Two champions, two gold medals and two world records: Canada’s Paralympians were on fire in Tokyo on Wednesday.
Most recently, Canadian Aurélie Rivard crushed her own world record by five seconds, won gold and defended a title of hers for a second time in Tokyo.
The 25-year-old from St-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, Que., accomplished all that in four minutes 24.08 seconds in the pool. Her spectacular swim in the women’s S10 400-metre freestyle saw her beat competitors by a massive margin.
Earlier in the day, shot putter Greg Stewart, of Kamloops, B.C., made history with his first throw. He posted an incredible distance of 16.75 metres to set a new Paralympic record in his first-ever Games.
The 35-year-old topped the field in the F46 category and was blown away by the result, saying he was shocked and grateful for the love that got him to the Games.
WATCH | Rivard destroys her own world record to become Paralympic champion:
WATCH | Stewart breaks a Paralympic record on his way to a gold medal:
Here’s more of what you missed on Wednesday:
Lakatos wins 3rd silver of Games
Canada’s Brent Lakatos raced to his third silver medal in Tokyo, posting a time of 14.55 seconds in the men’s T53 100-metre final.
The medal raised Canada’s medal count to 16.
Though Lakatos was leading at the start, it was Pongsakorn Paeyo of Thailand who came from behind to take the gold with a Paralympic record time of 14.20.
The athlete also blocked Lakatos from defending his Paralympic title — the 41-year-old Canadian had won the event in Rio 2016.
Canada’s remaining wheelchair basketball team ousted
The Canadian men’s wheelchair basketball team was unable to pull off an upset in its quarter-final match over Great Britain on Wednesday.
Canada was leading by a single point after three quarters, but Great Britain — the Rio 2016 bronze medallists — used a strong final frame to deal Canada a 66-52 loss.
Superstar Patrick Anderson, who came out of retirement to play in Tokyo, scored 22 points in the game. The Canadian women’s team, which had previously lost its quarter-final, was cheering them on.
Badminton joins Paralympic action
Badminton debuted in Tokyo on Wednesday for the first time in Paralympic history. Around 90 athletes will compete in 14 events, singles and doubles, in the sport over the next five days.
It was a Japan vs. Indonesia mixed-doubles match to open the tournament, with the latter country taking the first match 2-0.
Oksana Masters of the United States unleashed a cathartic yell as she approached the finish line of the women’s H5 road race.
Just one day after taking gold in the time trial, Masters raced to another gold at the Fuji International Speedway.
The athlete — who has impairments believed to be connected to the Chernobyl disaster — has medalled in four different sports at both the summer and winter Games.
She’s earned places on the Paralympic podiums in cycling, rowing, biathlon and cross-country skiing.
Meanwhile, in the women’s H1-4 road race, Jennette Jansen of the Netherlands won a gold medal 33 years after her last one.
The 53-year-old clung to first, beating her second-place competitor by six seconds, for her 10th Paralympic medal across multiple sports.
Athlete loses gold for showing up late
The fallout continues after a Malaysian shot putter was disqualified after putting down a gold-medal performance on Tuesday.
Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli had showed up late to competition, along with other athletes, but was still allowed to compete.
But afterward, the referee ruled that there was no “justifiable reason” for their lateness. It meant the Malaysian athlete was disqualified — Ukraine was awarded the top two spots on the podium, and a Greek competitor placed third.
Read more about the International Paralympic Committee’s response and how the situation has spilled over into social media posts here.
NBA denies Canadian Andrew Wiggins of religious exemption to skip COVID-19 vaccine – CBC.ca
The NBA has denied Canadian Andrew Wiggins’s request for a vaccination exemption, leaving the Golden State Warriors swingman ineligible to play home games until he meets San Francisco’s vaccination requirement.
The ruling was announced Friday, hours after the New York Knicks said their entire roster is vaccinated, making all their players eligible to play in their home games.
Because of local coronavirus regulations in New York and San Francisco, the Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and Warriors are required to be vaccinated to play in their home arenas unless exemptions for medical or religious reasons apply.
Wiggins, from Vaughan, Ont., sought an exemption from the league for religious reasons.
“The NBA has reviewed and denied Andrew Wiggins’s request for religious exemption from the San Francisco Department of Public Health’s order requiring COVID-19 vaccination for all participants age 12 and older at large indoor events,” the league said in a statement.
“Wiggins will not be able to play in Warriors home games until he fulfils the city’s vaccination requirements.”
NBA says unvaccinated players can play
Unvaccinated players are allowed to play this season, though the NBA has said that they will have to be tested daily on practice and travel days, and at least once — possibly more — on game days. Fully vaccinated players will not be subject to daily testing.
However, the Knicks, Nets and Warriors face stricter rules because of their local regulations, which the NBA has told teams do not apply to visiting clubs.
