WATCH: Home advantage appears to be paying off for Canada at the Pan Am Games in Toronto. Our athletes are wowing sports fans with an unexpected medal haul. Though excitement for the games was slow to build, it’s now reached fever pitch. Mike Drolet reports.
TORONTO – Team Canada continues to dominate on the water after bringing in eight medals, including three gold, in early Day 3 competition.
Former Olympic champion Adam van Koeverden kicked off the medal haul Monday morning by taking bronze in the K-1 1000m sprint, in Welland, Ont.led most of the race but faded in the final 300 metres.
“I was doing everything I could to keep my boat moving, and today I just didn’t have the legs in the last 100,” the four-time Olympic medallist said. “I’m disappointed in that, my training indicated that I have more, but that’s just where my training is at now.”
Phillippe Gagne and Francois Imbeau-Dulac won silver during the men’s 3m synchronized springboard event while Amanda Chudoba won gold in women’s trap shooting.
Mark Oldershaw, Canada’s Pan Am flag-bear, won silver in the C-1 1000m sprint.
“Obviously I wanted the gold, I wanted to do it for Canada right here at home, but it feels great to get a medal,” the Burlington, Ont. native said. “The Pan Am Games have been amazing so far; to get a silver medal, I’m pretty proud of that, but like I said I’m still a bit disappointed that I didn’t get to a gold.”
Meanwhile, Kerry Shaffer and Antje Von Seydlitz won Canada’s first rowing gold medal at the Pan American Games.
Shaffer, from Welland, Ont., and Von Seydlitz, from Smithers, B.C., finished the women’s double sculls in seven minutes 13.01 seconds.
“I mean it’s awesome, there is no way to describe how much the crowd means and how much the fans mean, not just in spirit but that sound from the stands just lifts the boat out of the water and fires you up when you feel like you have nothing left,” Shaffer said. “It just gives you that energy you need to cross the line.”
Ben Russell and Gabriel Beauchesne-Sevigny won gold in the C-2 1,000M race with a time of 3:46.316, beating Brazil by mere 0.801 seconds.
Michelle Russell won silver in K-1 500-metre event, her second medal of the Pan Am Games. She won Canada’s first gold of the Games in the K-4 500-metre event.
Canada also won gold in the men’s coxless (rowing) four.
Will Crothers, Tim Schrijver, Kai Langerfeld and Conlin McCabe won the final in six minutes 10.80 seconds, more than three seconds ahead of silver medallists Cuba.
It was McCabe’s first time racing at home.
It’s my first time racing for Canada in Canada, and we pulled it off,” McCabe said. “I’m going to remember this for the rest of my life.”
Schrijver echoed McCabe’s comments on winning at home.
“This is the most exciting crowd I have ever seen spectating. Crossing that line and getting the win is exciting as well,” he said.
Canada won three gold, two silver and three bronze medals in canoe/kayak/rowing events Monday.
–with files from The Canadian Press
Editor’s Note: This post has been updated to remove a description of Michelle Russell as being the sister of Ben Russell. They are not related.