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.
Canada loses bronze to Brazil in women’s sitting volleyball
The Canadian women’s sitting volleyball team, including Melfort’s Julie Kozun, lost to Brazil 3-1 in the bronze medal match of Day 11 of the Paralympics.
Brazil won the opening set 25-15, but the red and white fought hard in the following two sets, winning the second 26-24 before losing third 24-26. The fourth and final set went to Brazil 25-14 as did the victory and the bronze medal.
Kozun had six points in the game.
Paralympic Notes: Canada’s fifth gold medal of the Games went to T38 1500-metre racer Nate Riech, who clocked a Paralympic record time of three minutes and 58.92 seconds…wheelchair racer Brent Lakatos has been named Canada’s flag bearer for the Closing Ceremony after winning four silver medals at the Games with one event, the T53/54 marathon still to go…Canada’s medal count: 21 (6 Gold, 10 Silver, 5 Bronze).
Newkirk finishes fourth, sets Canadian record
In her final event of the Tokyo Paralympics, the women’s S6 100-metre backstroke, Para swimmer Shelby Newkirk set a new Canadian record and claimed fourth in the race with a time of one minute and 21.79 seconds.
“I really wanted to go out strong and I really tried to push that second half. To come out with a Canadian record in fourth place, I’m definitely happy with that,” said to Newkirk to the Canadian Paralympic Committee following the final.
That record in the final came after the Saskatoon swimmer broke the record earlier on Day 10 in her event heat, which she won, with a time of 1:22.83.
Newkirk, who made her Paralympic debut in Tokyo, also competed in the S6 50-m freestyle and the S6 100-m freestyle during the Games.
Women’s sitting volleyball team falls to China, will play for bronze
Melfort’s Julie Kozun and the Canadian women’s sitting volleyball team will play for Paralympic bronze after losing in three straight sets 25-18, 25-20 and 25-15 to China in the semifinals on Day 10.
Kozun led the red and white with 11 points.
In the semifinal, Canada will face Brazil, who they lost to 3-2 in the preliminary round. That game is scheduled for Day 11 of the Games.
Frotten competes in final event
The Canadian 4×100-metre universal relay team, including wheelchair racer Jessica Frotten, finished third in their heat with a time of 49.38 seconds and did not advance to the event’s final. The time was a personal best for the team.
This was the fourth and final event for Regina’s Frotten, who also made her Paralympic debut. Earlier in the Games, she competed in the T53 400 and 800-m races as well as the T54 1,500-m event.
Men’s wheelchair basketball team finishes eighth at Games
A 68-56 loss to Germany in the classification playoff left the Canadian men’s wheelchair basketball team with an eighth-place finish at the Tokyo Paralympics, an improvement on their 11th-place performance in Rio.
Canada led 21-19 at the end of the first quarter, but Germany outscored the Canadians in the final three quarters to claim the victory.
Regina’s Nik Goncin, who represented Canada in Rio, had eight points and 14 rebounds in the game, while fellow Regina teammate Garrett Ostepchuk, who made his Paralympic debut in Tokyo, had two points and one rebound.
“The game could’ve gone better, but we got a bunch of guys in, got them some experience,” said Goncin to Wheelchair Basketball Canada following the game. “It’s more about the journey right now than a single game.”
Paralympic Notes: Read the full Day 10 recap on Paralympic.ca…Danielle Dorris claimed Canada’s fourth gold of the Games winning her S7 50-metre butterfly event with a world record time of 32.59 seconds…On the track, Para athlete Marissa Papaconstantinou raced to bronze in the women’s T64 100-m final with a time of 13.07 seconds…Canada’s medal count: 20 (4 Gold, 10 Silver, 6 Bronze).
Frotten finishes eighth in 400-metre
With a time of one minute and 1.16 seconds, wheelchair racer Jessica Frotten finished eighth in the women’s T53 400-metre race on Day 9 of the Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
The Regina resident qualified for the final with a race of 59.98 seconds in her heat.
This was Frotten’s third event of the Games, she’ll wrap up her experience on Day 10 with the 4×100-m relay.
Shaw finishes Paralympics with road race
It was a rainy day in Tokyo as Midale’s Keely Shaw, competed in her final Paralympic event on a , the women’s C4-5 road race, finishing 13th.
A race time was not available.
This was Shaw’s third event of the Games. She previously competed in the road time trial, finishing fourth, and opened the Games by winning Canada’s first medal, a bronze in the track 3,000-metre individual pursuit, on Day 1 of the Paralympics.
Paralympic Notes: Para swimmer Aurelie Rivard picked up her fifth medal of the Tokyo Paralympics, winning silver in the women’s S10 100-metre backstroke with a time of one minute and 8.94 seconds…it was another silver medal for Brent Lakatos, his fourth of the Games, completing the men’s T53 800-m wheelchair race in a time of 1:36.62…Canada’s medal count: 18 (3 Gold, 10 Silver, 5 Bronze).
