Nine Ontario Athletes Compete at 2019 Canadian Track & Field Championships
Ontario wheelchair athletes come away with 16 medals at National Championships
This past weekend, nine Ontario Para-Athletics wheelchair athletes (T/F 51-57) competed in the 2019 Canadian Track & Field Championships. The event, hosted by Athletics Canada, took place at the Complex Sportif Claude-Robillard in Montreal, QC from July 25-28 and featured some of the best able-bodied and para-athletics competitors vying for national titles.
The Ontario athletes competed in both wheelchair races and seated throws and came away with a total of 16 medals – eight gold, three silver, and five bronze.
On the Track:
Paralympian Josh Cassidy earned the title of national champion in all three of his middle and long-distance races, placing first in the Men’s T54 800m, 1500m, and 5000m races. In an interview with Athletics Canada, Cassidy had this to say about his performance: “It’s great to have this consistency again. It was about five years ago where I was on a stint of inconsistently winning, so it’s good to come here and be in good shape to make it happen.”
In the sprints, Isaiah Christophe of Brampton appeared to be in top form as he went on to win gold in the Men’s T54 100m, 200m, and 400m events. On the women’s side, Cruisers Sports athlete Nandini Sharma took 1st in the Women’s T34-53-54 200m race and 2nd in the T54 400m, while also placing 4th in the Women’s 100m (T34-52-53-54) and 800m (T53-54). Fellow competitor Katty Abran of the London Western Track & Field Club finished 3rd in the Women’s T34-51-53-54 100m, 2nd in the Women’s T34-53-54 200m, and 4th in the T54 400m. To top it off on the track, Ottawa athlete Brett Babcock won a silver medal in the Men’s T33-51 400m.
On the Field:
Four Ontario athletes competed in seated throws that include events such as shot put, discus, and javelin. In the women’s competition, Tiffany Gaudette of Cruisers Sports led the way with three bronze medals. Her best results were 5.71m in shot put, 11.21m in javelin, and 16.64m in discus. Fellow Cruisers teammate Martha Sandoval Gustafson, who was recently named to the Team Canada roster for the upcoming 2019 Parapan Am Games, finished just off the podium with a 4th place finish in the shot put and javelin, and 6th in discus.
In the men’s events, Toronto athlete Anthony McMillan, in only his 2nd year of competition, came away with a gold medal in shot put, throwing his best distance of 9.70m. He also won bronze in discus, throwing 26.92m. Rounding out the Ontario competitors in the field was Josh Watson. He competed in all three throws and placed 9th, 6th, and 7th in the discus, shot put, and javelin, respectively.
Ontario Competitors (T/F 51-57):
- Katty Abran (London Western TFC); T54
- Brett Babcock (National Capital TFC); T51
- Joshua Cassidy (Ottawa Lions TFC); T54
- Isaiah Christophe (Cruisers Sports); T54
- Tiffany Gaudette (Cruisers Sports); F56
- Anthony McMillan (Cruisers Sports); F57
- Martha Sandoval Gustafson (Cruisers Sports); F52
- Nandini Sharma (Cruisers Sports); T54
- Joshua Watson (Cruisers Sports); F56
Abran, Gaudette, and Sharma are all recipients of the Ontario Athlete Assistance Program, better known as ‘Quest For Gold’, a program funded by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture & Sport in support of amateur high performance athletes.
About the Ontario Para Network
Formerly known as the Ontario Wheelchair Sports Association, our mission at the Ontario Para Network (ONPARA) is together with our partners, to grow awareness and opportunities for adaptive sports in Ontario. As the governing body for three wheelchair sports in the province, we strive to increase opportunities for individuals with disabilities to participate in wheelchair athletics, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby, and wheelchair tennis at recreational, competitive, and high performance levels.