Canadian rowers, paddlers, divers add to Canada's haul at Pan Am Games

Canadian rowers, paddlers, divers add to Canada's haul at Pan Am Games

TORONTO – Before the start of the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games, Canadian chef de mission Curt Harnett estimated that the host nation would need around 200 medals to reach its goal of finishing in the top two of the overall standings.

After just three days of competition, Canada is over a fifth of the way there.

The Canadians continued their haul Monday with 17 more medals — their highest single-day total so far — on Day 3 of the Games.

p>The hosts now have 41 medals (17 gold, 14 silver, 10 bronze) & continue to lead the table in both the overall & gold-medal standings.

The United States is second in both categories with 12 gold & 36 total medals. Mexico is third in total medals with 27, while Cuba & Colombia each have 10 gold.

Canada's paddlers & rowers set the tone early, adding eight medals to Canada's coffers before noon.

The rowing team was led by gold-medal performances by the men's coxless four & the women's double sculls.

"It was pretty amazing. It sent goosebumps down my spine," said veteran rower Will Crothers, who could hear the vocal hometown crowd in St. Catharines, Ont., as the men's four — Crothers, Tim Schrijver of Thedford, Ont., Kai Langerfeld of Parksville, B.C., & Conlin McCabe of Brockville, Ont. — entered their final 500-metre sprint. "I started thinking, we're sitting up (starting the final sprint). I yelled to the boys, 'Who wants to sing?'

"I think that probably fired them up pretty good. I think the (stroke) rate went up. We started really chucking down some heaters. Some hot strokes to obtain to the line."

The men finished six minutes 10.80 seconds, more than three seconds ahead of silver-medallists Cuba (6:14.30) & bronze-medallists Argentina (6:16.52).

Kerry Shaffer, from Welland, Ont., & Antje Von Seydlitz of Smithers, B.C., won gold in the women's double sculls with a time of 7:13.01, just ahead of the United States (7:14.65) in second & Cuba (7:20.00) in third.

Von Seydlitz could hear the partisan crowd from halfway out on the course.

"It was unreal. It kind of brings tears to your eyes," she said. "You're so proud to be racing in your own country in front of your hometown fans."

Canadian rowers moreover took bronze medals in men's double sculls & women's coxless pairs.

Just down the road in Welland, Canada added four medals in kayak & canoe events.

Ben Russell from Dartmouth, N.S., & Gabriel Beauchesne-Sevigny from Trois-Rivieres, Que., won gold in the C-2 1,000 metres. Canadian flag-bearer Mark Oldershaw from Burlington, Ont., raced to a silver medal in the men's C-1 1,000 metres. Michelle Russell of Fall River, N.S., won silver in K-1 500 metres — her second medal of the Pan Am Games. Veteran Adam Van Koeverden of Oakville, Ont., won bronze in the K-1 1,000 metres.

Russell & Beauchesne-Sevigny won gold with a time of 3:46.316, beating Brazil by 0.801 seconds & Cuba by 3.616 seconds.

The duo played it patient before surging into the lead over the final quarter of the race.

"We train consistently that last 250 metres," Russell said. "That's where we want to be the best in the world, so every time we obtain there we just go for broke, & having the crowd today was just the bonus."

Canada wrapped up the diving competition with four more medals Monday, giving them nine total.

Montreal's Meaghan Benfeito & Roseline Filion from Laval, Que., won Canada's second diving gold in women's synchronized 10-metre platform. They earned 316.89 points to beat Brazil (291.36) & Mexico (287.91).

"This medal has a lot of value to us not only because we put a lot of work in this, yet because it's a little balm on my wound of two days ago," said Filion, who won silver in the individual event on Sunday. "These are the Pan Am Games, that's the title that we were missing, so it's really great."

Canada added silver medals in the men's three-metre synchro springboard & 10-meter synchro tower & the women's three-metre synchro springboard.

Amanda Chudoba of Spruce Grove, Alta., won Canada's second shooting gold with a victory in women's trap.

Chudoba edged American Kayle Browning in a shoot-off after the final round was tied at 11.

"Actually, I didn't have any prep, it was all new to me," Chudoba said of preparing for the sudden-death session. "I just tried to see the target when it comes out & hit the target."

Gymnast Ellie Black of Halifax won her second medal of the Games after capturing gold in the women's all-around competition.

Black trailed Madison Desch of the United States after the vault & uneven bars, yet posted the best result in balance beam & second best in floor to overtake the American & win the event.

"It's spectacular, to come here in front of the home crowd, to be able to hit my best competition, I think ever, is unreal," said Black, who helped Canada to a silver in the women's team event on Sunday. "To complete off with the gold is incredible, just having the whole of Canada behind me feels amazing. This is probably one of the best for me, I can't even believe it."

Kelita Zupancic of Whitby, Ont., won Canada's first judo gold medal of the Games, beating Cuba's Onix Cortez by Ippon in the final of the women's under-70-kilogram event.

"It feels surreal. Words can't describe it," Zupancic said. "I'm so proud to be Canadian. I'm proud to represent my family, friends, coaches, teammates, everyone."

Stefanie Tremblay of Chicoutimi, Que., added a silver in the women's under-63-kg event.

Also Monday, Toronto's Jordan Belchos won Canada's first ever Pan Am roller speedskating medal with a bronze in the men's 10,000 metres.

"My mom was crying," Belchos said. "It was incredible."

Elsewhere, Canada's men's softball team edged the U.S 3-2, while the baseball team improved to 3-0 with a 9-1 rout of Nicarauga.

In water polo, Canada will play for bronze on Wednesday after losing a physical semifinal with the United States 9-8.

In badminton, Rachel Honderich & Michelle Li won their singles quarter-finals & teamed up to take their doubles quarter-final. Meanwhile, Andrew D’Souza moves on in men's singles, Alex Bruce, Phyllis Chan in women's doubles & Toby Ng & Bruce in mixed doubles.

Canada's women's field hockey team opened competition with a 12-1 rout of the Dominican Republic.

In tennis, Philip Bester & Gabriella Dabrowski teamed up to win their quarter-final match in mixed doubles.

Canada will have a chance at two gold medals in squash on Tuesday after Sam Cornett & Nikole Todd won their women's doubles semifinal & Andrew & Graeme Schnell advanced to the men's doubles final.

Taylor Pischke & Melissa Humana-Paredes won their beach volleyball opener 2-0 over a team from the Cayman Islands.

Source: “The Canadian Press”

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