Canada’s Aurelie Rivard swims her way to a silver medal for the women’s SM10(Para) 200m Individual Medley during the swimming finals at the Commonwealth Games Saturday, April 7, 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia. ATHE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Canada’s Aurelie Rivard swims her way to a silver medal for the women’s SM10(Para) 200m Individual Medley during the swimming finals at the Commonwealth Games Saturday, April 7, 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia. ATHE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Rivard swims to Canada’s first gold medal at Tokyo Paralympics

Aurelie Rivard captured Canada’s first gold medal of the Tokyo Paralympics in spectacular fashion.

The 25-year-old from Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, Que., smashed her own world record in both her heats and final of the 100-metre freestyle on Saturday.

Brent Lakatos added a silver medal on the track, in the men’s 5,000 metres. Canada has eight medals through four days in Tokyo.

Rivard, who was born with an underdeveloped left hand, touched the wall in 58.14 seconds, beating Chantalle Zijderveld of the Netherlands by more than two seconds.

The medal was Rivard’s second in Tokyo, and the seventh Paralympic medal of her career. She was named Canada’s flag-bearer for the closing ceremony in Rio after her triple gold-medal performance at the 2016 Olympics.

The Paralympics are Rivard’s first competition since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Lakatos’s silver was the start of a busy Paralympic campaign for the 41-year-old from Dorval, Que. Lakatos has captured eight medals over five Paralympics, and is racing every distance, from the 100 metres to the marathon, in Tokyo.

The Canadian Press