Three medals and three Canadian records on the track Friday

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LONDON, UK – The Canadian athletics (track and field) team added three medals to its tally Friday, two silver and a bronze, bringing the team total to nine thus far at the Paralympic Games (1 gold, 5 silver, 3 bronze).

Jason Dunkerley and guide runner Josh Karanja, both of Ottawa, Ont., and Brent Lakatos of Dorval, Que., won silver medals while Virginia McLachlan of Windsor, Ont., won bronze. All three podiums were recorded in new Canadian record times.

Jason Dunkerley and guide runner Josh Karanja won silver in the men’s T11 visually impaired 5000-metres. The duo crossed the line in a Canadian record time of 15:34.07; cutting 10 seconds off the previous record. “I’m happy, we ran hard and got a personal best, I think there’s a lot more to come from us, especially in this event”. Dunkerley adds, “Josh keeps pushing me and it’s been a big part of our success this year.” Dunkerley and Karanja wrap up these Games with two medals, having earlier won bronze in the 1500-metres Jason will return to Canada a four time Paralympian with five medals to his credit.

Brent Lakatos won his third silver medal of the Games today in the men’s T53 wheelchair 200-metres. Lakatos crossed the finish line in a Canadian record time of 25.85 seconds. “This is a huge personal best for me, I didn’t win but I gave it everything I had. I’m thrilled, this has been a great Games for me, I have my first three Paralympic medals.”

Virginia McLachlan got the medal party started winning bronze in the women’s T35 100-metres in a personal best and Canadian record time of 16.42 seconds. “I really wanted to chase down those two girls, but that’s ok, I’m more than happy with bronze. I came into these Games honoured and excited to represent Canada, to step on to that podium twice, I can’t even put that into words.” Virginia completes her first Paralympic Games experience with two bronze medals. She won bronze on the first day of athletics competition in the T35 200-metres.

Earle Connor of Calgary, Alta., placed fourth in the men’s T42-100-metres in 12.65 seconds. “This is not the end of the book; I just wish I could have brought Canada home a gold medal.”

In the final of the women’s T54 wheelchair 1500-metres Diane Roy of Sherbrook, Que., finished fourth in 3:37.17. Diane’s last event at the Paralympic Games is the marathon on Sunday. In the same final Keira-Lyn Frie of Saskatoon, Sask., placed eighth in 3:38.58. Frie lines up tomorrow in the heats of the 100-metres at 11:33am local time (6:33am eastern time).

In the day’s morning session Éric Gauthier of St-Faustin Lac-Carré, Que., finished fifth in his heat of the T54 wheelchair 200-metres in 28.26 seconds, he did not advance to the final.

Brandon King of Brampton, Ont., and guide runner Andrew Heffernan of Peterbough, Ont., crossed the finish line of the men’s T11 visually impaired 200-metres in a seasonal best of 24.29 seconds. The duo crossed the line in a seasonal best time of 24.29 seconds but did not advance to the semi finals.

For more information visit www.paralympic2012.athletics.ca.

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