Canada won 13 medals today in day eight of the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast. This is the second largest haul since day four. This brings the total medal count for Canada to 60, third in overall medals in the standings and fourth in the number of gold medals.
Haley Smith of Victoria’s based Mountain Bike team came away with a bronze medal and Emily Batty was fourth place on a fast 4.6 km course on the Nerang mountain bike trail. Smith challenged at the front in the first half lap, with English riders Annie Last and Evie Richards, followed closely by Batty. However, Smith made a mistake on one the steep climbs, losing multiple spots, and had to work her way back from seventh.
Batty was sitting in third by Lap 2, 45 seconds behind the two English riders. Smith steadily moved up to join Batty by Lap 4 and dropped her team mate on the next lap, but the two front spots were out of reach. Last took the gold medal ahead of Richards.
“I didn’t have a lot of expectations for a specific performance when I came here,” Smith said in a statement. “I struggled this week with believing that I deserved to be here, so my Games experience was about feeling the atmosphere and being confident in myself and my preparation. When I got to the start line, all I wanted to do was race and it worked out. The first climb has three technical up sections and I think everybody had problems at least once during the race, but unfortunately mine was on the first lap. Annie and Evie got a gap there and I fell back to about seventh. From that point on, I was just chasing. I kept my head down and kept at it, and it played out.”
Smith recently came second at the Powerade Canada Cup at Bear Mountain, Victoria.
In other action, Canada won gold in wrestling – Erica Wiebe and Diana Weicker, won both their respective weight divisions. Christabel Nettey, won the women’s long jump, Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan, also won gold in the inaugural Commonwealth Games women’s beach volleyball tournament.
Day 8 medals:
Wrestling: Erica Wiebe — women’s 76kg
Wrestling: Diana Weicker — women’s 53kg
Track and field: Christabel Nettey — women’s long jump
Beach volleyball: Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan — women’s
Beach volleyball: Sam Pedlow and Sam Schachter — men’s
Rhythmic gymnastics: Katherine Uchida — all-around
Wrestling: Steven Takahashi — men’s 57kg
Diving: Philippe Gagné — men’s 3m springboard
Diving: Meaghan Benfeito — women’s 10m platform
Track and field: Shawn Barber — men’s pole vault
Track and field: Aaron Brown — men’s 200m
Cycling: Haley Smith — women’s mountain bike
Wrestling: Jevon Balfour — men’s 74kg