Gaudet Tokyo bound

Canadian Paralympic Committee, July 27, 2021
Photo credit: Badminton Canada

Regina’s Frank Gaudet has been selected to accompany Canada’s first-ever Para badminton athlete, Olivea Meier at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo. 

The sport is making its Olympic debut at the Tokyo Summer Games and Meier will compete in the women’s SL4 singles tournament. She is currently ranked No. 11 in the world. 

Badminton competition in Tokyo begins Sept. 1 with group play matches. The medals will be award in the SL4 event on Sept. 4 

Learn more at Paralympic.ca 

Day Four Recap

Canadian softball team wins bronze, makes history

A 3-2 victory over Mexico on Day 4 earned the Canadian softball team, including Saskatoon’s Jenny Gilbert, a bronze medal — the country’s first in the sport at the Olympics.

Emma Entzminger got Canada on the board in the second inning, scoring a pair of RBIs to give the red and white a 2-0 lead. Mexico then added a single in the third inning to cut the lead to one.

After a scoreless fourth inning, Canada and Mexico each picked up a single in the fifth to make the score 3-2. That score carried through to the seventh inning, where three quick outs —one ground out and two strikeouts— secured the victory for the Canadians.

Canadian pitcher Danielle Lawrie —who recorded the win in the bronze-medal game— and infielder Jennifer Salling retired from the national team following the game. Both played for Canada at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, the last time the sport was included in the Games.

Softball has been included in the Olympics five times and was selected as a feature sport for Japan for 2020 Tokyo. It will not be a part of the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

Read more on softball.ca

Olympic/Paralympic notes: Read the full Day 4 recap at Olympic.ca…Janine Beckie, who has ties to Saskatchewan, and the women’s Canadian soccer team will take on Brazil in the quarterfinals…Regina soccer official received her second assignment at the Olympics …Regina’s Frank Gaudet has been selected as a coach for the Canadian Paralympic badminton team for Tokyo…Canada won four medals on Day 4, bronze in softball, Maude Charron won gold in women’s 64-kilogram weightlifting, Kylie Masse won silver in women’s 100-metre backstroke and Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard won bronze in the women’s judo 63-kilogram division.

Day Three Recap

Canada finishes softball round robin with 8-1 victory over Italy

The Canadian softball team knew they’d be playing for bronze no matter the outcome of their final round robin game on Sunday, but that didn’t stop them for turning in a dominant 8-1 victory over Italy.

After a scoreless first inning, Saskatoon’s Jenny Gilbert hit a solo home run  deep to centre field to give Canada the 1-0 lead.

Both teams scored singles in the third inning to make the score 2-1, where it remained until the fifth inning.

The red and white came out strong in the fifth inning, picking up three runs themselves and held the Italians to no runs to take a commanding 5-1 lead. The actions were repeated in the sixth inning, after which the mercy rule was used, giving Canada the 8-1 win.

The Canadians ended round robin play with a 3-2 record and third place in the standings. Their only losses came in the form of 1-0 defeats against the United States and Japan —who will face each other for gold. The Canadians also only allowed four runs against in the entire tournament.

Canada will take on Mexico —who they previously defeated 4-0 in the round robin — in the bronze medal game on Monday night at 10 p.m. (SK time). The game is scheduled to be streamed on CBC Gem and available to watch on Sportsnet or Sportsnet One. Potential bad weather in Japan may force the game to be rescheduled.

Learn more at softball.ca.


Canadian women’s basketball team loses opener to Serbia 72-68

After fighting back from an eight-point deficit at halftime to tie the game 45-45 after three quarters, the Canadian women’s basketball team —led by Saskatchewan-based head coach Lisa Thomaidis— narrowly lost their opening Olympic game 72-68 to Serbia.

“We want to win every game we play,” head coach Lisa Thomaidis told Basketball Canada after the game. “I thought we had a slow start and got things turned around in the second half, built a lead and then couldn’t put them away. We know they can hit clutch threes and they did that at the right time. We did a lot of really solid things [in the game]. We turned them over 28 times, I was really happy with that, but at the end of the day we’re still disappointed in the loss.”

The Serbs outscored the Canadians 16-13 in the first quarter, 20-15 in the second and 27-23 in the fourth, while Canada won the third quarter 17-9.

Nirra Fields led the red and white with 19 points, followed closely by Kia Nurse with 16. Sonja Vasic led Serbia with 16 points.

Next up, Canada will face the Republic of Korea on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. (SK time) and will be streamed on CBC Gem.

In this year’s Olympic basketball tournament, the top two teams for each of the three groups advance to the quarter-finals, as well as the two third-place teams across all three groups with the best records.

Learn more at basketball.ca.


