Yukoner Ernest Chua gets some instruction during competition at the 2019 Special Olympics Summer World Games in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on March 18. (Submitted/Special Olympics Canada)

Yukon’s Ernest Chua wins pair of medals at Special Olympics World Games

Chua was the first Canadian to medal at the games

The Special Olympics Summer World Games were in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, from March 14 to 21 as more than 7,000 athletes from 190 delegations gathered to compete in 24 different sports.

Among those representing Canada at the games was the Yukon’s Ernest Chua, who finished swimming competition with two silver medals, a fourth-place finish and a fifth-place finish.

Chua’s silver medal in the 100-metre backstroke on March 15 was the first medal for Canada at the games.

No stranger to the international stage, Chua has previously competed for Canada at the 2017 Special Olympics Winter World Games in Austria where he won gold and silver in cross-country skiing and is now the first Special Olympics Yukon athlete to compete at both the winter and summer games.

Racing started for Chua on March 13 when he joined teammates Connor Scott Bissett, Roy Thomas Paynter and Gordon Robert James Newcombe Michie for the four by 50-metre medley relay preliminaries. The Canadians finished second in their heat with a combined time of two minutes and 32.91 seconds.

Chua found his way onto the podium just two days later in the men’s 100-metre backstroke final where he finished second – the first medal of the games for Canada.

Timotheos Vassiliou of Cyprus won the race with a time of one minute and 37.73 seconds. Chua was close behind, finishing in one minute and 47.26 seconds. Third place went to Alexis Dupont of France with a time of two minutes and 6.55 seconds.

In the men’s 200-m freestyle final, Chua finished fifth in a very tight race on March 17.

Jan Christiaan Kuiper of the Netherlands won gold after finishing in three minutes and 20.78 seconds, while Slovenian Alen Soster was just 0.06 seconds behind with a second-place time of three minutes and 20.84 seconds. Australian Jordan Mark Overs rounded out the podium in third place with a time of three minutes and 21.39 seconds. Chua’s time was three minutes and 23.81 seconds — 2.42 seconds off the podium and just 3.03 seconds away from winning.

After a day off, Chua was back in the pool for the men’s 100-m freestyle final on March 19.

Edgar Paul Denyer from the Isle of Man won the race in one minute and 27.01 seconds, with Monaco’s Nicolas Veran and South Africa’s Shaun Combrinck finished second and third with times of one minute and 28.04 seconds and one minute and 29.90 seconds respectively. Chua was fourth, finishing the race in one minute and 33.87 seconds.

Chua earned his second medal of the games on March 20 during the finals of the four by 50-m medley relay when he and his teammates finished second.

Sweden won the race in two minutes and 25.40 seconds, followed by the Canadians second in two minutes and 31.21 seconds and Israel third in two minutes and 48.45 seconds.

Canada finished the games with a total of 155 medals and 193 total top-five finishes.

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

Yukon’s Dylan Cozens selected by the Buffalo Sabres seventh overall in the NHL draft

Cozens is the first Yukoner to be selected in the first round of the draft

Man fined after unsuccessfully arguing Yukon driving laws don’t apply to him

Christopher Brown was found guilty of four charges under the Motor Vehicles Act on June 20

WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World

Fossilized teeth found near Old Crow belonged to ancient hyena

The two fossilized teeth were discovered in 1973 and 1977

Changes could mean closing Whitehorse council and senior management meetings to the public

Sessions, which are separate from official council meetings, would be closed to the public

Letter: Celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day

Celebrated on June 21, National Indigenous Peoples Day is around the corner.… Continue reading

City news, briefly

A summary of some of the issues discussed at the June 17 Whitehorse city council meeting

Whitehorse training conference highlighted trans health care needs

The conference, hosted by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, was June 13-15

COMMENTARY: Foreign funding for local environmental groups no conspiracy

Foreign funding doesn’t mean activism isn’t locally grown, says CPAWS Yukon’s executive director

Letter: Yukoners want ‘climate action now’

Yukoners Concerned are excited that despite the basketball game on TV, over… Continue reading

Letter: Cars and bikes — let’s take care of each other

As a dedicated long-time cyclist who has plied the Alaska Highway route… Continue reading

Letter: Flag gone missing on the Chilkoot Trail

Note: a copy of this letter has been sent to Christopher Hunter,… Continue reading

Yukon Orienteering Championships continue with sprint races

Held over three weeks, the championships include middle-distance, sprint and long-distance races

Most Read