Women’s sitting volleyball team advances to semifinals
Melfort’s Julie Kozun and the rest of the Canadian women’s sitting volleyball team are bound for the semifinals after defeating Japan in three straight sets (25-19, 25-15 and 25-20) in their final preliminary game on Day 8 of the Paralympics.
Kozun had 12 points in the game to help Canada secure the victory and give the red and white a 2-1 record.
In the semifinals, Canada will face China, who went 3-0 and didn’t lose a set in preliminary play. That game is scheduled for Day 10.
Men’s wheelchair basketball loses in quarter-final
The Canadian men’s wheelchair basketball team, including Regina’s Nik Goncin and Garrett Ostepchuk, will play for seventh place after losing 66-52 to Great Britain on Day 8 at the Paralympics.
Trailing Canada 30-26 at halftime, Great Britain managed to close the gap to one 43-42 at the end of the third quarter and continued their comeback into the fourth, outscoring Canada 24-9 to claim the victory.
Goncin had six points in the loss.
Canada will now face Germany in 7/8 classification playoff on Day 10.
Read more on wheelchairbasketball.ca.
Paralympic Notes: Read the full Day 8 recap on Paralympic.ca…Shot putter Greg Stewart claimed gold and a new Paralympic record in the men’s F46 event…Para swimmer Aurelie Rivard set a new world record and won her second gold of the Games in the women’s S10 400-metre freestyle with a time of 4:24.08…On the track, wheelchair racer Brent Lakatos earned his third silver of the Games, finishing second in the men’s T53 100-m race with a time of 14.55 seconds…Canada’s medal count: 16 (3 Gold, 8 Silver, 5 Bronze).
Shaw finishes fourth in time trial
Midale Para cyclist Keely Shaw looked to claim her second medal of the Paralympics on Day 7 as she competed in the road cycling time trial.
Shaw clocked a time of 42 minutes and 11.09 seconds in the event, which unfortunately put her just under a minute behind the third-place finisher and off the podium.
Shaw has one more event at the Games, the road race, which is scheduled for Day 9.
Newkirk back in the pool for Canada
Saskatoon Para swimmer Shelby Newkirk was back in the water on Day 7 of the Games after first competing on the opening day.
This time around, Newkirk competed in the women’s S7 100-metre freestyle, finishing her heat in a time of one minutes and 19.06 seconds. The time was not fast enough for her to advance to the event final.
Newkirk will wrap up her Games’ experience on Day 10 when she competes in the women’s S6 100-m backstroke. She won silver in the event at the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships.
Paralympic Notes: Read the full Day 7 recap on Paralympic.ca…Para athletics sprinter Zachary Gingras earned Canada’s fifth bronze medal of the Games, racing the men’s T38 400-metre in a time of 50.85 seconds…Canada’s medal count: 13 (1 Gold, 7 Silver, 5 Bronze).
Men’s wheelchair basketball defeats Colombia, secures quarter-final sport
The Canadian men’s wheelchair basketball team wrapped up round robin play on Day 6 of the Paralympics, defeating Colombia 63-52 to give them their second win of the tournament as well as spot in the quarterfinals.
At halftime, Canada led 35-19, but the Colombians fought back to narrow the gap in the latter half of the game, outscoring Canada 18-16 in the third and 15-12 in the fourth. It wasn’t enough to complete the comeback and Canada claimed the eventual victory.
Patrick Anderson led Canada with 22 points and 17 rebounds, while Regina’s Nik Goncin followed with 15 points and seven rebounds.
With their 2-3 record, the Canadian team —which also includes Regina’s Garrett Ostepchuk— will face Great Britain in the quarter-finals, who finished their round robin with a 4-1 record. The game will take place on Day 8 of the Games.
Read more at wheelchairbasketball.ca.
Ens swims to personal best time in final event
Competing in her final event at the Tokyo Paralympics, Meadow Lake Para swimmer Nikita Ens added another personal best to her tally, completing the S3 women’s 100-metre freestyle in a time of two minutes and 32.56 seconds.
Unfortunately, the time didn’t qualify Ens for the event’s final.
At the Games, Ens also competed in the SM4 150-m individual medley, setting a Canadian record along with a personal best, as well as the S3 50-m backstroke, where she claimed another personal best.
Frotten competes in second event at Games
Regina wheelchair racer Jessica Frotten competed in her second event at the Paralympics on Day 6, the women’s T54 1500-metre race.
Frotten finished the race in a time of three minutes and 52.23 seconds, which wasn’t fast enough for her to advance to the event’s final.
Frotten still has two events left on her Games’ schedule, the T53 400-m race on Day 9 and the 4×100-m relay on Day 10.
