Paralympic team off to strong start 

That tally put Canada ninth on the overall medal list, a long way from the team’s fourth place finish in 2000, but Canada’s standing should improve this week with the track and field and wheelchair basketball and rugby events taking place.

The Paralympic Team was realistic about its chances of repeating their medal haul of 2000, especially with other nations constantly improving their standings. The U.S. and China, which didn’t even finish in the top-five in the last Paralympics, have come on strong this year, and a record number of athletes and nations are taking part.

The team is still hoping to win 95 medals, which could place Canada in the top five when the events wrap up on Sept. 30.

Things started slowly, with Canadians just missing the podium in judo and track cycling on the first day of competition.

Things started looking up on day three with swimmer Benoit Huot setting a world record in the men’s S-10 100-metre butterfly, his fourth world record time along with the 50- and 100-metre freestyle and 200-metre backstroke. Huot, who has club feet, is hoping to match his haul of three gold medals at Sydney in 2000.

Kirby Cote of Winnipeg and Walter Wu of Richmond, both visually impaired swimmers, also won gold medals in the women’s 400 freestyle and the men’s 400 freestyle respectively.

Huot broke another world record and earned another gold medal on day four, this time in the 100-metre freestyle.

Anne Polinario of Toronto added another gold medal in the women’s S-10 100-metre event.

On the track, Chantal Petitclerc of Montreal also won gold in the 100 metre, breaking her own world record by 0.12 seconds.

Other medals went to Donovan Tildesley of Vancouver, winning silver in the S11 400 freestyle; Andrea Cole of Thunder Bay, finishing second in the S8 100-metre butterfly; and Brian Hill of Duncan for finishing third in the men’s 400-metre freestyle.

Complete results are available online at

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