Sport Shorts: Familiar Faces Win Diving Medals

Heymans, Despatie Continue to Shine: At the FINA World Aquatics Championships, Canada’s top divers came through against the world’s best. On July 21, Emilie Heymans (Brossard, Que.) captured a silver medal in 3-metre springboard, continuing an amazing diving run. Last summer in Beijing, she won silver in 10-metre platform and in doing so achieved the rare feat of winning medals at three consecutive Olympic Games. Two days later in Rome, Alexandre Despatie (Laval, Que.) won the bronze medal in the men’s 3-metre event. He has twice won Olympic silver medals in this event, in 2008 and 2004. Teammate Reuben Ross (Regina) made the finals and finished 11th, improving on his 18th-place finish in Beijing. Victoria’s Riley McCormick finished 9th in 10-metre platform, his first time within the top 10.

The Power of Synchronization: Amid tight competition, Canada’s synchronized swimmers have achieved excellent results in Rome. First, Marie-Pier Boudreau-Gagnon (Rivière-du-Loup, Que.) won a bronze in the technical solo event – Canada’s first world solo medal since 1994. That preceded the team’s free combination synchro event, where Canada took another bronze behind Spain and China. It is Canada’s first combination medal ever. And Chloé Isaac (Brossard, Que.) just missed the podium in the solo free event, finishing strong in fourth place.

Aquatic Polo: Canada’s men’s and women’s water polo teams have been in action all week in Rome as well. The men’s team beat South Africa 12-1 on July 22 and go into Friday with a 1-1 record. The women’s team beat South Africa 20-5 on Thursday and head into the weekend with two wins and one tie, setting themselves up well for the medal rounds.

World Paddling Team Set: Canada will send a team of 40 paddlers to the canoe-kayak World Championships in Nova Scotia next month. They will be led by triple Olympic medallist Adam van Koeverden (Oakville, Ont.), 2008 Olympic bronze medallist Thomas Hall (Pointe-Claire, Que.), three-time Olympian Karen Furneaux (Waverley, N.S.), triple 2007 Pan American medallist Angus Mortimer (Ottawa) and the canoe pair of Jenna Marks and Maria Halavrezos (Dartmouth, N.S.) who won three gold medals at the 2009 Pan American Championships.

Curlers Compete in ‘World’s Toughest Team Challenge’: This weekend in Ontario marks the North American debut of Trailwalker, hailed as the world’s toughest team challenge. Teams of four will hike 100 km along a challenging Ganaraska Trail System, ending Sunday in Wasaga Beach on Georgian Bay. Each team must cross the finish line together in under 48 hours. Participants include Canadian curlers Craig Savill (Ottawa) and Brent Laing (Meaford, Ont.), members of the 2007 World Championship team. They aim to improve their endurance and teamwork as the train for the national Olympic curling trials later this year in Edmonton. Watch for a follow-up story on later next week.