Para-swimmer Aurélie Rivard broke the world record en route to the gold medal in the women's S10-50-m freestyle while wheelchair racer Brent Lakatos added a victory in the men's T53 100-m wheelchair race on Friday at the Paralympic Games.
The victories highlighted a five medal performance for the Canadian team today, its first podium appearances of the Games.
Rivard, a 20-year-old from St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., clocked 27.37 seconds in the race to finish ahead of arch rival Sophie Pasco of New Zealand.
"I am not sure I realize it yet,'' Rivard said. ''I don't know whether to laugh, jump or throw up. It's my first event and I've broken the world record and won. I'm in heaven."
There were four other Canadian finalists at the pool: Tess Routliffe of Caledon, Ont., and Sarah Mehain of Vernon, B.C. were fifth and seventh in the women's S7 50-m freestyle; Nathan Stein of Surrey, B.C., and Alec Elliot of Kitchener, Ont., were fifth and eighth in the men's S10 50-m freestyle and Nathan Clement of West Vancouver, B.C. was sixth in the men's S6 50-m butterfly.
After setting a Games record 14.43 in the morning heats, Lakatos nearly repeated the time clocking 14.44 for the victory for his first career Paralympic Games gold medal in four appearances for the 36-year-old paraplegic from Dorval, Que.
'I had a good start then after 30 m I could see in my peripheral vision that they were falling behind slightly and I told myself "to hold on " and I made it,'' he said. ''This is amazing''
There was more hardware in athletics for Canada as Alister McQueen of Calgary took the silver in the men's F44 javelin. The 25-year-old below-knee amputee made his best throw in the fifth of six rounds at 55.56 metres.
''I dreamed about this victory,'' said McQueen, who set personal bests on four throws. ''Over the last six months I knew I could achieve that dream if I put things together.''
Ness Murby of Salt Spring Island, B.C. was sixth in the women's F11 discus. Josh Cassidy of Port Elgin ranked seventh in the T54 5000 morning heats and advances to the final on Sunday morning.
Canada's first medal of the Games was earned at the velodrome by Ross Wilson of Sherwood Park, Alta., who took the silver in the men's C-1 3000m individual pursuit. A few minutes later Tristen Chernove of Powell River, B.C., duplicated the feat in the men's C-2 3000m individual pursuit.
Both Canadian riders were beaten by Chinese riders in their gold medal finals.
It's hard not to be really happy to be on the podium and among the world's best athletes,'' said Chernove. It's wonderful. At the same time, you really want to be on your best form and have your best performance on the day. I've got a lot to learn when it comes to these type of events. Certainly I didn't have my best rides today and that's hard.''
In the C3 3000m individual pursuit, Michael Sametz of Calgary, Alta. took fourth spot falling to Eoghan Clifford of Ireland in the bronze medal race.
It was good start for Canada in rowing as the LTA Mixed Coxed Four with Victoria Nolan, of Toronto, Ont., Meghan Montgomery of Winnipeg, Man., Andrew Todd, of Thunder Bay, Ont., Curtis Halladay, of Sudbury, Ont., and coxswain Kristen Kit of St. Catharines, Ont., were second in their heat and will compete in the repechage on Saturday morning.
It was an historic day for Canada in women's sitting volleyball as it made its Games debut in the sport. Powerful Brazil beat the Canadians 25-7, 25-12, 25-14.
In table tennis, Stephanie Chan of Richmond, B.C. evened her record at 1-1 in women's class 7 singles defeating Anne Barneoud of France 11-8, 13-11, 11-9.
The Canadian men dropped to 0-2 in men's wheelchair basketball dropping a 49-32 decision to the Netherlands. Nik Goncin of Regina led the Canadians with 12 points.
Both the Canadian men and women opened their goalball tournaments. The men lost 11-3 to Brazil and the women 12-4 to Turkey.
In wheelchair tennis, Philippe Bédard of Bromont, Que., lost first round match 6-0, 6-1 to David Phillipson of Britain.