Sport Shorts: History in the Making

Fastest in the World: Canadian swimmers set three short-course records at the British Grand Prix, in Leeds, England. Annamay Pierse set the standard in the 200m breastroke, clocking in at 2:16.83. Pierse set the long-course record a week before at the 2009 FINA World Championships. Joining Pierse on the top wrung of the podium, the men’s 4×200-metre freestyle relay team etched their names into the history books, winning their race with a world record time of 6:51.05—more than a second and a half faster than the existing record. The team consisted of Brent Hayden, Stefan Hirniak, Joel Greenshields, and Colin Russell. Not to be outdone, the women’s 4×100-metre medley team of Katie Murdoch, Audrey Lacroix, Annamay Pierse and Victoria Poon set a new world record of 3:49.45.

Softball’s Silver Lining: The Women’s Senior National Softball Team took silver at the Pan American Softball Championships in Venezuela, falling 3-1 to the United States in the championship game. The Canadian squad qualified for the playoff round with an 8-1 record and beat the powerhouse American squad 3-1 in the first round of the playoffs before dispatching host Venezuela 8-0 in round 2. The USA earned a rematch with Team Canada in the championship game with wins against Venezuela and Cuba.

The Need for Speed: The Canadian Olympic short-track speed skating trials are underway in Vancouver. On the women’s side, Tania Vicent and Kalyna Roberge got off to fast starts, winning the first of three races in the 1,500m and 500m disciplines, respectively. Michael Gilday took the first 1,500m race on the men’s side, while Olivier Jean won the 500m. Skaters will race three times at 500m, 1,000m and 1,500m and each skater’s best two results at each distance are used to determine their ranking. With Charles Hamelin’s pre-qualification, there are four spots up for grabs on the men’s squad and five for the women.

Paddle Power: The fastest paddlers in the world come to Canadian waters this week, as the 2009 ICF World Canoe Sprint World Championships hits Dartmouth N.S. Forty Canadian canoers and kayakers, including triple Olympic medallist Adam van Koeverden and 2008 Olympic medallist Thomas Hall, look to strike gold on the waters of Lake Banook. The event runs August 12-16.