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Canada edges United States in women's goalball final at Parapan Am Games

Amy Burk Canada Amy Burk - The Canadian Press

SANTIAGO, Chile — Canada defeated the United States 4-3 on Friday to win gold in women's goalball and lead an 11-medal day at the Parapan American Games.

Emma Reinke had a hat trick for the Canadians, who secured a berth at the 2024 Paris Paralympics with the victory. Amy Burk had the other goal.

‘’This is what we came here to do,’’ said Burk, a four-time Paralympian. ‘’We’ve been working so hard over these past couple of years and to finally have it all come together is amazing.

‘’Today’s game was the calmest our team has been.’’

Lisa Marie Czechowski scored twice for the Americans and Eliana Marie Mason added a single.

It was Canada's first Parapan Am title after three consecutive bronze medals. Brazil blanked Argentina 10-0 in the third-place game.

Canada is eighth in the medal standings with 40 — eight gold, 12 silver and 20 bronze.

Brazil is first with 286 medals and 132 gold, Colombia is second with 144 medals and 44 gold, while the United States is third with 137 and 44 gold through Day 7 of the event.

In men's goalball, Canada took the bronze with a 6-2 victory over Argentina. Blair Nesbitt led the way with a hat trick.

‘’We had the belief we could accomplish the medal,’’ he said. ‘’After a tough loss (to the U.S.) that prevented us from qualifying for the Paralympic Games, we just stayed as a team and believed in each other.

"We executed a bit better today but it was the belief in each other that was the key.’’

Mason Smith had two goals for Canada and Doug Ripley added a single. Leonardo Jazmin and Mario Velardez tallied for Argentina.

Brazil beat the United States 12-2 in the final to win gold and secure a Paralympic berth.

In wheelchair basketball, the Canadian women's team earned silver after a 62-56 loss to the United States in the gold-medal game.

Kady Dandeneau of Pender Island, B.C., led Canada with a team-high 19 points, 21 rebounds and five assists. Lindsey Zurbrugg scored 17 points for the U.S.

“Obviously, super disappointed. I thought we played well. I thought we played, communicated, had good teamwork — some of the shots didn’t fall,” said Tara Llanes of North Vancouver, B.C. “I thought we executed the game plan that we wanted to execute. They had some good shots; I can’t take that away from them.”

Meanwhile, Canada's track cyclists had a podium-filled day.

Mel Pemble of Victoria captured gold in the women's 3,000-metre C1-3 individual pursuit after finishing 0.109 seconds ahead of American Jamie Renee Whitmore in the final. Paula Perez Caballero took bronze.

“I feel really surprised,” said Pemble. “I went out with a really good plan and everything that could have happened, happened."

Alex Hayward of Quispamsis, N.B., claimed his second gold of the Parapan Am Games by beating Colombia's Alejandro Perera Arango in men's 3,000-metre C1-3 individual pursuit. Calgary's Mike Sametz won bronze.

Keely Shaw of Saskatoon earned silver in the women's 3,000-metre C4-5 after losing out to American Samantha Bosco.

In track and field, Toronto's Jesse Zesseu won bronze in the men’s T37-38 long jump. Renee Foessel of Orangeville, Ont., also finished third on the podium in the women’s F38 Discus.

Rob Shaw of North Bay, Ont., earned silver in Wheelchair Tennis, losing 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 to Chile's Francisco Cayulef 6-3 in the men's singles final.

Justine Morrier of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., won a medal in the pool by taking bronze in the women's S14 100-metre butterfly.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 24, 2023.