Olympic/Paralympic Notes: Full Day 3 recap visit, Olympic.ca …Canada earned their first gold and bronze medals of the Games as swimmer Maggie Mac Neil won the women’s 100-metre butterfly and Jessica Klimkait became the first Canadian woman to medal in judo at the Olympics with her bronze-medal performance in the 57-kilogram event…all three medals in the women’s skateboarding street event were won by athletes 16 and under, including the gold which was won by 13-year-old Momiji Nishiya of Japan, making her the youngest individual Olympic champion…bad weather in Japan is causing some outdoor events to be rescheduled…

Day Two Recap

Canadian softball suffers extra inning heartbreaking loss to Japan

Japan scored the game’s lone run with an extra inning walk off single in the bottom of the eighth to dash Canada’s hopes of playing in the gold medal match Saturday.

The red and white drops to 2-2 with the loss, while the No. 2 ranked Japan moves to 4-0 to equal the top ranked USA. Despite the loss, Canada clinched a spot in the bronze medal game ahead of its final round robin game against Italy at 11:30 p.m. (SK time) Sunday. Canada’s opponent is yet to be determined. The US and Japan will play for gold.

Canada has never won a softball medal at the Games but finished fourth in 2008 in Beijing. The group has only given up three runs in round robin play.

Read more about the game at softball.ca.

Pratt competes in heats

Swimmer Cole Pratt competed in one of six heats for the 100-metre men’s backstroke event. The Regina-born athlete finished seventh in the heat in a time of 54.27 and did not qualify for the semifinal of the event.

For full heat results, visit the official Olympics website.

Borgerson’s athlete competes in 10-metre air pistol

Rockglen coach Lisa Borgerson and Canada’s lone shooting athlete Lynda Kiejko competed in the 10-metre air pistol Saturday. Kiejko finished 47th in qualification with a score of 558. Kiejko will also compete in the 25-metre events.

For detailed results, visit the official Olympics website.

Olympic/Paralympic notes…Read the full Canadian Day 2 recap at Olympics.ca… Canada won a pair of silver medals on Day 2 in the 4X100-metre freestyle women’s swimming relay and the 3-metre synchro diving…

Day One Recap

Canadian softball team triumphs over Australia, improves to 2-1

Australia scored a single run in the top of the first inning, but it was the only time they made their way back successfully to home plate as Canada won Friday’s softball game 7-1.

The red and white put their bats to good use in the bottom of the first inning, picking up three runs, to take an early 3-1 lead. They followed that up with another three runs in the second inning to increase their lead to 6-1.

Canada scored their final run of the game in the fourth inning.

On the defensive side, Canada recorded six strikeouts to Australia’s one and held the team from down under to six hits. Saskatoon outfielder Jenny Gilbert recorded two put outs in the game.

With the win, Canada improves to a 2-1 record and sole possession of third place in the rankings. Next up, they’ll face 3-0 Japan on Saturday at 11:30 p.m. (SK time), which can be watched on CBC Gem. They’ll end round robin play on Sunday night with against Italy.

E

Read more about the game at softball.ca.

Olympic/Paralympic notes…Read the full Canadian Day 1 recap at Olympic.ca… CTV Regina reporter Claire Hanna debuted as a play-by-play commentator for women’s beach volleyball… Janine Beckie, whose parents lived in Saskatchewan, scored both Canadian goals in the teams 2-1 win over Chile… the first medals of the Games were awarded on Friday in women’s 10-metre rifle during a self-serve ceremony…Saskatchewan coach Lisa Borgerson and her athlete Lynda Kiejko will compete on Saturday in women’s 10-metre air pistol, beginning at 6 p.m. (SK time) on CBC Gem.

 

Female Coaches in Tokyo

Written by: Matt Johnson for Sask Sport
Photo credits: Canada Basketball and Diving Canada/Francois Mittens

I think it’s awesome for other coaches. I think it’s awesome for any female athletes to realize that it’s not a man’s sport. It’s not anybody’s sport, it’s sport and you do your job and you do it well, you can achieve any dream you want.

Mary Carroll

With Day 1 of the Tokyo Summer Olympics queued, three female coaches with Saskatchewan connections, will have the opportunity to represent the province on amateur sport’s grandest stage.

Lisa Thomaidis, Lisa Borgerson and Mary Carroll are set to don the maple leaf at the Summer Games. And for the trio, their involvement in high-profile positions highlights the continual growth of female coaches not only within the province, but also the nation.

While for each of the three the 2020 Olympic opportunity isn’t the first, it’s one that’s cherished perhaps more so than any other considering the uncertainty regarding the Games over the course of the last 18 months.

Thomaidis, who is the head coach of the Canadian women’s basketball team and the University of Saskatchewan Huskies women’s basketball team, noted she has been with her team in a bubble since May 19 and finally reaching the Olympic Village is “very exciting.”

