With Day 12 of competition and the Closing Ceremony taking place on the same day, the Tokyo Paralympics have officially come to an end with Canada capturing 21 medals overall, including five gold, 10 silver and six bronze.
Four of those silvers belonged to wheelchair racer Brent Lakatos, who was named Canada’s flag bearer for the Closing Ceremony.
No Saskatchewan athletes competed on the final day of the Games, but here’s a recap of how they did.
Making her Paralympic debut, Midale’s Keely Shaw captured Canada’s first medal of the Games on Day 1 of competition with the para cyclist winning bronze on the track in the women’s C4 3,000-metre individual pursuit. She completed the race with a time of three minutes and 48.34 seconds.
Shaw also finished fourth in the road cycling time trial (42:11.09) and 13th in the road race (time not available).
In the pool, Saskatchewan was represented by a pair of Paralympic first timers: Saskatoon’s Shelby Newkirk and Meadow Lake’s Nikita Ens. The members of the Saskatoon Lasers Swimming Club were joined at the Games by their coach Eric Kramer.
Newkirk set a Canadian record of 1:22.83 seconds to finish fourth in the women’s S6 100-m backstroke, set another Canadian record in the S6 50-m freestyle to finish ninth in her heat with a time of 35.50 seconds —just out of qualifying for the final— and also competed in the S7 100-m freestyle where she finished her heat with a time of 1:19.06, but did not advance to the final.
Although Ens wasn’t able to advance to the final in any of her events, she did set a Canadian record in the women’s SM4 150-m individual medley with a time of 4:34.01. She also competed in the S3 50-m backstroke (1:10.82) and the S3 100-m freestyle (2:32.56).
Melfort’s Julie Kozun and the Canadian women’s sitting volleyball team came close to capturing bronze at the Games, but were denied by Brazil, losing 3-1 in the bronze medal final. Canada finished the round robin with a 2-1 —defeating Italy and Japan, but falling to Brazil— which earned them a place in the semifinals where they lost to China 3-0.
Kozun, who at 21 was the youngest member of the Canadian squad, made her Paralympic debut in Tokyo.
On the basketball court, 2016 Paralympian Nik Goncin and first-time Paralympian Garrett Ostepchuk, both of Regina, helped Canada to an eighth-place finish, bettering their 11th finish in Rio.
While Canada finished their round robin by winning their final two games, they had a tough time at the start, losing three straight —including an overtime defeat to Turkey— to finish 2-3. Fortunately, their record was good enough to advance them to quarter-finals. Unfortunately, they lost that game 66-52 to Great Britain and then the ensuing 7th/8th place game to Germany 68-56.
In wheelchair racing, Regina resident Jessica Frotten made her Paralympic debut competing in four events. In the women’s T53 400-m race, she finished in eighth place among all the heats, which advanced her to the final where she finished eighth with a time of 59.98 seconds.
Frotten didn’t advance to the finals in any of her other three events, which included the women’s T53 800-m (1:56.79), T54 1,500-m (3:52.23) and the universal 4×100-m relay (49.38).
Rounding out the Saskatchewan athletes who competed at Tokyo was wheelchair fencer Ryan Rousell of Asquith, who made his Paralympic debut. Rousell competed in both the men’s Class A Sabre and Epee events. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to advance out of pool play in either of the events.
On the coaching front, Regina’s Frank Gaudet accompanied the lone member of the Canadian Para badminton team, Olivia Meier, who finished fifth; Broadview’s Carla Nicholls was part of the Para athletics team, which claimed multiple medals, and Regina’s John Wetzstein assisted the seven-athlete Para rowing team.
Find all the Saskatchewan results and highlights here.