Cana­di­ans mount Pan Am podium with gold, two bronze

Pen­drel rolls to first in moun­tain bik­ing; Hunks grabs third in open-wa­ter 10K

Ottawa Citizen - - The Citizen’s Weekly Sports - BY JOHN MACKIN­NON

• Catherine PenRIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil drel of Kam­loops, B.C., got things rolling in golden fash­ion for Canada at the 15th Pan Amer­i­can Games yes­ter­day, win­ning the women’s moun­tain bike race.

“It feels great to be the first medal of the Games,” said Pen­drel, who cov­ered the Outeiro Hill cir­cuit in one hour 46 min­utes six sec­onds. “I re­ally en­joyed the course.

“It was well-con­structed and had a lit­tle bit of ev­ery­thing to chal­lenge the rid­ers. I was lead­ing the event from the sec­ond lap and was keep­ing a good pace. On the last lap, (Amer­i­can rider) Mary McCon­neloug man­aged to over­take me, and I thought I would lose.

“I gave my best and re­cov­ered the lead in one of the last curves of the track.”

Pen­drel more than re­cov­ered. She blew by McCon­neloug to win by more than a minute. The Amer­i­can crossed the fin­ish line in 1:47.44.

Pen­drel’s gold medal kick-started a strong start for the Cana­di­ans, gen­er­ally. The swim team grabbed a medal be­fore they even hit the pool.

It was a bronze in the 10-kilo­me­tre, open-wa­ter swim, as Tanya Hunks of Brant­ford, Ont., and the other com­peti­tors bat­tled five-foot waves and cir­cum­nav­i­gated a seven-buoy, twolap, five-kilo­me­tre course off Copaca­bana Beach un­der a bril­liant, blue sky and 30 C heat.

Hunks, who trains at the Na­tional Train­ing Cen­tre in Van­cou­ver, was a hard-churn­ing third be­hind gold medal­list Chloe Sut­ton of the U.S., and Po­liana Oki­moto of Brazil.

Those two thrashed home in a photo fin­ish, with Sut­ton smack­ing the float­ing fin­ish line in two hours 13 min­utes 47.6 sec­onds, edg­ing Oki­moto’s 2:13.48.4. Hunks clocked 2:13.50.5.

The close fin­ish was ex­tra­or­di­nary in such a long race, not to men­tion one in which the rolling waves sent the swim­mers crash­ing into one an­other, es­pe­cially dur­ing the first 21⁄ kilome-

2 tres of the course.

“Off to a good start, right?” Tunks told re­porters af­ter the race. “This is the very first event of the Games and for Canada to come out with a medal on the very first event is pretty amaz­ing.”

The event it­self was a scene, held at one end of the seven-kilo­me­tre long Copaca­bana Beach, which was teem­ing with the nor­mal quota of jog­gers, sight­seers and vol­ley­ball play­ers out for Satur­day fun.

The 10-kilo­me­tre swim will make its first ap­pear­ance on the Olympic pro­gram at the Sum­mer Games in Bei­jing next year.

Mean­while, out on the beau­ti­ful blue but choppy wa­ter, a cou­ple of Brazil­ian navy gun­boats were part of a large flotilla of wa­ter craft mon­i­tor­ing races, which started about a half-hour apart on the same course.

Amer­i­cans Fran Crip­pen and Charles Peter­son fin­ished 1-2 in the men’s race, with Al­lan Carmo of Brazil earn­ing bronze.

Philippe Dubreuil of Sher­brooke, Que., was fifth, and Jar­rod Ballem of Char­lot­te­town, P.E.I., but train­ing in Cal­gary, was eighth.

It may have been just an­other day at the beach for ev­ery­one else, but the swim­mers had to bat­tle waves, heat and even the residue of hu­man care­less­ness — garbage.

“It was re­ally good,” said the 26-yearold Tunks, who won the 10-kilo­me­tre swim at the 2006 Pan-Pa­cific Cham­pi­onships in Vic­to­ria.

Mean­while, Ivett Gonda of Van­cou­ver, won bronze in the women’s 49kilo­gram weight class at the Taek­wondo com­pe­ti­tion.

RADU TRICKS BRAZIL­IANS

Canada’s un­der­staffed women’s wa­ter polo team over­came early jit­ters to de­feat the host Brazil­ians 5-2 on the strength of a hat-trick by Ma­rina Radu, of Pointe-Claire, Que.

The squad pulled off the vic­tory to the de­light of Gov­er­nor-Gen­eral Michaëlle Jean, who watched the match un­der the lights at the out­door Julio De­la­mare aquatic sta­dium, and chat­ted with the play­ers af­ter­ward.

Canada was with­out vet­eran Cora Camp­bell of Cal­gary, who was struck by a trac­tor-trailer while rid­ing her bi­cy­cle to a friend’s house on Tues­day, the day she was to depart for Rio.

Mirac­u­lously, Camp­bell, a 33-yearold left-handed scorer, es­caped with a se­vere case of road rash and a fivestitch gash on her left shoul­der. She flew to Rio later last week and is ex­pected to join Canada later in the tour­na­ment.

Also miss­ing from the lineup was team cap­tain Krystina Alogbo of Mon­treal, who was serv­ing a one-game sus­pen­sion for hav­ing punched an op­po­nent in her last in­ter­na­tional match.

Alogbo will be back in the lineup to­day when Canada plays Puerto Rico.

CANADA BLANKS URUGUAY

Canada’s women’s soc­cer team hum­bled Uruguay 7-0 in their first match of the Pan Am tour­na­ment, which they are us­ing as a tune-up for the World Cup of Women’s Soc­cer in China in Septem­ber.

Chris­tine Sin­clair of Burn­aby, B.C., scored three goals in that mis­match. Randee Her­mus of Lan­g­ley, B.C., scored twice.

Diana Mathe­son of Oakville, Ont., and Melissa Tan­credi of An­caster, Ont., also scored.

DON­ALD MIRALLE/GETTY IMAGES

Of­fi­cials help Chloe Sut­ton of the U.S. and Tanya Hunks of Canada to shore af­ter the women’s swim­ming 10K marathon fi­nal at the Pan Amer­i­can Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, yes­ter­day.

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