Make it 18 Paralympic medals for Canada.
With a powerful performance in the pool once again, Aurélie Rivard of Canada swam to her 10th career Paralympic medal on Thursday. The athlete earned silver in a spectacular display of athleticism for her fifth medal captured at the Tokyo Games alone.
The 25-year-old was in fifth place at the halfway point of the women’s S10 100-metre backstroke final. Without hesitation, Rivard turned on the jets and flew through the water into second place.
Then Brent Lakatos, 41, earned his fourth silver in Tokyo while competing in the men’s T53 800-metre final. As the rain teemed down, he claimed the 11th Paralympic medal of his illustrious career.
As before in these Games, it came down to a battle between the Dorval, Que., wheelchair racer and Thailand’s Pongsakorn Paeyo. The pair traded leads on the tough conditions of the wet track before Thailand’s racer came out on top.
Both Canadian athletes have one more event each in Tokyo.
WATCH | Canada’s Rivard races to a 10th career Paralympic medal in Tokyo:
Here’s more of what you missed on Thursday:
1st Canadian badminton player at Paralympics
When Olivia Meier of Winnipeg emerged on the Tokyo court, she became the first-ever Canadian to compete in Para badminton at the Paralympic Games.
The sport is being played at the Paralympics for the first time. The 22-year-old dropped her opening match in the women’s SL4 category to Thailand’s Chanida Srinavakul, as well as her next one to Norway’s Helle Sofie Sagoey, who is seeded third at the Paralympics.
The Canadian will continue her group play tomorrow, looking to take down an Australian opponent for her first match win.
Taekwondo debuts with Afghan athlete among first competitors
Along with badminton, taekwondo is the other sport making its debut at the Paralympic Games this year.
The event also saw Afghan athlete Zakia Khudadadi compete. Whether she’d even get to these Games was, for a time, unknown; she and teammate Hossain Rasouli were evacuated from Afghanistan after the fall of Kabul to the Taliban.
Khudadadi and her opponent Ziyodakhon Sakova of Uzbekistan competed in the first-ever bout on Thursday. Though she lost in the women’s K44 49-kilogram event, and again in the repechage, the 22-year-old also became the first female athlete from Afghanistan to compete at the Paralympics since 2004.
Proposal on the track
Cape Verde sprinter Keula Nidreia Pereira Semedo ran a season’s best at the National Stadium on Thursday.
Then as competitors from her women’s T11 200-metre heat gathered around, her guide bent to one knee with a Paralympic proposal.
Running to a ring 💍<br><br>We have a Paralympic PROPOSAL ❤️<br><br>Manuel Antonio Vaz da Veiga, guide to Keula Nidreia Pereira Semedo, popped the question after the women’s T11 200m heats <a href=”https://t.co/GiMszAo7D9″>pic.twitter.com/GiMszAo7D9</a>
The T11 events are for athletes with visual impairments. Manuel Antonio Vaz da Veiga is Semedo’s guide while competing. The pair are tethered together, and Vaz da Veiga provides vocal cues among other assistance.
The athletes all cheered as Vaz da Veiga put a ring on his partner’s finger.
Canoe sprint events got underway at the Sea Forest Waterway in Tokyo on Thursday, with three Canadians hitting the water. The trio will compete in semifinals tomorrow in an attempt to move on to the finals, as only the top in each race booked a direct ticket.
Brianna Hennessy of Ottawa had third-place finishes in both her va’a and kayak 200-metre heats in the VL2 and KL1 classes. Para va’a — in which athletes compete in an outrigger canoe — is making its debut at the Paralympics.
Andrea Nelson of Markham, Ont., was also competing in kayak, but in the KL2 class, where she was third. Meanwhile, Mathieu St-Pierre, of Shawinigan, Que., was fifth in his va’a event.