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September 8, 2008

Quebec's Roy races to gold on track at Paralympics

BEIJING -- Diane Roy of Hatley, Que., raced to gold in the women's 5,000 metres Monday to capture Canada's first track and field medal at the Paralympics.

Valerie Grand Maison of Longueuil, Que., captured her second gold medal in the pool, winning the women's 400-metre freestyle, while Chelsey Gotell of Hamilton won bronze. Stephanie Dixon of Victoria added a bronze in the women's 100 freestyle.

Equestrian Lauren Barwick of Langley, B.C., earned a silver in the individual championship test, boosting Canda's medal total to nine -- three gold, two silver and four bronze -- after the second day of competition.

Forty-one medals were awarded on Monday, the second day of the Paralympics. China leads with 28 medals overall, including eight gold. The United States also has eight gold medals and 17 overall.

South African swimmer Natalie Du Toit won her second gold in two days, winning the 100 freestyle after taking the 100 butterfly on Sunday. She's attempting to win five gold medals in Beijing.

At the Bird's Nest stadium, Roy won the 5,000 in a personal-best time of 11 minutes 54.03 seconds.

Kyle Pettey of Brampton, Ont., was 10th in the men's discus with a throw of 30.26 metres.

Jean Paul Compaore of Sherbrooke, Que., and Colin Mathieson of Winnipeg advanced to the next round in the men's 400 metres. Josh Cassidy of Port Elgin, Ont., advanced in the men's 5,000 metres, while Michel Filteau of St. Jean Baptiste, Que., and Mark Ledo of Maple, Ont., did not advance.

Ottawa's Jason Dunkerley failed to move on in the men's 800 metres.

Oscar Pistorius began his bid to win three Paralympic gold medals, clocking the fastest time Monday in heats of the 100 metres.

The South African, who failed in an attempt to qualify for the Beijing Olympics, ran a personal-best time of 11.16 seconds in the sprint. Pistorius, known as the "Blade Runner" because of the prosthetic legs he runs on, will also run the 200 and 400, hoping to better his performance from the 2004 Athens Paralympics where he won a gold and bronze.

In cycling, Daniel Chalifour of Lac-des-Ecorces, Que., and his guide Alexandre Cloutier of St-Antoine-de-Tilly, Que., finished seventh in the men's kilo para-cycling final for tandems at the Laoshan Velodrome.

"We're relatively satisfied with the performance," said Chalifour, who lost 95 per cent of his vision.

"The top teams in this event specialize solely on the kilo. We had a couple of pursuit races in us from (Sunday) and in the last lap today we had no juice left."

Anthony Kappes and Barney Storey of Britain clocked a world record 1:02.864 for the gold medal, while Chalifour and Cloutier finished in 1:06.371.

Brian Cowie of Burnaby, B.C., and his guide Devon Smibert of Calgary were eighth in 1:07.721 and Stephane Cote of Quebec City and his guide Pierre-Olivier Boily of Roberval, Que., were 13th.

In the men's individual pursuit, Eric Bourgault of Orford, Que., and Mark Breton of Charlesbourg, Que., were eliminated in the qualifying round.

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