Calgarians have hand in Pam Am haul

By Kevin Rothbauer

Sixty-one Calgary-based athletes are representing Canada in the Pan Am Games. Naturally, there are a lot of medal hopes riding on those athletes. So far, Calgary’s
participants have been doing their country proud, but until Wednesday no gold medals had been won by a Calgarian. More on that later.

Cyclist Tanya Dubnicoff was the first Calgary athlete to be noticed at the games. As the flag-bearer for the host nation, Dubnicoff led her contingent into Winnipeg Stadium. The water polo team, based in Calgary, also received notice during the opening ceremonies when they broke away from the rest of the Canadian team to march behind a flag of their own.

While Canada has some of the best-known sprinters in the world, the lone 100m runner wearing the maple leaf was Calgary’s Brad McCuaig. McCuaig qualified for the final, but had to settle for last in the field of eight. McCuaig is a member of Canada’s 4x100m relay team along with Donovan Bailey, Glenroy Gilbert and Trevino Betty. That team easily qualified for the final.

Elsewhere in athletics, Tim Berrett finished eighth in the men’s 20km racewalk, Rob Pike landed fourth in the pole vault, Vicky Lynch-Pounds captured fourth in the 800m, Vanessa Monar-Enweani finished fourth in the long jump and Janice McCaffrey was ninth in the 20km racewalk.

Canada’s badminton team, which has been rather successful at the Pan Am Games, will be bringing a number of medals back to Calgary. All badminton medals were decided on July 28. Brent Olynyk and Iain Sydie won the silver medal in men’s doubles, while Stuart Arthur won the gold-Calgary’s first-in men’s singles. Women’s doubles featured an all-Canadian final with Robbyn Hermitage and Milaine Cloutier finishing over Denyse Julien and Charmaine Reid. Reid captured another silver medal in women’s singles. Sydie and Julien teamed up to win the gold in mixed doubles, sweeping the pairing of Olynyk and Hermitage.

More Calgarians dominated diving late Wednesday. Jeff Liberty won gold in the men’s platform event and Eryn Bulmer lived up to all expectations, winning gold in the women’s 3m springboard event.

Dubnicoff demonstrated why she was picked to carry Canada’s flag when she won cycling gold in the 500m time trials on Wednesday.

In shooting, Wayne Sorenson finished eighth in the three-position rifle category and fifth in the prone rifle category.

Wrestler Leigh Vierling was eliminated in the first round of the 76kg Greco-Roman event, losing his first three matches.

University of Calgary Dinosaur Sarah Dunlop is a member of the Canadian women’s soccer team. With one round robin match remaining-against the Americans-Canada boasts a 3­0 record, having defeated Trinidad and Tobago 7­1, Costa Rica 3­0, and Mexico 3­2.

The Canadian women’s field hockey team, which includes Calgarians Karen McNeill, Carla Somerville and Michelle Boyer, has seen mixed results so far, with wins over Mexico (5­0) and Cuba (5­1) offset by losses to Argentina (3­1) and the United States (5­0). Canada has yet to face Chile and Trinidad and Tobago.

Canada’s surprising men’s baseball team includes Calgarian Ryan Radmanovich, who usually plays for the Tacoma Rainiers, the Seattle Mariners’ top farm team. Canada has defeated Brazil 16­4 and the United States 7­6 to take the top spot in pool A. They still have Mexico and Cuba to overcome before they reach the medal round.

The previously mentioned men’s water polo team will face Brazil on July 29 for the bronze medal. The women’s team, on which Calgary’s Cora Campbell has starred, will meet the United States for the gold on July 30.

Canada now has 21 gold, 17 silver and 26 bronze medals for a total of 64. Only the United States, with 103, has more, although Cuba is close behind with 57. Six of Canada’s gold medals were won by Calgary-based athletes, but that total will doubtlessly increase over the next week, with squash and swimming making their debuts.

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