Day 13 Recap: Canada sets national Pan Am gold record
On Day 13, Canada set a national record for gold medals at a Pan Am Games. With 5 won on Thursday, Canada now has 69 gold medals to surpass the 64 won at Winnipeg 1999.
Whitney McClintock‘s gold in women’s water ski slalom broke the record as Canada’s 65th gold medal at Toronto 2015. To finish off the night at the track, Damian Warner set a Canadian and Pan Am record in the decathlon, besting Michael Smith‘s previous best mark from 1996.
Canada won a total of 14 medals (5 gold, 6 silver, 3 bronze) on Day 13 thanks to great performances in water ski, athletics, equestrian, bowling and fencing. The total medal count through 13 days now stands at 187: 69 gold, 62 silver and 56 bronze.
Decathlete Damian Warner won the final event of the men’s decathlon, the 1500m, to secure gold. Warner completed the race in a personal best time of 4:24.73 to finish the decathlon with a Canadian record of 8659 points. The previous record has stood since 1996 when decathlete Michael Smith finished with a score of 8626. Warner also smashed the previous Pan Am record of 8373 points set at Guadalajara 2011 by two-time Olympic bronze medallist Leonel Suarez.
Lanni Marchant took home Canada’s other medal at the track Thursday, winning bronze in the women’s 10,000m. Marchant finished the race in a time of 32:46.03. She usually runs the marathon, but decided to run the 10,000m at Toronto 2015. Marchant seemed pleased with the result: “I don’t think my coach, myself, my family … I don’t think any of us really thought I would be able to move down to this distance and really give it a go.”
Canadians continued their assault on the water ski podium, taking home six more medals on Thursday. Whitney McClintock led the way with gold in the women’s slalom, as well as silver in the women’s tricks and jumps. Ryan Dodd won the other gold on the day, taking top spot in the men’s jumps event. Whitney’s brother Jason McClintock also won a medal, winning silver in men’s slalom. The other medal on the day came from Jaret Llewellyn, who took silver in the men’s tricks. The silver is Llewellyn’s 11th career medal at the Pan Am Games.
Whitney McClintock described what it was like competing on a team with the legendary Llewellyn: “He’s one of those guys that’s constantly been a hero to me…He’s been winning gold medals for as long as I can remember. He’s the most sportsman-like person I’ve ever met, humble, always eager to help others get better.”
More on water skiing and wakeboard: Wednesday
The Canadian quartet of Ian Millar (Dixson), Eric Lamaze (Coco Bongo), Tiffany Foster (Tripple X III) and Yann Candele (Showgirl) won gold in team jumping to qualify Canada in the event for Rio 2016. After all four rider-horse combinations had clean rounds in Wednesday’s qualification, there were a couple of rough rides in Thursday’s first round. Foster received seven faults after some miscommunication with Tripple X led to him running into the 10th obstacle. Luckily that score could be dropped but four faults from Lamaze and two other time penalties landed Canada in third place. It was a different story in the second round as Foster and Lamaze both rode clean. Candele only recorded one fault so it was Millar’s five faults that were dropped to give Canada an overall total of seven to beat the eight by Argentina and 12 by the United States. This is Millar’s 10th medal and fourth gold in his 10th Pan Am Games appearance.
“We wanted this so badly for our team and our country,” said Millar of earning the Olympic berth. “It’s not necessarily the same team that will go to Rio next year, although I have a suspicion it might just be. But the goal was to qualify our country which we’ve done and that’s such an important responsibility. Here at home where you can feel how much the crowd wants it for us, it makes us want to do it so much. It’s a very proud day.”
François Lavoie and Dan MacLelland won the men’s doubles gold medal with a final overall score of 5607. MacLelland, the reigning singles world champion, and Lavoie, a US collegiate singles champion, had led by just 63 points after the six games on Wednesday, scoring 2712 to the 2649 of Americans Devin Bidwell and Tommy Jones. Both Canadian men were able to increase their scoring average on day two, with Lavoie going from 216 to 223.1 and MacLelland rising from 236 to 244.2. They increased their margin of victory over the second place finishers, Jaime Gonzalez and Manuek Otalora of Columbia, by 318 points. The win was highlighted by a perfect game by Lavoie in the 11th game.
“That’s the cherry on top,” said Lavoie. “To do that anywhere is great, but to do that here, everyone is here, my parents are here so that’s cool.”
The Canadian men’s sabre team of Shaul Gordon, Mark Peros and Joseph Polossifakis won silver following their 45-37 loss to the United States in the gold medal match. The Canadian trio had opened the day with a 20 point victory over Colombia, followed by a tight 45-40 win over Venezuela. The final match was the last of Peros’ career who had said he was retiring.
Polossifakis added to the silver he had won in the individual event. After the semifinal he said “It gave me a lot of confidence and coming off a lead in the round before, I didn’t want to give up any points. I didn’t want to lose any kind of lead because it is so hard in a close match like that.”
Kate Campbell won silver in the women’s -55kg category after losing the gold medal match to Brazil’s Valeria Kumizaki. Awarded points for how successful kicks, strikes and punches are landed on the opponent, Campbell and Kumizaki each scored one point (yuko). Since it was a tied match, the outcome was decided by a vote of the judges and referee. In their assessment, Kumizaki displayed superior attitude, fighting spirit, strength, tactics and techniques. Earlier in the day, Campbell had defeated Kumizaki in their round robin match.
Jusleen Virk added a bronze in the women’s -50kg class following her semifinal loss to Chile’s Gabriela Bruna. Again, this was a 1-1 tie decided by the judges.
The duo of Vincent Gagnon and Tim Landeryou won bronze in the men’s doubles on Thursday. The team lost their semifinal match to the Bolivian team of Conrrado Moscoso and Roland Keller 15-11, 15-9 to take home the bronze.
For full Team Canada results from Day 13, click here.