A Commonwealth Games recap

The 2002 Commonwealth Games ended last weekend with a great celebration. Overall, Canadian athletes achieved 31 gold, 41 silver and 42 bronze medals. As a result, Canada ended up in fourth place behind Australia, Great-Britain and India in the battle for the precious metals.

At the end, the story was big triumphs and even bigger disappointments for Calgarian athletes, as well as great expectations for the next Commonwelath Games in Australia in 2006.

The University of Calgary swim quartet, which left for Manchester hoping for multiple medals, is an example of triumph and disappointment at the same time.

Dinos Erin Gammel and Kristy Cameron didn’t meet their goals. Gammel, who was aiming for a medal in the 100 metre backstroke, finished in eighth place in the finals.

Even worse were the results for Cameron. Aiming for a place among the first three, she competed in the 200 metre and 400 metre individual medley events. Cameron knew her competition well, knew they were strong, but was convinced that she could make it to the top. However, she was out before the final in both events.

On the other hand, Dena Durado and Rick Say both achieved their goals. Durado’s goal for her first international competition was, to make it to the finals, where she finished in eighth place. Veteran Say succeeded in the 200 metre freestyle event and earned bronze, the only medal for the U of C swim squad.

Wrestling his way to the top, Calgarian Dean Schmeichel is one of the most successful in his weight class. Born in Regina, Sask. Schmeichel trains with the Dinos and has been a successful wrestler for many years.

Schmeichel, who won his first national senior title in 1999, competed at two World Cups, and qualified for the Canadian World Championship Team in the 97 kilo class made a lasting impression at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester.

After a successful first round for Schmeichel at the 2002 Commonwealth Games, the two-time Canadian university champion took on Victor Kodei from Nigeria in the final.

Even though he was under intense pressure, Schmeichel defeatet Kodei 3-1 in a clear fight

This triumph gives Schmeichel great confidence for the upcoming World Championships, where he will compete against the best of the best.

Other Calgarian athletes from disciplines such as Athletics, Gymnastics, Judo and Badminton did very well. Even though most came home without a medal this time, we might see them again in four years–on their way to gold.



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