July 13, 2015 8:06 pm
Updated: July 13, 2015 11:59 pm

Canada continues medal surge at Pan Am Games with 17 medals on Day 3

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WATCH ABOVE: Home advantage appears to be paying off for Canada at the Pan Am Games in Toronto. Mike Drolet reports.

TORONTO – Before the start of the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games, Canadian chef de mission Curt Harnett estimated that the host nation would need around 200 medals to reach its goal of finishing in the top two of the overall standings.

After just three days of competition, Canada is over a fifth of the way there.

The Canadians continued their haul Monday with 17 more medals – their highest single-day total so far – on Day 3 of the Games.

The hosts now have 41 medals (17 gold, 14 silver, 10 bronze) and continue to lead the table in both the overall and gold-medal standings.

GALLERY: Best photos from competition on Day 3 of the Pan Am Games


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The United States is second in both categories with 12 gold and 36 total medals. Mexico is third in total medals with 27, while Cuba and Colombia each have 10 gold.

Canada’s paddlers and rowers set the tone early, adding eight medals to Canada’s coffers before noon.

The rowing team was led by gold-medal performances by the men’s coxless four and the women’s double sculls.

“It was pretty amazing. It sent goosebumps down my spine,” said veteran rower Will Crothers, who could hear the vocal hometown crowd in St. Catharines, Ont., as the men’s four – Crothers, Tim Schrijver of Thedford, Ont., Kai Langerfeld of Parksville, B.C., and Conlin McCabe of Brockville, Ont. – entered their final 500-metre sprint. “I started thinking, we’re sitting up (starting the final sprint). I yelled to the boys, ‘Who wants to sing?’

“I think that probably fired them up pretty good. I think the (stroke) rate went up. We started really chucking down some heaters. Some hot strokes to get to the line.”

Canada’s (left to right) Tim Schrijver, Kai Langerfeld, Conlin McCabe, and Will Crothers waves to fans after winning gold in the the men’s coxless four final at the 2015 Pan Am Games at the Royal Canadian Henley Rowing Course in St.Catharines, Ont. on Monday, July 13, 2015.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter Power

The men finished six minutes 10.80 seconds, more than three seconds ahead of silver-medallists Cuba (6:14.30) and bronze-medallists Argentina (6:16.52).

Kerry Shaffer, from Welland, Ont., and Antje Von Seydlitz of Smithers, B.C., won gold in the women’s double sculls with a time of 7:13.01, just ahead of the United States (7:14.65) in second and Cuba (7:20.00) in third.

READ MORE: Canada continues medal haul in canoe, kayak, rowing competition

Von Seydlitz could hear the partisan crowd from halfway out on the course.

“It was unreal. It kind of brings tears to your eyes,” she said. “You’re so proud to be racing in your own country in front of your hometown fans.”

Canadian rowers also took bronze medals in men’s double sculls and women’s coxless pairs.

Just down the road in Welland, Canada added four medals in kayak and canoe events.

Ben Russell from Dartmouth, N.S., and Gabriel Beauchesne-Sevigny from Trois-Rivieres, Que., won gold in the C-2 1,000 metres. Canadian flag-bearer Mark Oldershaw from Burlington, Ont., raced to a silver medal in the men’s C-1 1,000 metres. Michelle Russell of Fall River, N.S., won silver in K-1 500 metres – her second medal of the Pan Am Games. Veteran Adam Van Koeverden of Oakville, Ont., won bronze in the K-1 1,000 metres.

GALLERY: Photos from the paddling and rowing events on Day 3 at Pan Am Games

Ben Russell from Dartmouth, N.S., and Gabriel Beauchesne-Sevigny from Trois-Rivieres, Que., won gold in the C-2 1,000 metres. Canadian flag-bearer Mark Oldershaw from Burlington, Ont., raced to a silver medal in the men’s C-1 1,000 metres. Michelle Russell of Fall River, N.S., won silver in K-1 500 metres – her second medal of the Pan Am Games. Veteran Adam Van Koeverden of Oakville, Ont., won bronze in the K-1 1,000 metres.

Russell and Beauchesne-Sevigny won gold with a time of 3:46.316, beating Brazil by 0.801 seconds and Cuba by 3.616 seconds.

The duo played it patient before surging into the lead over the final quarter of the race.

