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Keely Shaw earns bronze medal in her Paralympic debut

The Saskatchewan cyclist won Canada’s first medal of the Games

Photo by: Kevin MacKinnon

Canadian paracyclist Keely Shaw won Canada’s first medal of the Paralympics last night—a bronze in the women’s C4 3,000-metre individual pursuit.

At the 2020 world track championships in Milton, Ont. Shaw raced the women’s C4 individual pursuit, finishing just 75 milliseconds off of a bronze medal. At her return to racing she was able to move up one position, putting herself on the podium at her first ever Paralympic event.

The 27-year-old Midale, Sask. cyclist won the bronze medal match by just .011 seconds, leaving Australian Meg Lemon in fourth place. Lemon’s teammate Emily Petricola earned the gold medal, finishing in with a world record time of 3:38.061. American Shawn Morelli was the runner-up in the gold medal match.

A quick rise to the top

After trying out several other sports, Shaw started cycling in 2016. She raced her first worlds just two years later, finishing fourth in the individual pursuit at the track worlds and fourth and seventh in the time trial and road race at the road worlds. By 2019 she had won the silver medal in the individual pursuit at track Worlds and the same year at the road world championships she was fourth in the time trial and seventh in the 65-kilometre road race.

Shaw still has a few races to go at the Tokyo Paralympics—On Thurday night (Aug. 26) she and teammate Kate O’Brien will race the Women’s C4 Time Trial and on Sept. 2 she takes on the Women’s C4-5 Road Race.