Weekend Roundup: Team Canada wins men’s world hockey gold, glorious finish for Gee at Giro
It was a big weekend for Team Canada, what with a men’s hockey world title, another national record for Camryn Rogers, the prince Pierce LePage dethroning decathlon king Damian Warner at Götzis, and Derek Gee wrapping up his first Grand Tour with a well-deserved honour.
Here’s a quick look at what you might have missed:
Hockey: Team Canada captures gold at IIHF World Championship
On Sunday, Canada won its 28th gold medal all time at the IIHF World Championship, defeating Germany 5-2 in the final. It is Canada’s fourth straight medal at the men’s hockey worlds and second gold medal in three years.
Sammy Blais led the way in the gold medal game, scoring two goals. Lawson Crouse, Tyler Toffoli and Scott Laughton netted the others. Blais and Crouse both finished with six goals apiece in the tournament. Defencemen MacKenzie Weegar was the team’s top scorer overall with three goals and eight assists for 11 points. That earned him a spot on the media all-star team as well as the award for top defender.
In Saturday’s semifinal, Team Canada had a hard-fought 4-2 victory over Latvia. Blais, Jack Quinn, Adam Fantilli and Scott Laughton scored a goal each to help Canada come from behind for the victory. Latvia went on to beat the United States in the bronze medal game to earn the country’s first medal at a top level IIHF event.
Decathlon: LePage conquers 7-time champion Warner to claim Götzis gold
It was a 1-2 finish for Canada in the decathlon at the Hypomeeting in Götzis, Austria on Sunday, but not in the order we’re used to seeing. Pierce LePage defeated Damian Warner by just 81 points, ending Warner’s win streak at the prestigious competition after six straight titles.
LePage scored 8700 points in the 10 events, just one point shy of his personal best he set in winning silver at last year’s world championships. He and Warner battled back and forth over the two days after LePage defeated the Olympic champion for the first time ever in the opening 100m, setting a personal best (10.28). LePage grabbed the lead for good with his Day 2 performance in the discus and solidified it with a huge personal best in the javelin (63.09). Going into the last event, the 1500m, LePage had a lead equivalent to about 30 seconds, allowing him to cruise to the gold medal.
It is LePage’s first international win since 2019. For Warner, it was a strong return to combined events competition after having to withdraw midway through the world championships last July with a hamstring injury.
“The better man won today,” Warner said. “It’s a matter of time before Pierce LePage is on the big stage and is putting up big numbers. He is coming and I am coming up with him. It was the toughest battle I’ve had for a while, but I never thought about giving up.”
More Athletics: Rogers re-sets Canadian hammer throw record
Camryn Rogers surpassed the 78-metre mark for the first time on Friday as she broke the national record in the women’s hammer throw once again. Her final throw of 78.62m won her the gold medal at the USATF Los Angeles Grand Prix on Friday night. That ranks her second in the world this season and fifth in the world on the all-time list.
That was one of three medals won by Canadian athletes at UCLA’s Drake Stadium. Alysha Newman won silver in the women’s pole vault with a season’s best height of 4.61m. Ethan Katzberg claimed bronze in the men’s hammer throw with a distance of 75.28m.
There were also a couple of close finishes. Aaron Brown was fourth in the men’s 200m. He was bumped off the podium by the slimmest of margins, 0.005 of a second. John Gay missed the podium in the men’s 3000m steeplechase by 0.67 of a second. Lucia Stafford was fourth in the 1500m with a personal best time of 4:02.03.
Meanwhile at the second Diamond League meeting of the season in Rabat, Morocco, Marco Arop was fifth in the 800m in a season best time of 1:46.34. Sarah Mitton also finished fifth in the women’s shot put.
Road Cycling: A Giro to remember for Gee
In an incredibly fitting finish to a most impressive debut at the Giro d’Italia, Derek Gee won the combativity award at the end of the 21-stage race on Sunday. The first year pro with the Israel Premier-Tech team had been in more than a handful of breakaways, resulting in runner-up finishes in four different stages.
He finished second overall in the maglia ciclamino points classification (rewarding his great sprints) and in the maglia azzurra king of the mountain classification (rewarding his great climbs). He was also second overall in the classifications for intermediate sprints and breakaways.
Artistic Gymnastics: Canada qualifies men’s team for worlds
Canadian gymnasts won five medals at the Pan American Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Medellin, Colombia. There was a silver medal in the men’s team event, qualifying a team spot for the world championships this fall. Félix Dolci, William Émard, Samuel Zakutney, Zachary Clay, Léandre Sauvé, and Félix Blaquière contributed to that podium. Émard also won an individual silver medal on the rings.
Canada had already qualified a women’s team for the worlds thanks to last year’s historic podium result, but a younger squad was able to win the bronze medal in Medellin. New national champion Aurélie Train won bronze in the individual all-around and beam.
Diving: New national champions crowned
It was an exciting weekend at the Senior Summer Nationals in Toronto. Mia Vallée and Pamela Ware battled it out on the springboards, with each woman winning one event. Ware won the 3m event in which Vallée was second, swapping their placements from the 1m event. Caeli McKay took top spot in the women’s 10m platform ahead of fellow Olympian Celina Toth.
Bryden Hattie was the top Canadian in both the men’s 1m and 3m springboard events while Nathan Zsombor-Murray grabbed the gold medal in the men’s 10m platform. The nationals were a primary selection event for the World Aquatics Championships taking place in July.
Breaking: Phil Wizard wins again
B-Boy Phil Wizard (aka Philip Kim) has added a second straight win to his world ranking after taking the title at the Pan American Championships in Santiago, Chile. In the b-girls event, B-Girl Tiff (aka Tiffany Leung) was fourth, helping her to move up to 13th-place in the Breaking for Gold rankings which work towards Olympic qualification for Paris 2024.
Both breakers are now qualified for the Pan Am Games in October where the top-ranked athlete of each gender will qualify directly for the Olympic debut of their sport.