Team Canada picked up seven more medals at the Commonwealth Games today, bringing their tally to 18. Day three in the Gold Coast had its hero’s but also heartaches as there could have been two more medals in Mixed Team Relay Triathlon and Race Walking, where Canada finished fourth.
In the new Team Triathlon, two Vancouver Islanders shined – the new phenom Desirae Ridenour from Cowichan Bay and Victoria’s Matt Sharpe. Together with Joanna Brown from Carp, Ontario, who won a bronze medalist in the individual triathlon on Thursday, and Tyler Mislawchuk from Oak Bluff, Manitoba, they finished the exciting event in 1:19:35.
The Mixed Team Relay will be an official event in the 2020 Olympic Summer Games, and is sure to be as exciting as today’s. Teams of two women and two men each complete a short-course triathlon (250m swim, 7km bike, 1.5km run) before tagging off to their teammate to take on the next leg.
Brown, took the opening leg finishing the swim in third spot. But by the time she tagged off to Mislawchuk, she had dropped to fifth. Mislawchuk picked up two spots in the water while clocking the third-fastest time in the group. A clean and fast transition propelled him onto the bike course where he scrapped it out with Ryan Sissons of New Zealand over the two laps. With a battle for the bronze ensuing, Mislawchuk held fifth spot for the Canadians at the completion of his leg.
Then it was 18-year-old Ridenour’s turn, who picked up a spot on the field following a strong swim. On the bike she charged ahead into third but having exhausted herself she dropped back into fourth before she was done, but moved the Canadians up one spot heading into the anchor leg.
Sharpe had his work cut out for him to catch New Zealand for the final spot on the podium. The 26-year-old held the fourth-place position in the swim before charging onto the bike course after a smooth transition. He ran hard but couldn’t catch New Zealand, crossing the finish line in fourth.
“I wish I could have been there at the end and I’m a bit frustrated I couldn’t get up there, but we have some time to learn from this and come back stronger,” said Sharpe in a statement.
Australia won in 1:17:36, with England second in 1:18:28. “It’s pretty tough. We gave it our best and we just missed the podium,” added Ridenour.
In the 20 km Race Walk two BC athletes competed with Ben Thorne from Kitimat just missing the podium, placing fourth and Richmond’s Evan Dunfee eighth. Thorne had the lead after 12 kilometres and was in podium contention but couldn’t quite gain on the leaders. Dunfee, a 50 km specialist, at least achieved a season’s best of 1:23:26. Dane Bird-Smith of Australia won in 1:19:34. Thorne’s time was 1:20:49, also a season’s best.
Canada achieved three gold medals today: in artistic gymnastics: Ellie Black won her second gold, this time in women’s individual all-around; weightlifting: Maude Charron in women’s 63k, and swimming: Kylie Masse in women’s 100m backstroke. Four silvers were all in the pool: Aurelie Rivard in women’s 200m individual medley SM10, Taylor Ruck in women’s 50m freestyle, and Taylor Ruck, Kayla Sanchez, Rebecca Smith and Penny Oleksiak in women’s 4x200m freestyle relay. Taylor Ruck won her third medal of the day – a bronze in women’s 100m backstroke.