LONDON, UK – Canadian track and field athletes recorded a pair of top eight finishes today in athletics competition at the Paralympic Games. Josh Cassidy and Rachael Burrows, both of Ottawa, Ont., finished fifth and sixth respectively in the T54 800-metres and T34 200-metres.

Josh Cassidy avoided a crash in the men’s T54 wheelchair 800-metre final to finish sixth overall in a time of 1:39.72. However a short time following the posting of the official results the Chinese athlete was disqualified bumping Cassidy up to fifth. “I was able to avoid the crash and expended a lot of energy getting back into the race. I’m feeling better day by day and looking forward to Sunday.” Josh competes in the marathon Sunday at 11:30am local time (6:30am eastern time).

Rachael Burrows was sixth in the women’s T34 200-metre final in 38.51 seconds. “It was definitely a better race than this morning, my start was much better. I had a much better start and I performed well by my standards.” She adds, “This has been a wonderful experience and I’m very blessed and thankful to have represented Canada.” She qualified for the final earlier today by placing third in her qualifying heat with a time of 39.59 seconds. Burrows will return from her first Paralympic Games experience with two top eight finishes to her name. Earlier this week she finished eighth in the 100-metres.

Keira-Lyn Frie of Saskatoon, Sask., and Diane Roy of Sherbrook, Que., both placed fourth in their respective T54 wheelchair 1500-metre heats to advance to tomorrow’s final at 9:08pm local time (4:08pm eastern time). Frie stopped the clock at 3:42.59 while Roy crossed the finish line in 3:32.27.

In the men’s T11 visually impaired 400-metres Jonathan Dunkerley of Ottawa, Ont., and guide runner Sean Young of Ottawa, Ont., clocked 55.27 seconds for third in their heat. Unfortunately it was not enough to advance to the final.

In the same event Dustin Walsh of Coquitlam, B.C., and guide runner Dylan Williamson of Langley, B.C., appeared to have finished second in their heat in a personal best time of 53.64 seconds. However following the race they were disqualified for a lane violation and will not advance to the final.

Braedon Dolfo of Langley, B.C., finished fourth in 23.25 seconds in his heat of the T13 visually impaired 200-metres, it was not enough to advance to the final.

In the women’s T37 400-metres Leah Robinson of Mannheim, Ont., finished fifth in her heat in a time of 1:16.94 and did not advance to the final.

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