Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canada Wins Three More Bronze Medals on Wild Day in London

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canada Wins Three More Bronze Medals on Wild Day in London

Article excerpt

Bronze-medal day for Canada in London


LONDON - Three bronze medals, a marathon, record-setting tennis match and a thrilling soccer comeback.

Tuesday was a day of drama for Canada at the London Olympics.

Divers Roseline Filion and Meaghan Benfeito kicked off the bronze bonanza in the 10-metre synchronized event. About 30 minutes later, Antoine Valois-Fortier won a surprise bronze in men's judo. Within the hour, weightlifter Christine Girard was also climbing the podium.

The three medals boosted Canada's total to four -- four more than the country had at this point in the 2008 Olympics. Canada sits 13th in the overall medal standings just behind Britain, which has two silver and two bronze.

Canadian officials said prior to the Games that they were hoping for a top-12 finish.

The medals came two days after divers Emilie Heymans and Jennifer Abel gave Canada its first of the Games with a third-place finish in the women's three-metre synchro.

"Our four medals have come in three different sports," chef de mission Mark Tewksbury said. "The broader we can go, the more exciting it gets."

Filion, from Laval, Que., and Benfeito, from Montreal, finished with a combined score of 337.62.

"We had to dive our hearts out. We were ready," said Filion, of Laval, Que. "We said there was nothing more we could have done."

China continued to dominate the diving competition with another gold, while Mexico took silver.

"They can make mistakes," said Benfeito, who hails from Montreal, of the Chinese. "We try to say we can win the gold. But they're amazing divers."

Valois-Fortier, a 22-year-old from Quebec City, defeated American Travis Stevens 1-0 in the bronze-medal bout.

"It feels amazing," he said. "I've sacrificed so much and all of the fights today were very hard. It was tough mentally but the whole team supported me and I managed to pull myself together. I wanted it really bad, it's what I work for every day."

It's Canada's first judo medal since Nicholas Gill won silver in 2000.

Girard, who grew up in Rouyn-Noranda, Que., and lives in White Rock, B.C., become the first Canadian woman to ever win an Olympic medal in weightlifting.

"It is very hard to describe how I feel," said Girard, who finished third behind a Kazak and a Russian with a total weight of 236 kilograms. "Four years ago in Beijing I came fourth and since then I have spent the past four years training through injuries and various changes in my life to get to this moment."

Tennis star Milos Raonic's Games came to a heartbreaking end after losing a marathon match 6-3, 3-6, 25-23 to fifth-ranked Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

The hard-serving 21-year-old from Thornhill, Ont., saw his serve broken while trailing 24-23 in the third set.

"I felt like I played really well for most of the match and I just let it slip away from me at the end," Raonic said. …

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