“We train consistently that last 250 metres,” Russell said. “That’s where we want to be the best in the world, so every time we get there we just go for broke, and having the crowd today was just the bonus.”

READ MORE: It’s cheaper to buy a Pan Am ticket than pay for transit in some parts of GTA right now

Russell and Beauchesne-Sevigny won gold with a time of 3:46.316, beating Brazil by 0.801 seconds and Cuba by 3.616 seconds.

The duo played it patient before surging into the lead over the final quarter of the race.

“We train consistently that last 250 metres,” Russell said. “That’s where we want to be the best in the world, so every time we get there we just go for broke, and having the crowd today was just the bonus.”

Canada wrapped up the diving competition with four more medals Monday, giving them nine total.

Montreal’s Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion from Laval, Que., won Canada’s second diving gold in women’s synchronized 10-metre platform. They earned 316.89 points to beat Brazil (291.36) and Mexico (287.91).

“This medal has a lot of value to us not only because we put a lot of work in this, but because it’s a little balm on my wound of two days ago,” said Filion, who won silver in the individual event on Sunday. “These are the Pan Am Games, that’s the title that we were missing, so it’s really great.”

Canada’s Meaghan Benfeito, right, and Roseline Filion celebrate after winning gold in the women’s 10-metre synchronized platform diving final at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto on Monday, July 13, 2015.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Canada added silver medals in the men’s three-metre synchro springboard and 10-meter synchro tower and the women’s three-metre synchro springboard.

Amanda Chudoba of Spruce Grove, Alta., won Canada’s second shooting gold with a victory in women’s trap.

Chudoba edged American Kayle Browning in a shoot-off after the final round was tied at 11.

“Actually, I didn’t have any prep, it was all new to me,” Chudoba said of preparing for the sudden-death session. “I just tried to see the target when it comes out and hit the target.”

READ MORE: Best photos from Day 1, Day 2 of Pan Am Games in Toronto

Gymnast Ellie Black of Halifax won her second medal of the Games after capturing gold in the women’s all-around competition.

Black trailed Madison Desch of the United States after the vault and uneven bars, but posted the best result in balance beam and second best in floor to overtake the American and win the event.

“It’s spectacular, to come here in front of the home crowd, to be able to hit my best competition, I think ever, is unreal,” said Black, who helped Canada to a silver in the women’s team event on Sunday. “To finish off with the gold is incredible, just having the whole of Canada behind me feels amazing. This is probably one of the best for me, I can’t even believe it.”

Kelita Zupancic of Whitby, Ont., won Canada’s first judo gold medal of the Games, beating Cuba’s Onix Cortez by Ippon in the final of the women’s under-70-kilogram event.

“It feels surreal. Words can’t describe it,” Zupancic said. “I’m so proud to be Canadian. I’m proud to represent my family, friends, coaches, teammates, everyone.”

Stefanie Tremblay of Chicoutimi, Que., added a silver in the women’s under-63-kg event.

Also Monday, Toronto’s Jordan Belchos won Canada’s first ever Pan Am roller speedskating medal with a bronze in the men’s 10,000 metres.

“My mom was crying,” Belchos said. “It was incredible.”

Elsewhere, Canada’s men’s softball team edged the U.S 3-2, while the baseball team improved to 3-0 with a 9-1 rout of Nicarauga.

In water polo, Canada will play for bronze on Wednesday after losing a physical semifinal with the United States 9-8.

In badminton, Rachel Honderich and Michelle Li won their singles quarter-finals and teamed up to take their doubles quarter-final. Meanwhile, Andrew D’Souza moves on in men’s singles, Alex Bruce, Phyllis Chan in women’s doubles and Toby Ng and Bruce in mixed doubles.

Canada’s women’s field hockey team opened competition with a 12-1 rout of the Dominican Republic.

In tennis, Philip Bester and Gabriella Dabrowski teamed up to win their quarter-final match in mixed doubles.

Canada will have a chance at two gold medals in squash on Tuesday after Sam Cornett and Nikole Todd won their women’s doubles semifinal and Andrew and Graeme Schnell advanced to the men’s doubles final.

Taylor Pischke and Melissa Humana-Paredes won their beach volleyball opener 2-0 over a team from the Cayman Islands.

© 2015 The Canadian Press

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