WATCH | ‘Bring It In’ panel discusses vaccine passports’ effect on sports:
The Knicks are the first of those teams to say they have met the mandate.
Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks said earlier this week that a couple players wouldn’t yet be eligible, but he was confident everyone would be able to participate by the time the regular season begins on Oct. 19.
Local mandate not yet in effect
Wiggins still has time, as San Francisco’s mandate doesn’t take effect until the middle of next month. Training camps open Tuesday.
The NBA has struck agreements this off-season to have virtually all parties involved in games — referees, coaches, stat-crew workers and anyone else who will be in close proximity to players on or off the court in NBA arenas — vaccinated in order to participate.
The one exception: The players themselves, with the National Basketball Players Association rebuking all efforts from the NBA to mandate that they be vaccinated. About 85 per cent of players were vaccinated at the end of last season. The league-wide figure is believed to have increased since.
2020 Ryder Cup pairings: U.S. runs it back, Rory McIlroy out for Saturday foursomes – Golf Channel
After his team dug itself a 6-2 hole on Friday at the Ryder Cup, European captain Padraig Harrington had some decisions to make when deciding on his pairings for Saturday morning’s foursomes session.
One pressing question was whether he’d sit Rory McIlroy for the first time in McIlroy’s cup career. McIlroy had played in every session since making his debut in 2010 (26 for 26), but he’d dropped both his team-play matches on Friday at Whistling Straits while failing to reach the 16th hole in either one.
Ultimately, Harrington decided that his visiting side’s best chance at a comeback was to sit McIlroy on Saturday morning.
“We have plenty of options on our team,” Harrington said. “Spoiled for choice in many ways, and yeah … I’m very comfortable again with the team I’ve put out tomorrow. Wait and see in each of those matches whether they can create their own momentum and then bring that to the team.”
McIlroy and Poulter, who lost in foursomes on Friday morning, will both be benched, while Harrington will mix things up slightly elsewhere, splitting Paul Casey and Viktor Hovland, and pairing them with Tyrrell Hatton and Bernd Wiesberger, respectively. Two of Europe’s foursomes pairings are intact: Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia, and Lee Westwood and Matt Fitzpatrick.
Meanwhile, on the American side, captain Steve Stricker is going back to the well, keeping all four of his previous foursomes teams. All but Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth won on Friday morning, though Thomas helped lead a four-ball rally alongside Patrick Cantlay on Friday afternoon as the U.S. duo tied Hovland and Tommy Fleetwood.
Cantlay reunites with Xander Schauffele, who is 2-0. Dustin Johnson, also 2-0, reunites with Collin Morikawa.
“We had one other group that we were thinking about putting out, but it went so well this morning that I figured why mess things up and change things up at all,” Stricker said. “We changed the order a little bit is all, but we kept the same pairings.”
The U.S. leads by four points, its largest advantage after Day 1 since 1975. History is on the Americans’ side, too, as just once in five previous instances since 1979 (the year that the Great Britain and Ireland side was expanded to include continental Europe) has a team coughed up a lead of more than three points after the opening day.
Here are the matchups and starting times for Saturday morning’s foursomes session:
8:05 a.m. ET: Koepka/Berger vs. Rahm/Garcia
8:21 a.m.: Johnson/Morikawa vs. Casey/Hatton
8:37 a.m.: Thomas/Spieth vs. Hovland/Wiesberger
8:53 a.m.: Schauffele/Cantlay vs. Westwood/Fitzpatrick
Lululemon named official Canadian outfitter for next four Olympics | Offside – Daily Hive
Lululemon will be officially heading to the Olympics.
The Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Committees announced Thursday a partnership with the Canadian clothing brand Lululemon, making it the country’s official outfitter of Team Canada for the next four Olympics.
“As a Canadian and lifelong fan of the Games, I could not be prouder for Lululemon to partner with the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee,” said Calvin McDonald, the CEO of Lululemon in a release. “Supporting these incredible athletes as they prepare to compete on the world’s largest sporting stage is a privilege. Through this partnership, all of us at Lululemon are honoured to play our part to inspire, unite and transform the world through sport and share in this excitement alongside all of Canada.”
A small selection of Lululemon Olympic apparel is available online and in-store already, with more to be revealed next month.
The partnership will start at the Beijing 2022 Games, continuing through 2024 in Paris, 2026 in Milan, and 2028 in Los Angeles.
This replaces the Hudson’s Bay partnership that first began in Torino 2006 and expired after Tokyo 2020.
While it’s Lululemon’s first official Olympic partnership, they actually launched a collection that appeared to be heavily inspired by Vancouver 2010.
— Zarah Al-Kudcy (@zalkudcy) July 28, 2016
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