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Canadian Austin Smeenk rolls to 5th in men’s T34 800m on Tokyo track

Canadian Austin Smeenk rolls to 5th in men's T34 800m on Tokyo track


Canada’s Austin Smeenk secured a career-best Paralympic finish on Saturday in Japan.

Smeenk placed fifth in the men’s T34 800 metres with a time of one minute 47.58 seconds on a misty morning at Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium.

Smeenk previously placed seventh in the T34 100m. In his Paralympic debut in 2016, the Oakville, Ont., native placed sixth in the 100m and eighth in the 800m.


Starting in Lane 8, the 24-year-old Smeenk held steady in second place for much of the first 400 metres. But as the wheelchair racers reached the bell lap, the eventual medallists made their moves, leaving Smeenk in their wake.

Tunisia’s Walid Ktila won gold at 1:45.50, while Mohamed Alhammadi of the United Arab Erimates took silver (1:45.59) and China’s Wang Yang earned bronze (1:45.68).

The T34 category is for athletes whose lower-body movement is impacted to a high degree, with their arms and trunk less affected.

Canada’s other contenders in Para athletics on Saturday include world-record holder Nate Riech in the men’s T38 1,500m and Renee Foessel in the women’s F38 discus throw.

WATCH | What you missed on Day 10 in Tokyo:


While You Were Sleeping, Danielle Dorris becomes Paralympic champion

Dorris swam to a world record and a gold medal in Tokyo, while on the track, Marissa Papaconstantinou ran to her first Paralympic medal. 4:12

Canadian canoe trio competes in finals

Three Canadians competed in canoe sprint finals at the Sea Forest Waterway in Tokyo on Saturday. None made the podium.

Mathieu St-Pierre of Shawinigan, Que., claimed the highest placement, finishing fifth in the men’s Va’a single 200-metre race at 56.029 seconds.

St-Pierre, 33, was competing in his first Paralympics.

Meanwhile, two Canadian women placed last in their respective races.

Brianna Hennessy completed her KL1 race in 58.233 seconds, while Andrea Nelson posted a time of 56.637 seconds in the KL2 race.


While St-Pierre was in a single-person canoe, Hennessy and Nelson raced in kayaks.