Day 9 Recap: Top to bottom action and 20 medals at TO2015
Canadian athletes wrapped up the Toronto 2015 track cycling, trampoline, canoe/kayak slalom and sailing competitions by winning multiple medals on Sunday.
The other podium finishes came in athletics, baseball, equestrian and rhythmic gymnastics as Canada took home a total of 20 medals on Sunday. Canada now has a total of 142 medals: 54 gold, 48 silver and 40 bronze.
Cycling – Track
Canada’s assault on the Milton Velodrome is officially complete. Monique Sullivan and teammate Kate O’Brien took home gold and silver, respectively, after they faced off in the final of the the women’s sprint. It was Sullivan’s third gold of the Games. Jasmin Glaesser added a silver medal in the women’s omnium to the gold she previously won in the team pursuit, while the men’s team pursuit squad of Rémi Pelletier-Roy, Adam Jamieson, Eric Johnstone, Sean MacKinnon, and Ed Veal defeated the Venezuelan team to win bronze. Hugo Barrette had a huge final push at the line to sneak his way into the bronze medal position in the men’s keirin, his third medal of the Games.
The Toronto 2015 track cycling events concluded on Sunday, with Canada taking home a total of 10 medals with at least one for every member of the team. Of the ten track cycling events, Canada won six of the gold medals. The only event in which Canada did not reach the podium was the men’s omnium.
“We’ve been working so hard for quite a few years now and it’s sort of starting to build,” said Sullivan. “We know that we’ve put the work into it to be here, and so to have this opportunity to come here and show it and do it in front of Canada is just amazing.”
Gymnastics – Trampoline
Canada swept the gold medals in the trampoline finals as Rosie MacLennan and Keegan Soehn successfully defended their titles from Guadalajara 2011. MacLennan posted the highest degree of difficulty (15.000) and the highest time of flight (16.060) in the women’s event to earn a score of 53.560 and win by more than one and a half points. Teammate Karen Cockburn, coming back from a broken ankle in November, joined MacLennan on the podium with a bronze medal, scoring 51.560 despite only returning to jumping in March.
Soehn had been the top qualifier in the men’s event, making him the last to go in the final. With the second highest difficulty score (16.500) and the best execution score (23.400), he earned a total of 56.405 to bump teammate Jason Burnett from the podium and into fourth place.
Bright and early on Sunday morning, Evan Dunfee and Inaki Gomez won gold and silver, respectively, in the men’s 20km race walk for Canada’s first athletics medals of the Games. They defeated a world-class field, which included Olympic silver medallist Erick Barrondo of Guatemala. Dunfee’s time of 1:23:06 was a full 1 minute 19 seconds ahead of Gomez, which allowed him to watch his teammate cross the finish line.
“The first kilometre, nobody wanted to go with it and I thought, I am going to go out on my own. Nobody came with me and I was able to stick it out. I am so happy that worked,” said Dunfee.
Canoe/Kayak – Slalom
Canada captured four medals in the first ever Pan Am Games appearance of canoe/kayak slalom. The big highlight was Jazmyne Denhollander’s gold in the women’s K-1, winning by just 0.02 of a second over Ana Satila of Brazil. Just three one-hundredths of a second separated first from third. Cameron Smedley had gotten the day started with a silver medal in the men’s C-1 where two penalty seconds were the difference in first and second place. Haley Daniels followed with a bronze medal in the women’s C-1, part of the first ever female canoe events held at the Pan Am Games. After finishing first in the semifinal, Ben Hayward also came through with a bronze in the men’s K-1 event after taking four penalty seconds.
Denhollander was ecstatic about winning gold: “It’s unbelievable, it’s hitting me slowly I’m so excited about this. I always like to do my best so I really wanted the gold medal.”
The men’s baseball team had a miraculous, comeback, extra-innings, missed-pickoff, walk-off 7-6 win to defend their Pan Am baseball gold medal. Peter Orr was the star, scoring 3 runs, including sliding across home plate for the clincher in the bottom half of the tenth. The USA had taken a 6-4 lead in the top of the inning, before the Canadians rallied in the bottom for the victory, thanks to a missed pickoff attempt at first base by American pitcher David Huff.
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Luke Ramsay sailed his way to a silver medal in the open Sunfish division. Ramsay finished the medal race in fifth place which left him in a tie with the Ecuadorian boat in overall points. Unfortunately Ecuador received the gold as a result of finishing higher in the medal race.
Ramsay described his transition to sailing in the Sunfish division: “What I did have was a lot of experience in the Lasers and the 470s, which I went to the Olympics in, and they’re very similar to the Sunfish in a lot of ways. Going out day-by-day and really using the time before the start (of the competition) as a learning experience to tone up with the other guys here. I was figuring out how to sail the boat as the week went on. It worked well for me.”
In the J24 class, the crew of Terry McLaughlin (skipper), Sandy Andrews, David Ogden, and David Jarvis also raced to silver. They had been sitting in second place overall heading into the medal race, in which their fifth place finish was enough to secure the silver medal over Chile.
Equestrian – Eventing
Canada won two medals on Sunday, a silver courtesy of Jessica Phoenix and her horse Pavarotti to go with a team bronze for Phoenix, Colleen Loach (Qorry Blue D’Argouges), Waylon Roberts (Bill Owen) and Kathryn Robinson (Let It Bee).
Phoenix had started the competition with a fourth place finish in dressage. She then posted a clean round in the cross-country portion, before closing with a penalty-free jumping round. The only rider to beat her was American Marilyn Little. Phoenix entered the Games as the defending individual champion from Guadalajara 2011 where Canada also won a team silver. In the team competition here, Canada had placed second in the dressage portion to open. The team was then clean in the cross-country round, aside from Robinson who was eliminated, and recorded just four faults in the jumping event to reach the podium behind the United States and Brazil.
“To be able to do this in our backyard with all of our families and friends around and have all the Canadians cheering has just been amazing,” said Phoenix. “How could you not have a great weekend with all that support? It’s just so much fun.”
Gymnastics – Rhythmic
The Canadian group, composed of Katrina Cameron, Maya Kojevnikov, Lucinda Nowell, Vanessa Panov, Anjelika Reznik and Victoria Reznik, won bronze in the apparatus final for five ribbons. The Canadians scored 12.817 to finish behind a dominant Brazilian team that scored 15.000 and the United States which earned 13.283. The group improved on their performance from the qualification round, in which they had finished last of the five teams with a score of 10.117.
“Something I thought to myself before we competed was basically the worst has happened so we have nothing to lose,” said Nowell. “We just all decided to go out there and have fun and just let our muscle memory do the work.”
“Today before we went on we used our Canadian motto which is En Garde, Now or Never and I think that really helped us,” added Cameron. “It means be ready, 100 percent, be focused and that’s what we did today.”
Canada has advanced to the women’s basketball final following a 91-63 win over Brazil in their semifinal on Sunday. It was a whole team effort, with four Canadians scoring in double digits. Leading the way was Nirra Fields with 15 points, while Lizanne Murphy chipped in 10 points. Katherine Plouffe was all over the boards, picking up 10 rebounds, and Shona Thorburn dished out 8 assists. Canada will take on the USA in the gold medal final on Monday evening.
For full Team Canada results from Day 9, click here.