Doha, Qatar – Day two of the 2015 IPC World Championships featured a number of Canadian athletes contesting qualification races with hopes of making a final. While medals weren’t up for grabs, there was no lack of drama in these preliminary races.
The men’s T54 1500-metres was exhibit A in high drama as Alexandre Dupont of Clarenceville, Que., and Josh Cassidy of Port Elgin, Ont., each took part in a couple of physical contests. Dupont was taken out by a competitor on the first lap of his semi-final, and traffic over the last lap squeezing Cassidy towards the back before the final sprint in his semi. Cassidy would finished sixth in his section and did not qualify for the final. Tristan Smyth of Maple Ridge, B.C., finishing tenth in his section in a time of 3:36.52, he did not advance.
A pair of ambulatory athletes successfully navigated their qualifying rounds in the women’s 200-metres. Virginia McLachlan of Windsor, Ont., crossed the line in 35.25 to earn a spot in the T35 final. “I am happy to make the final. There is some things I need to work on for tomorrow’s final. My main goal is to win a medal and make Canada proud,” explained McLachlan.
Marissa Papaconstantinou of Toronto, Ont., finished third in her semifinal with a time of 28.52 to automatically qualify for the women’s 200-metres T44 final. Of her experience in Doha so far Papaconstantinou said, ”I am more than anything else excited to get to the final…(the) first World Championship can be really nerve wracking, I know what to expect now. It is really not that scary.”
Madison Wilson-Walker of Avon, Ont., also contested the T44 200-metres placing seventh in her section outside the time needed to advance to the final.
In the women’s 100-metres T53 semis, Ilana Dupont of Saskatoon, Sask., and Jessica Frotten of Whitehorse, Yukon, both earned spots in tomorrow’s final. Dupont moved through automatically placing third in her section (18.50), while Frotten got through as a time qualifier in 18.65.
Dupont likes her chances in in the final and explained, “The goal today was to finish top three to guarantee a spot in the final. I watched where the other girls were and I was pretty confident so I just let up at the end. I am excited for tomorrow.”
In the men’s 800-metres T37/38 semifinal, Mitchell Chase of Pickering, Ont., and Shayne Dobson of Moncton, N.B., both ran personal best times. Chase’s time of 2:10.38 was only eleven hundredths of a second out of a spot in the final, while Dobson placed fourth in his section in a time of 2:12.37.
In the heats of the men’s T34 400-metres, Austin Smeenk of Oakville, Ont., placed sixth in the first section with a time of 1:00.91, and Nathan Dewitt of Surrey, B.C., placed sixth in his heat with a time of 1:05.49. Neither advanced to the final.
Canadian content on day 3 of the IPC World Championships (Saturday October 24)
Women’s 200m T44 FINAL | 4:35 pm Doha | 9:34 am EDT
Marissa Papaconstantinou, Toronto, ON
Women’s 200m T35 FINAL | 4:42 pm Doha | 9:42 am EDT
Virginia McLachlan, Windsor, ON
Women’s 100m T53 FINAL | 6:35 pm Doha | 11:35 am EDT
Ilana Dupont, Saskatoon, SK
Jessica Frotten, Whitehorse, YK
Women’s Discus F11 FINAL | 7:12 pm Doha | 12:12pm EDT
Ness Murby, Salt Spring Island, BC
Women’s Club throw F51 FINAL | 7:20 pm Doha | 12:20pm EDT
Becky Richter, Saskatoon, SK
Men’s 200m T44 semi-finals | 9:04 pm Doha | 2:04pm EDT
Cody Salomons, Strathroy, ON
Men’s T13 1500m semi-finals | 9:44 pm Doha | 2:44pm EDT
Guillaume Ouellet, Victoriaville, QC