Canadian Roundup: Comebacks and career firsts highlight triumphant weekend
This weekend had a little bit of everything for Team Canada fans.
From an awesome comeback to career first podiums to a drought-ending victory and more, check out the triumphs by Canadian athletes.
Milos Raonic reached his first ATP World Tour event final in more than a year, squaring off against Roger Federer at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart, Germany. Raonic hadn’t competed since the beginning of May, missing some of the clay court season, including the French Open, with an injury. Federer took the grass court victory 6-4. 7-6 (3) to reclaim the world number one ranking with his 98th career title. This was Raonic’s 14th career singles final.
Tyler Mislawchuk won his first career ITU World Cup medal, taking the bronze in the sprint distance race in Antwerp, Belgium. Mislawchuk was among the top three men after the 750m swim and tried to push a breakaway early in the 22km bike leg before a large chase group reeled him in. That made the 5km run a 10-man fight to the finish. In the end, home favourite Jelle Geens defeated New Zealand’s Tayler Reid in a photo finish, with Mislawchuk just two seconds behind, completing the course in 58:17.
“I love racing on the cobbles,” said Mislawchuk. “Technical riding is one of my strengths so that’s why I wanted to come here. I tried to break away on the bike and by the end my legs were kind of cooked. That was an honest course and a hard race, but I’m happy to be third.”
James Piccoli won the 33rd Tour de Beauce, becoming the first Canadian to claim the overall title in the five-stage race since Svein Tuft a decade ago. He’s the first Quebec-born cyclist to win the event in his home province since 1994. Piccoli won the criterium on Saturday in Quebec City and entered Sunday’s final stage in St-Georges, Quebec in eighth place. He made up the gap of one minute and 10 seconds by finishing fourth in the 122.4km final road race to claim the yellow jersey and the general classification title by 11 seconds.
Canadian gymnasts won five medals at the World Challenge Cup in Guimaraes, Portugal. National champion Thierry Pellerin showed his prowess on the pommel horse, winning gold by almost a point for his first World Challenge Cup medal. Isabela Onyshko and Laurie Denommée shared the podium in two events. Onyshko won silver on the floor while Denommée took bronze. They switched spots in the beam event as Denommée claimed the silver and Onyshko secured the bronze.
“I was a little stressed during the qualifications and wasn’t able to focus only on my routine,” said Pellerin. “During the finals, I told myself to relax and that helped me get a higher execution score on my routine. I really showed what I’m able to do, it’s going to help the judges recognized me and I’m making a name for myself.”
Jeremy Bagshaw kept Canada on the podium in the Mare Nostrum series. At the third and final stop in Monaco, Bagshaw won bronze in the 400m freestyle. He came just short of another medal in the 200m freestyle, finishing fourth.
Team Canada settled for the silver medal at the FIBA U18 Americas Championship in St. Catharines, Ontario, falling 113-74 to the United States in the final on Saturday night. The Canadians had been undefeated up to that point. Captain Andrew Nembhard was named one of the five tournament all-stars. Team Canada has now qualified for the 2019 U19 World Cup.
Speed Skating Canada announced its annual award winners on Friday. In long track, Olympic 10,000m champion and 5000m silver medallist Ted-Jan Bloemen won the Male Athlete of the Year while Ivanie Blondin was handed Female Athlete of the Year honours. In short track, triple Olympic medallist Kim Boutin was the Female Athlete of the Year as two-time Olympic medallist Samuel Girard was honoured as Male Athlete of the Year.