Canada’s Bianca Borgella sprints to second medal at Para Athletics World Championships

Canada's Bianca Borgella sprints to second medal at Para Athletics World Championships

Day Three and Four was one to remember for Team Canada and Rockland, Ont. sprinter Bianca Borgella, as she won her second medal at the Para Athletics World Championships in Paris. Borgella won silver in the T13 200m final, setting a new personal best and Canadian record. Her silver was one of three medals won by Team Canada track athletes on Tuesday and Wednesday in the French capital.

After reaching the T13 200m final with a 25.32-second clocking Tuesday night, Borgella ran a T13 Canadian record of 25 seconds in the final, reaching the podium again in her first Para world championships. On Monday, in the T13 100m final, Borgella won bronze in a near personal best time of 12.26 seconds, earning a qualification spot for Canada at the 2024 Paralympics in Paris.

Borgella engaged in a head-to-head battle with Adi Iglesias from Spain during the final 100m, sharing the lead coming out of the bend. Iglesias managed to pull ahead of Borgella in the last 20 meters and took gold in 24.86 seconds.

The 20-year-old sprinter has been Canada’s breakout star at the 2023 Para Athletics World Championships, winning two of Canada’s five medals at the Games.

Borgella is in the T13 Para classification for track runners with a visual impairment. T13 means they have a restricted field of view, their peripheral vision is limited and their central vision can be blurry.

Lakatos wins his 17th career medal

One of Canada’s greatest Para athletes, Brent Lakatos, won his 17th world championship medal of his career on Tuesday, winning silver in the men’s T53 400m. The athlete who edged Lakatos for gold, Pongsakorn Paeyo of Thailand, broke his own world record to defend his world championship T53 400m title in 46.11 seconds.

The 2023 Paris Para Athletics World Championships is Lakatos’s seventh world championship on Team Canada. Athletes in the T53 classification have full use of their arms but have no or limited trunk function.

Brent Lakatos
Brent Lakatos at the 2012 London ParalympicsPhoto: W/C

Canadian record for Austin Smeenk in the T34 400m

For Team Canada captain Austin Smeenk of Oakville, Ont., won his first medal at the 2023 worlds in the T34 400m. Smeenk took bronze in a tight race, breaking his previous Canadian record and personal best in 49.32 seconds. Smeenk is also scheduled to compete in the T34 100m and 800m later in the week.

The T34 classification is for wheelchair track athletes with movement affected to a low degree in the trunk and arms and a high degree affecting the legs. These athletes have to compensate for the reduced co-ordination of muscle movements.

Twenty-five Para athletes are in Paris to represent Canada from July 8 to 17 at the 2023 Para Athletics World Championships. CBC Sports is streaming the event on, CBC Gem and the CBC Sports app for mobile devices. The schedule is available here.

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