Paralympic wake-up call: Canada is golden after star swimmer breaks world record twice

·3 min read
Aurélie Rivard of Canada reacts after winning the gold medal and breaking her world record time in the women's S10 100-metre freestyle final. (Buda Mendes/Getty Images - image credit)
Aurélie Rivard of Canada reacts after winning the gold medal and breaking her world record time in the women's S10 100-metre freestyle final. (Buda Mendes/Getty Images - image credit)

It's a golden day for Canadian champion Aurélie Rivard.

The 25-year-old Para swimmer has won Canada's first gold medal at the Tokyo Paralympic Games. And she did it with a commanding performance, not just breaking her own world record once — but twice on the same day.

Rivard stormed to first place in an explosive time of 58.14 seconds, showcasing her absolute mastery in the pool.

The athlete from St-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, Que., also defended her own title from Rio 2016 in the event to boot. The win grows her Paralympic medal collection to a total of seven.

Read more about Rivard's record-setting swims and how she bounced back from a bronze finish earlier in Tokyo to grab the gold medal here.

WATCH | Aurélie Rivard claims Canada's 1st gold medal in Tokyo:

Here's more of what you missed on Saturday:

Brent Lakatos captures silver

Brent Lakatos, wheelchair racer from Dorval, Que., added a silver medal on the track, in the men's T54 5,000-metre event.

Although he was edged out by Switzerland's Marcel Hug in the final few metres, Lakatos' silver remains a significant achievement as it marks the first medal finish for him in the 5,000-metre distance.

The silver was the start of a busy Paralympic campaign for the 41-year-old. Lakatos has captured eight medals over five Paralympics, and is racing every distance, from the 100 metres to the marathon, in Tokyo.

WATCH | Brent Lakatos with silver-medal start to his Tokyo Games:

Para triathlon in stifling heat

For only the second time in Paralympic history, athletes took on the gruelling triathlon — this time at the Odaiba Marine Park in the sweltering heat of Tokyo.

In the women's visual impairment class, PTV1, Canada's Jessica Tuomela had a wonderful race to finish in fifth place — 21 years after she won a silver in swimming.

Buda Mendes/Getty Images
Buda Mendes/Getty Images

With guide Marianne Hogan, the pair swam 750 metres, cycled 20 kilometres, and ran five kilometres in a time of one hour, 12 minutes and 53 seconds.

Americans topped the podiums in two events, while France and Spain also took gold medals as well.

Oliver Walters/CBC
Oliver Walters/CBC

Canadians get things rolling in boccia

Canadian boccia players are now in the mix in Tokyo, taking to the Ariake Gymnastics Centre on Saturday.

Alison Levine, 31 of Montreal, had the opening match of the day and launched her tournament with a win, defeating her opponent 4-3.

It's her second Paralympics, and the Canadian enters ranked at No.1 in the world in her class.

Adam Pretty/Getty Images
Adam Pretty/Getty Images

Canada's two other athletes, Danik Allard and Iulian Ciobanu, both had opening losses.

Toppling the podium in table tennis

Indian table tennis player Bhavina Patel has made a statement on her path to the gold-medal match scheduled for Sunday. The athlete has taken on and beat two out of three Class 4 medal winners from Rio 2016 in order to get there.

Patel first knocked out the reigning gold medallist Borislava Peric-Rankovic in quarter-finals. Then the paddler defeated the previous silver medallist Zhang Miao.

She'll play Zhou Ying, who dealt Patel her only loss in Tokyo, for gold.

Smashing records in athletics

Paralympians have been shattering records left and right in Tokyo. Several records fell in athletics on Saturday, with athletes churning out personal bests and season bests in the humid weather.

Spain's Kim Lopez Gonzalez was among them and notched a new world record in the men's F12 shot put of 17.04 metres.

Lintao Zhang/Getty Images
Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Fleur Jong of the Netherlands also set a T62 world record in the women's long jump, winning gold after leaping 6.16 metres. Meanwhile, Lisa Adams of New Zealand set a Paralympic record of 15.12 metres in the women's F37 shot put

Sophie Hahn of Great Britain also equalled her own world record of 12.38 seconds in the women's T38 100-metre heat.

Thomas Peter/Reuters
Thomas Peter/Reuters
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting