Rahier Strikes Gold at Para-PanAms

Adam Rahier (NRST) and Kirstie Kasko of Okotoks, Alta., each won a gold medal on Wednesday in swimming action at the Para-PanAmerican Games for athletes with a disability.

Rahier took the gold in the men’s 100 backstroke in the S14 disability class for intellectually challenged athletes, in a season best 1:06.63 winning a tight battle over Venezuelan Alberto Vera Moran second in 1:06.83.  Gutemberg Ferraz of Brazil was third.

‘’I feel so happy about the win,’’ said Rahier, 23.  ‘’It’s been a glorious and great competition.  I knew to have success I had to stay positive, listen to my coach and swim my heart out.’’

It was Rahier’s third medal of the competition. He also earned silver in the 100 breaststroke and 100 freestyle earlier this week.

The victories highlighted a three-medal day for Canada.  After four days of racing the young Canadian developmental swim squad has marched to the podium 17 times with three gold, six silver and eight bronze.

Maxime Rousselle of St-Alexandre, Que., was fifth and Dalton Boon of Ladner, B.C., sixth.

In the women’s S14 100 backstroke, Kasko collected her second gold of the Games clocking 1:20.10 with Jana Murphy of Victoria second in 1:21.23.  Meagan Michie of Metcalfe, Ont., was eighth.  Kasko also won the 200 freestyle on Monday.

Murphy is now up to three medals.  She was second in the 100 breaststroke on Sunday and third in the 200 freestyle on Monday.

Other Canadian finalists in men’s competition were Micah Mykitiuk of Toronto and Thomas Swinkels of Lower Sackville, N.S., fourth and fifth in the S10 400 freestyle; Zack McAllister of Lethbridge, Alta., fourth in the S9 400 freestyle; Jean-Sébastien Lapointe of Repentigny, Que., sixth in the S7 50 freestyle; Nik Tolgyesi of Kingston, Ont., sixth in the S6 200 IM and Andrew Cook of Penticton, B.C., eighth in the S4 100 breaststroke. 

Tolgyesi, 16, bettered his personal best by 30 seconds.

‘’I have to give credit to my coach,’’ said Tolgyesi, who is coached by Canadian marathon swimming legend Vicki Keith.  ‘’I really managed the race well and met all my splits.  I had a good pace at the start and that allowed me to have the energy for a strong finish.’’

Kennedy Pasay of Leduc, Alta., was fifth in the women’s S9 400 freestyle.

Competition continues Thursday.

Full results: http://info.parapan.guadalajara2011.org.mx/ESP/ZZ/ZZS103A_SW@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ESP.htm