 38-year-old followed that up about an hour and a half later when she earned her fourth gold medal of the Beijing Paralympics by winning the 800 metres in one minute, 45.19 seconds.

Petitclerc's time in the 200 cut .77 seconds off the world record she set during the heats. She then knocked 2.31 seconds off the record she established in the 800 three years ago.

Petitclerc, who earlier in the Games set a world record in the 400 metres, now has 12 career gold medals and 20 in total spanning five Paralympics

"I've never done that in my life," said Petitclerc. "I told my coach, never again. This was a stressful day.

"When I go back to the village and get into my room with these medals, I will think about it. It's just amazing."

She admitted it was hard to refocus between races.

"You get there and all the girls are starting to warm up," said Petitclerc, who still has to race in the 1,500 metres. "They are fresh. You have to make sure it doesn't play with your head.

"You have to make sure you think of it as a positive. You know you are going to be in tough."

Fellow Canadian wheelchair racer Diane Roy was blown away by Petitclerc's performance.

"I think the only thing she had to do [after the 200 metres] was refocus and just do it," said Roy. "She can be very fast. That's wonderful."

Roy won bronze in the 800 metres Sunday to collect her third medal of the Paralympics.

"I think I did what I had to do and I finished well," said Roy, who was timed in 1:48.07. "The goal was to have a podium, so everything is fine."

Roy also won bronze in the 400 and silver in a redo of the 5,000 metres.

Earlier on Sunday, Calgary's Earle Connor won gold in the 100 metres in the T42 class in a Paralympic record time of 12.32 seconds.

In other results from Sunday:

Genevieve Ouellet of Amos, Que., and her guide Mathilde Hupin of Bromont, Que., won the bronze medal in the women's road race for the visually impaired. The Canadian tandem finished the 72.6 kilometre race in two hours, one minute and 17 seconds.
Swimmer Chelsey Gotell of Antigonish, N.S., set a world record for the victory in the women's 100-metre backstroke and Anne Polinario of Montreal won the women's 50 freestyle.




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