Rio Replay? Canada follows similar medal path in first half of Tokyo Olympics – .

Rio Replay? Canada follows similar medal path in first half of Tokyo Olympics – .

TOKYO – For the second summer Olympics in a row, a strong opening week allows Canada to try to beat its record for medals in an unboycotted Games.

And just like five years ago in Rio, Canadian women are leading the charge.

The swim team setting the tone again at the start, Canada entered Sunday’s competition with 12 medals in Tokyo (three gold, four silver, five bronze), all won by women . Canada was set to challenge the record of 22 medals set in 1996 in Atlanta and tied in 2016 in Rio.

“We have had a very nice and constant stream of medals,” said Canadian Chef de Mission Marnie McBean on Saturday. “There is no seal on the podium door or the medal room. I think that’s what Team Canada is finding out.

“There is a lot of joy around and a lot of focus. “

In 2016, Canada won 11 medals in the first eight days of competition following the Opening Ceremonies. Women won 16 of Canada’s 22 medals that year.

Kylie Masse won silver in the 200-meter backstroke on Saturday for her second podium appearance in Tokyo, which earned Canada their fifth medal in swimming. It was also the second consecutive Games where women won the first 12 Canadian medals.

“I think it’s so empowering and inspiring to be surrounded by so many successful and dedicated athletes,” Masse said. “For them to all be women right now, it’s so empowering and so special. I hope this is an inspiration for young children in sports, not just in sports, but in all aspects of their lives.

“They can achieve anything they want as long as they work hard, stick to their process, and enjoy it. I think they can do whatever they think they can. “

McBean said Canada is a nation that “cares about inclusion”.

“It’s not just a word, it’s not just a bullet on the page,” she said. “But our sport system supports women and we value strong and competitive women. “

Masse won silver in the 100 backstroke earlier at the Games. Other Canadian medalists in swimming include Maggie Mac Neil (100m gold butterfly) the 4x100m freestyle team (silver) and Penny Oleksiak (200m bronze freestyle).

There were also several near-accidents on the podium.

In the pool, Oleksiak was fourth in the 100 freestyle, Summer McIntosh was fourth in the 400 freestyle and two relay teams were fourth. They also narrowly missed a medal in the men’s rowing duo, the women’s synchronized divers on the 10-meter tower, trampolinist Rosie MacLennan and weightlifter Boady Santavy.

Starting Saturday night, Canada finished 25 in the top five in Tokyo. Weightlifter Maude Charron and the women’s eight-rowing team joined Mac Neil atop the podium this week.

“I’m in awe of the Canadian level of high performance now,” said McBean, three-time Olympic rowing champion. “We believe the gold medals are ours. “

Canada won 18 medals (2-5-11) at the London 2012 Games, four years after winning 20 (3-9-8) in Beijing. Canada’s best all-time record was 44 (10-18-16) in 1984 in Los Angeles, a Games boycotted by the Soviet Union, East Germany and several other countries.

The Canadian team in Tokyo has 226 women and 145 men on its roster for a total of 371 competitors. The Rio national team had 315 athletes (187 women, 128 men).

There is a lot of medal potential for Canada in the second half of the Games.

Andre De Grasse and Damian Warner are names to watch out for on the track, Erica Wiebe is once again a medal threat in wrestling and the women’s football team have reached the semi-finals. Canoeing, basketball, boxing, sport climbing and track cycling are some of the many sports featured in the second half of the program.

“We have a team here that feels ready to play because the Canadian sport system is on their side,” said McBean. “They come here and they take pride in their preparation and are ready to go. “

The competition continues until August 8.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on July 31, 2021.


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