Gold streak continues
Canadian athletes win their events in pole vault, javelin and steeplechase
Canada’s track and field team got off to an impressive start Tuesday as the host country’s gold-medal streak at the 2015 Pan American Games continued.
Toronto’s Shawnacy Barber equalled a Pan Am record, clearing 5.80 metres to win gold in men’s pole vault and Vancouver’s Elizabeth Gleadle won gold in women’s javelin with a throw of 62.83 metres on her sixth and final attempt.
“I’m having a really phenomenal year for me, I’m hitting the marks that I dreamed of,” Barber said.
Gleadle was trailing American Kara Winger when she stepped up to take her final javelin throw, clapping her hands to get the crowd going.
“I was thinking ’Oh no, I’d better get it together,”’ Gleadle said. “I was standing there and I thought to myself ’I bet the Canadian anthem would sound a whole lot better from the podium if I was on it,’ so that inspired me to throw better.”
Canada earned more medals in evening competition, with Matt Hughes winning gold and Alex Genest taking silver in the men’s 3,000-metre steeplechase and Mohammed Ahmed wining the men’s 10,000 metres.
Hughes, form Oshawa, Ont., finished the steeplechase in eight minutes 32.18 seconds with Genest, from Shawinigan, Que., right behind in 8:33.83. Cory Leslie of the U.S. won bronze.
Hughes pulled away from the pack with three laps to go.
“I made a similar move in the national championships a few weeks ago, so I was confident in that move,” he said. “I was hoping that Alex knew when I was going to go.”
Ahmed, from St. Catharines, Ont., won the 10,000 in 29:49.96, ahead of American Aron Rono (28:50.83) and Mexico’s Juan Luis Barrios (28:51.57).
Tim Nedow from Brockville, Ont., earned silver in the men’s shot put with a throw of 20.53 metres. Jamaica’s O’Dayne Richards won gold with a throw of 21.69 metres, breaking the Pan Am record previously held by Canada’s Dylan Armstrong.
“I’ve been throwing 20.50 all year, so there was no excuse not to throw it here, so I am glad I did that,” Nedow said.
Sultana Frizell of Perth, Ont., took bronze in the women’s hammer throw with a toss of 69.51 metres, while Toronto’s Nikkita Holder won bronze in the women’s 100 hurdles in 12.85 seconds.
Canada had 59 gold, 53 silver and 47 bronze heading into Tuesday’s late events. The host nation has won at least one gold in each day of medal competition.
Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse ran 10.06 seconds in winning in his 100-metre heat to qualify for Wednesday’s semifinals.
Gavin Smellie of Brampton, Ont., was disqualified for a false start in his 100-metre heat.
Elsewhere, Canada’s women’s and men’s table tennis teams each came away with a bronze medal.
The men lost their semifinal match 3-0 to Brazil while the women fell 3-0 to the United States.
Hugues Boisvert-Simard of Quebec City added bronze in the men’s epee.
The men’s basketball team opened with a comfortable 10588 win over the Dominican Republic. Brady Heslip of Burlington, Ont., led Canada with 24 points.
The Canadian men’s field hockey team moved on to the semifinals with a 3-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago. The Vancouver trio of Iain Smythe, Matthew Sarmento and Scott Tupper provided the offence while goalkeeper David Carter, also from Vancouver, preserved the clean sheet for the Canadians.
Canada came form two sets down to beat the United States 3-2 and advance to the men’s volleyball semifinals.
Toronto’s Melissa Humana-Paredes and Winnipeg’s Taylor Pischke just missed a chance at winning Canada’s first Pan Am beach volleyball medal, falling 2-0 to Brazil in the women’s bronze-medal match.
Canada’s Matt Hughes celebrates after winning the finals of the men’s 3,000metre steeplechase Tuesday at the Pan Am Games in Toronto.