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An excited Team Canada entered the stadium this evening to celebrate the official opening of the Guadalajara 2011 Parapan American Games in Mexico. (CNW Group/CANADIAN PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE (CPC)) (CANADIAN PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE/CPC)
An excited Team Canada entered the stadium this evening to celebrate the official opening of the Guadalajara 2011 Parapan American Games in Mexico. (CNW Group/CANADIAN PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE (CPC)) (CANADIAN PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE/CPC)

Weldon, Bessette win Canada's first gold medal at Parapan American Games Add to ...

There was plenty of hardware for Canada on the opening day of the Parapan American Games.



Canada led all participating countries in total medals by finishing Sunday with nine medals, including a gold in cycling.



Cyclists Robbi Weldon of Thunder Bay, Ont., and pilot Lyne Bessette of Knowlton, B.C., won gold in the 21.1-kilometre mixed time trial for athletes with visual impairment.



The world champions finished first in 24 minutes 54.45 seconds on the first day of competition.



Daniel Chalifour of Lac-des-Ecorces, Que., and pilot Ed Veal of Queensville, Ont., won bronze with a time of 25:43.12. The American duo of Karissa Whitsell and Lisa Turnball took the silver.



Brazil and the United States each collected four gold medals on Sunday. Brazil finished the day with eight medals in total while Mexico collected seven. The U.S. has six.



Adam Rahier of Nanaimo, B.C., Jana Murphy of Victoria and Chris Sergeant of Kingston, Ont., each won a silver medal in swimming.



Also stepping on the podium were Maxime Rousselle of St. Alexandre, Que., and Jean-Sebastien Lapointe of Repentigny, Que., both with bronze.



In the men's 100-metre breaststroke in the SB14 disability category for swimmers with an intellectual disability, Alberto Vera of Venezuela took the gold in 1:15.39, Rahier followed in 1:17.77 and Rousselle was third in 1:18.39. Dalton Boon of Ladner, B.C., was sixth.



In the women's SB14 100 breaststroke, Mariana Diaz of Mexico was the winner in 1:27.67 with Murphy second in a personal best 1:29.63 and Viviana Moraes of Venezuela third in 1:30.79. Kirstie Kasko of Okotoks, Alta., missed the podium by only 0.01 seconds and was fourth. Meagan Michie of Metcalfe, Ont., took eighth spot.



`'It was a good race and I'm happy it went really well,” said Murphy. `'The best parts of my race were my start and the turns which is something I've really worked on in training.”



In the men's S8 100 backstroke, Caio Oliveira of Brazil was the winner in a Games record 1:14.52 with Sergeant second in 1:17.48 and Lucas Poggi of Argentina third in 1:19.77.



In the men's S7 400 freestyle, Ronaldo Santos of Brazil took the gold, with Enrique Perez of Mexico second and Lapointe third.



`'Getting a medal is something I didn't expect,” said Lapointe. `'For me this is a learning experience. I just wished I could have got a personal best.”



The Games kicked off with the opening ceremony a day earlier.



Wheelchair basketball player Dave Durepos of Fredericton served as flagbearer and led the Canadian team of 121 athletes and 11 guides, pilots and sports assistants into the Telmex Athletics Stadium.



The Canadian women's wheelchair basketball team won their opener Sunday by defeating Brazil 67-49.



Canada is one of 24 countries competing at the Games, which run through Nov. 20. About 1,500 athletes are participating at the event.



Canada finished second at the 2007 Parapan American Games in Rio de Janeiro with 112 medals — 49 gold, 37 silver and 26 bronze.



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