Phenomenal Performances Highlight Paralympic Games

It was five years in the making, but after a delay due to the Covid-19 pandemic, more than 4,500 athletes from 162 countries competed in the biggest Paralympics in history. Canada turned in a successful Games, bringing home a total of 21 medals, just eight less than they achieved in Rio 2016.

Of Canada’s 21 medals, eight came from the track, highlighted by standout performances from Quebec’s Brent Lakatos who brought home four of Canada’s eight medals. As for athletes from Ontario, they brought home two medals. 

On Day 5 of the Athletics portion of the Games, Zachary Gingras of Markham made history. He posted a Canadian record in the T38 men’s 400m final of 50.85s, bringing home a bronze medal in his first ever games. The 20 year-old also debuted in the first-ever 4x100m Universal Relay at the Paralympics, alongside teammates Austin Ingram, Jessica Frotten, and Marissa Papaconstantinou. 

Three days later, Marissa Papaconstantinou found herself on a Paralympic podium for the first time in her career. All it took was her best race ever, posting a time of 13.07s in the T64 100m, setting a new Canadian record, bringing home a bronze medal. She also reached the T64 200m final, where she also set a new Canadian record on her way to finishing fifth in the event. 

Another first time Paralympian, Austin Ingram looked to impress in his first games. In the T13 100m, Ingram posted a time of 11.21s for a season’s best performance. Unfortunately, he found himself finishing fourth and was eliminated in the heats. 

Elsewhere on the track, Austin Smeenk turned in a successful Games finishing fifth in the T34 800m with a time of 1:47.58s. His fifth placement was an improvement from his showing in Rio which saw him finish in 8th. In the T34 100m, Smeenk finished 7th with a time of 15.92s. 

The field portion of the Athletics competition saw some record breaking performances from Ontario athletes. Charlotte Bolton, Canada’s youngest paralympian, participated in both the F41 Women’s Shot Put and Women’s Discus events. In the Shot Put, she finished sixth with a throw of 8.73m. In the Discus, Bolton also finished sixth with a throw of 27.72m.  

Renee Foessel rounded out the Athletics portion of the Paralympics in the F38 Discus. The current world record holder (37.83m) which was achieved earlier this year, placed fourth with a throw of 32.23m. She matched that placement in her Olympic debut in Rio 2016, where she also placed fourth. 

Congratulations to all our amazing athletes, and see below to find how all our athletes did. 

Zachary Gingras T38 400m  3rd
Marissa Papaconstantinou T64 100m 3rd
Marissa Papaconstantinou T64 200m 5th 
Renee Foessel  F38 Discus 4th 
Charlotte Bolton F41 Shot Put 6th
Charlotte Bolton F41 Discus 6th 
Austin Smeenk T34 800m 5th
Austin Smeenk  T34 100m 7th 
Austin Ingram T13 100m  Round 1 
Zachary Gingras, Austin Ingram, Marissa Papaconstantinou, Jessica Frotten 4x100m Universal Relay  Round 1 

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