Paralympic Notes: Read the full Day 6 recap here…Para swimmer Danielle Dorris captured Canada’s seventh silver medal at the Games, finishing the women’s S7 100-metre backstroke in second place with a time of one minute and 21.91 seconds…Canada’s medal count: 12 (1 Gold, 7 Silver, 4 Bronze).
Men’s wheelchair basketball team picks up first win at Games
With a 74-64 victory against the Republic of Korea, the Canadian men’s wheelchair basketball team, including Regina’s Nik Goncin and Garrett Ostepchuk, secured their first win of the Tokyo Paralympics.
The two teams battled throughout the game, with the lead going back and forth. With just over five minutes left in the fourth quarter, Korea led Canada 62-59, but the red and white took advantage of multiple fouls and turnovers by Korea to retake the lead and claim the eventual victory.
Patrick Anderson led Canada —who are now 1-3— with 29 points, followed by Goncin with 23.
Canada plays their final game of the round robin against Colombia on Day 6. Playoffs and classification games will follow.
Canada defeats Italy in women’s sitting volleyball
The Canadian women’s sitting volleyball improved their record to 1-1 at the Paralympic Games on Day 5 after defeating Italy 3-1.
Canada won the first two sets, 25-16 and 25-14, but Italy stopped the sweep with a 25-15 victory in the third. The red and white captured the W with a 25-18 win in the fourth and final set.
Melfort’s Julie Kozun had nine points in the game.
Canada will play their final round robin game against Japan on Day 8.
Frotten makes Paralympic debut on track
Regina wheelchair racer Jessica Frotten made her Paralympic debut on Day 5, competing in the women’s T53 800-metre race.
Frotten finished the race with a time of 1:56.79, not fast enough to qualify for the event’s final.
Frotten has multiple events still to come at the Games, including the T54 women’s 1500-m on Day 6.
Ens sets new personal best on Day 5
Para swimmer Nikita Ens set a personal-best time in the women’s S3 50-metre backstroke on Day 5, finishing her heat with a time of 1:10.82.
Unfortunately, the time didn’t qualify her for the event’s final.
Ens, who hails from Meadow Lake, has one more event at the Games, the S3 100-m freestyle, which will take place on Day 6.
Paralympic Notes: Read the full Day 5 recap here…wheelchair racer Brent Lakatos earned his second silver medal of the Games, finishing the men’s T53 400-metre race with a time of 46.75 seconds…in the men’s PTS5 Para triathlon, Canada’s Stefan Daniel earned bronze with a time of 59 minutes and 22 seconds…the Canadian women’s 4×100-m Para swimming relay team, consisting of Aurelie Rivard, Morgan Bird, Katarina Roxon and Sabrina Duchesne, won bronze with a time of 4:30.40…Canada’s medal count: 11 (one gold, six silver, four bronze).
Ens sets Canadian record in Paralympic debut
It was a record-breaking performance for Nikita Ens on Day 4 of the Paralympics as the Meadow Lake Para swimmer finished the women’s SM3 150-metre individual medley in a time of 4:34.01 seconds, setting a new Canadian record.
Unfortunately, the time wasn’t fast enough to qualify Ens for the event’s final and she did not advance.
Ens has two more events left at the Games, the S3 50-m backstroke on Day 5 and the S3 100-m freestyle on Day 6.
Canadian men’s wheelchair basketball loses to Japan
Another narrow defeat dropped the Canadian men’s wheelchair basketball team, including Regina’s Nik Goncin and Garrett Ostepchuk, to 0-3 at the Paralympics after they lost 62-56 to Japan on Day 4.
Canada led 30-19 at the halfway point of the game, but the Japanese team launched a comeback in the final two quarters to close the gap to 44-38 at the end of the third and then outscored Canada 24-12 in the fourth to claim the victory.
Goncin tallied 20 points in the game.
Canada has two games left on their round robin schedule and will face the Republic of Korea on Day 5 and Colombia on Day 6. Playoffs will follow.
Read the full story on wheelchairbasketball.ca.
Paralympic Notes: Read the full Day 4 recap here…Canada got its first gold medal as Para swimmer Aurelie Rivard finished first in the women’s S10 100-m freestyle wit a world time of 58.14…Brent Lakatos added a silver medal to Canada’s total in the men’s T54 5000-m wheelchair race…Canada’s medal count: 8 (1 Gold, 5 Silver, 2 Bronze)
Para swimmer Nikita Ens, who hails from Meadow Lake, is making her Paralympic debut in Tokyo starting on Day 4 with the SM4 150-metre individual medley. She’ll also be competing in S3 50-m backstroke and the S3 100-m freestyle later in the Games.
This after only starting the sport in 2017, when she got into the pool on her father’s urging and joined the Saskatoon Lasers swimming club.
Read about Nikita’s journey to the Paralympics Global News Saskatoon.
Find Nikita’s schedule and results here.