Canadian Roundup: Many crowned national champions, earn international podiums
It was a big weekend across the country for national championships, as many athletes earned the title of best in Canada. But there was certainly no shortage of international success either.
Check out what Team Canada athletes were up to at home and abroad over the last few days:
Emily Batty stood on a World Cup podium for the first time this season, capturing cross-country silver in Val di Sole, Italy on Sunday. Batty completed the course in 1 hour 31 minutes to finish nine seconds behind the victor, Maja Wloszczowska of Poland. With half a lap to go, Batty was in third place, but passed Swiss Jolanda Neff with a strong uphill climb.
Aaron Brown and Crystal Emmanuel both did the 100m/200m double at the Canadian Track and Field Championships in Ottawa, sweeping the sprint gold medals. The men’s 100m final was a thriller, with Brown edging Bismark Boateng by just 0.001 as both runners clocked in at 10.16 seconds before the extra decimal was used to break the tie. Andre De Grasse finished in 10.20 seconds for the bronze medal. Brown then delivered a wire-to-wire victory in the 200m, running it in 20.17 seconds. De Grasse, the Canadian record holder in the distance, pulled up in his 200m semifinal with a hamstring injury, later revealed to be a grade 1 strain that will bring an early end to his seaason.
Emmanuel won the 100m in 11.34 seconds, defeating Leya Buchanan (11.47) and Phylicia George (11.63). For George, the podium finish showed her return to sprinting form after winning bobsleigh bronze at PyeongChang 2018. Emmanuel similarly dominated the 200m, winning by more than two-tenths of a second over Aiyanna-Brigit Stiverne.
Shawn Barber set a national championship record in clearing 5.75m to win the men’s pole vault crown. Other Olympians who won their events at the nationals include Anicka Newell (pole vault), Alyxandria Treasure (high jump), Mike Mason (high jump), Gabriela Stafford (1500m), Charles Philibert-Thiboutot (1500m), Brittany Crew (shot put), Tim Nedow (shot put), Evan Dunfee (race walk), Noelle Montcalm (400m hurdles), Liz Gleadle (javelin), Johnathan Cabral (110m hurdles), Christabel Nettey (long jump), Andrea Seccafien (5000m), Mohammed Ahmed (5000m), Matt Hughes (3000m steeplechase), and Geneviève Lalonde (3000m steeplechase).
All of the results from Ottawa can be found here. The national championships served as the qualifying competition for the NACAC Championships to be held in Toronto, August 10-12.
Equestrian – Jumping
Eric Lamaze and his Olympic bronze medal-winning mount Fine Lady 5 won the Queen Elizabeth II Cup on Saturday at Spruce Meadows, posting two clean rounds. It is the fifth time Lamaze has won the Queen Elizabeth II Cup, contested on 1.60m jumps. On Thursday, the duo had been victorious in a 1.55m-jump event, riding clean twice including in a jump-off against four other pairings. Lamaze is the all-time leader in prize money won at Spruce Meadows and currently sits fourth in the FEI rankings. The quadrennial World Equestrian Games will take place in North Carolina in September.
Equestrian – Eventing
Team Canada finished second and Jessica Phoenix placed third individually at the FEI Eventing Nations Cup in The Plains, Virginia. In the team event, the Canadian contingent scored 148.50 to finish 10 points behind the victorious British team. The United States racked up 157.50 points for third place. Phoenix and her mount, Pavarotti, scored 36.700 to finish behind American William Coleman (35.100) and Brit Georgie Spence (35.200). This was the fourth of eight events that comprise the FEI Eventing Nations Cup
After the first four of the 10 stages in the Giro Rosa, Leah Kirchmann is the overall leader in the general classification and proud wearer of the Maglia Rosa (pink jersey). Kirchmann holds a five-second lead over Lucinda Brand of the Netherlands. The most prestigious women’s stage race was first held in 1988 and has been held annually since then, except in 1991 and 1992. The race continues in northern Italy on Tuesday, running through until Sunday when it concludes in Cividale del Friuli.
World bronze medallist Sophiane Méthot earned her first national title this weekend in Lethbridge, Alberta. She scored 157.085 points to finish ahead of Samantha Smith (153.880) and Bronte Dundas (151.210). Two-time Olympic champion Rosie MacLennan had been the top qualifier for the finals, but was unable to complete her routine after she hit the mats on one of her passes.
In the men’s event, 2008 Olympic silver medallist Jason Burnett captured his 11th senior national title after missing last year’s Canadian championships due to injury. His 167.185 placed him atop the podium ahead of brothers Keegan Soehn (165.380) and Kyle Soehn (159.835).
Canadian men won three medals at the Artistic Challenge Cup in Mersin, Turkey. All-around national champion René Cournoyer captured gold on vault with his 14.150 points. Samuel Zakutney took silver on high bar after scoring 13.500 points and Justin Karstadt claimed bronze on pommel horse. He had tied with a gymnast from Azerbaijan, but reached the podium by having the higher execution score.
At the national championships in Drummondville, Daina Tuchscherer won the women’s elite national title in a battle with fellow World Cup competitor Drew Mechielsen. The men’s event was missing defending champion Tory Nyhaug as he recovers from injury. In his absence, local favourite Gaby Malenfant slipped by James Palmer and Alex Tougas in the final corner to take the victory.