On the penultimate day of competition, Canada forged a new medal record — and while it’s not over yet, the feat put an exclamation mark on weeks of outstanding performances by Canadian athletes at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Canadians Laurence Vincent Lapointe and Katie Vincent won the first-ever Olympic bronze medal in the women’s canoe double 500-metre race. They paddled to the podium of the debut event on Saturday in a time of one minute 59.041 seconds.
With their accomplishment, there have now been more medals won by Canadians in Tokyo — 23 of them at the time of publishing — than at any other non-boycotted summertime Games.
And the canoeists did it in style. The Canadian duo were celebrating their bronze-medal finish when their canoe tipped over, spilling them into the water.
CBC Sports’s Devin Heroux describes how the pair dug deep to land on the podium at the Sea Forest Waterway.
Here’s more of what you might have missed on Saturday:
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Canadians go head-to-head
It was an all-Canadian heat — with only one person, the winner, advancing to the semifinals at the Izu Velodrome.
Canada’s Kelsey Mitchell and Lauriane Genest went up against each other in the quarter-finals of the women’s sprint event.
Mitchell, who holds the world record over 200-metres, cycled furiously to come out on top. In a best-of-three match-up, the 27-year-old from Sherwood Park, Alta., claimed two straight wins.
She’ll move on for a chance at the podium, while Genest — who already won a bronze in Tokyo — will compete for fifth to eighth place.
Assorted Olympic action
Earlier on Saturday, Canadian Malindi Elmore finished in ninth place in the women’s marathon in a time of 2:30:59.
It had been 17 years since she last competed at an Olympic Games, and the finish was the best one ever recorded by a Canadian woman at a non-boycotted Games.
Back in the pool, artistic swimming teams began their free routine competition. Canada enters in fifth place after the technical routine.
🇨🇦 <a href=”https://twitter.com/artswimcanada?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@artswimcanada</a> team sits in 5th heading into final event of competition<br><br>The free event begins Saturday at 6:30 AM ET<br><br>📷 Diane Léger <a href=”https://t.co/LnnlY1gNkw”>https://t.co/LnnlY1gNkw</a> <a href=”https://t.co/2Ee5kLu5Mh”>pic.twitter.com/2Ee5kLu5Mh</a>
On the diamond, the Dominican baseball team — including former Toronto Blue Jays José Bautista, Melky Cabrera, Juan Francisco, and Emilio Bonifácio — won bronze 10-6 over Korea.
The men’s madison cycling event returned to the Olympics for the first time since 2008, with Denmark winning gold.
Among quite a few other rules, only one person from a team of two races at a time. When a cyclist wants their other teammate to take over the race, the exchange involves grabbing their compatriot’s hand and launching them ahead on the track.
The women’s madison had its Olympic debut on Friday, with Great Britain emerging victorious.
Philippines sets medal record
The Philippines broke its own medal record by securing four podium spots in Tokyo — the most-ever for the country at any Olympic Games.
Hidilyn Diaz started things off by winning gold in the women’s 55-kilogram weightlifting class. It was the Philippines’ first-ever Olympic gold outside of a demonstration sport.
Then, Nesthy Petecio won silver in women’s featherweight (54-57 kg) boxing, saying her win was for the LGBTQ community.
Two more medals came in boxing: Eumir Marcial won bronze in men’s middleweight (69-75 kg), and Carlo Paalam earned the record-breaking silver in men’s flyweight (48-52 kilogram) on Saturday.
U.S.A.’s NBA players strike back for gold
The United States defeated France 87-82 in the gold medal game of the men’s basketball tournament.
It was redemption for the U.S., after being beat by France earlier in the tournament. The loss snapped their 25-game Olympic winning streak, which had lasted since 2004.
While France’s roster has multiple current NBA players, such as Rudy Gobert, the entirety of the American squad play in the NBA.
That includes star Kevin Durant, who is now a three-time Olympic champion — the second man to ever have achieved the honour.
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