Canadian roundup: Individual athletes steal the weekend
Individual athletes starred this past weekend with one in particular, Andre De Grasse, gaining international fame.
With a 45-minute recovery between his 100m and 200m finals, Andre De Grasse of Markham, Ontario ran two blistering but (slightly) wind-assisted times of 9.75 and 19.58 seconds at the NCAA Track and Field Championships. The 20-year old’s accomplishment are even more impressive considering that he also ran a relay leg for University of Southern California earlier in the day.
Double Olympic 100m/200m medallist Ato Boldon of Trinidad and Tobago took to Twitter to proclaim De Grasse’s “NCAA one-day double, given his age and the recovery, is the best by any sprinter – at any level.”
Christabel Nettey won the first IAAF Diamond League meet of her career, beating Tania Bartoletta of the United States by three centimetres with a 6.92 metres leap in New York. Nettey had finished third and second in her two previous Diamond League outings.
Olympian Ryan Cochrane won a silver medal in the 400-metre freestyle in Monte Carlo on Saturday with a time of 3:49.40. South Africa’s Myles Brown (3:47.96) and German swimmer Florian Vogel (3:49.67) rounded out the podium.
Another podium place in Monte Carlo came from Kierra Smith, third in the 200m breaststroke, while Olympian Martha McCabe took silver in that event in Rome, where she was competing in the Sette Colli meet.
The men’s national team took four of six points from Bulgaria this weekend in Summerside, PEI, losing in five sets on Friday, then winning in four the next night. They continue to lead their FIVB World League pool in search of a ticket to the Group 2 finals.
Meanwhile, Canada’s women have won both of their matches in the Pan American Cup in Peru. The latest was a straight-set victory over Uruguay on Sunday.
Three teams suffered Olympic qualifying blows over the weekend, although the hope of reaching Rio 2016 for both field hockey teams and men’s rugby still stands.
The men’s field hockey team shocked the sports world by upsetting New Zealand late last week, but couldn’t win one of its next two matches against host Argentina and top three world power Netherlands. Nonetheless, a top four finish at FIH World League Semifinals gives the team a shot at making the Olympic Games through back channels, if it doesn’t qualify by winning Pan Am gold.
On the women’s side, the field hockey team will need to regroup and have a go at the Pan Am Games in July after finishing the World League Semifinals group stage without a win.
Men’s rugby sevens team lost the regional final against USA 21-5, but has one more shot at Rio at a global tournament in 2016 where top rugby sevens nations yet to qualify for the Olympic Games will fight for a single spot.