The head coach of the national team since 2013, Thomaidis will be appearing at her third consecutive games and second as a head coach. The team is ranked fourth in the world and begins preliminary round play on July 26 against Serbia.

And while she was born in Dundas, Ont., she has spent the last 23 years living in Saskatoon and feels deeply connected with the province.

“I love being able to represent Saskatchewan on the Olympic stage,” she said from Tokyo. “Saskatchewan has provided so many opportunities to me as a female coach, starting with being hired by the University of Saskatchewan, then my involvement with our provincial team. Sask Sport, Basketball Saskatchewan and the University of Saskatchewan have all been such wonderful supports, so I’m proud to be able to represent our province.”

Thomaidis frequently references to the support systems she had throughout her growth as a female coach and hopes she can be viewed in a similar light.

“My female coaches growing up and at university, and then my colleagues as a University and National Team coach have all played such a huge part in my development as a coach and as an individual,” said Thomaidis. “Having role models to look up to and learn from is so important to help pave the way for more female coaches to enter into this profession.

“I’m honoured and happy if I’ve been able to be that for someone else. I always feel like there is more that I can do in that regard, but if I’ve been able to inspire any young woman to enter into this profession, then I’m proud.”

Borgerson will be making another appearance at the Games after also representing Canada at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Borgerson, who hails from Rockglen, Sask., will be accompanying the lone Canadian athlete in the sport Lynda Kiejko at the Games as pistol coach.

Perhaps no one appreciates the Games coming to fruition more so than Borgerson, who has been working in COVID-19 testing and vaccinations over the last 14 months. While Borgerson notes she kept her Olympic opportunity on the down low at work, her mom is a different story who Borgerson says is her number-one fan.

Having role models to look up to and learn from is so important to help pave the way for more female coaches to enter into this profession.

Lisa Thomaidis

Despite putting the news on the back burner, Borgerson has pride in the opportunity to represent her province and the town of Rockglen on the world stage, as well as her background.

“I’m proud to be able to be from Saskatchewan and to be doing this as well. Coaching is my niche,” said Borgerson. “I’m proud that even my national sport has sent the best to represent Canada. I’m proud of my achievements and my background as well. That’s what has provided me the chance to move forward and Canada as well when it comes to the women in coaching aspect of it.”

While Thomaidis and Bergerson will be attending their second Games in a five-year span, Mary Carroll will be taking part in her first in nearly thirty years. This year’s instalment of the games is her first as a coach with the Canadian Diving Team, after previously competing as an athlete in the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain.

Carroll is a coach with the Saskatoon Diving Club, and of Rylan Wiens, a 19-year old from Pike Lake, who will be making his Olympic debut in the 10-metre platform event on August 6.

While Carroll notes that coaching is a lot more nerve-racking than diving herself, she can’t wait to be poolside as a support to Wiens.

As a woman in sport, Carroll recognizes the significance in being one of three female coaches with ties to the province who will be in Tokyo.

“I think it’s awesome for other coaches. I think it’s awesome for any female athletes to realize that it’s not a man’s sport. It’s not anybody’s sport, it’s sport and you do your job and you do it well, you can achieve any dream you want,” said Carroll.

And while like Thomaidis, she hails from Ontario, Carroll now calls Saskatoon home and describes the opportunity to represent Saskatchewan on the world stage as “amazing.”

“I’ve raised my kids here, it does feel like home. I was born in Ontario and did my stint of diving as an athlete in Ontario. But my stint as a coach started when we moved here 15 years ago, and this is home. Saskatoon is home. and all I can say is go green and yellow.”

Opening Ceremony

Wiens represents Canada at the Opening Ceremony

Saskatchewan diver Rylan Wiens was one of 30 Canadian athletes to march in the opening ceremony for the Tokyo Summer Olympics.

Wiens, from Pike Lake, will compete in the 10-metre platform event starting Aug. 6. At the opening ceremony, he joined Canadian flag bearers Miranda Ayim from women’s basketball and Nathan Hirayma, co-captain of the men’s rugby seven’s team, as well as athletes from badminton, canoe slalom, BMX, fencing, shooting, skateboarding, tennis and weightlifting. Six mission staff members also marched in the ceremony.

On Day 1 of competition (July 23 overnight in Saskatchewan), Saskatoon’s Jenny Gilbert and the Canadian softball team will meet Australia in the third round robin game at 7 p.m. (SK time).

Olympic/Paralympic Notes: Canadian rowers competed in heats overnight on July 22. All three boats — Trevor Jones in men’s single sculls, Carling Zeeman in women’s double sculls and Gabrielle and Jessica Sevick in women’s double skulls — moved on to the next round. Rowing continues on Day 1…

For more information visit Olympic.ca

Kozun at Paralympics

Paralympics.ca, July 22, 2021
Photo credit: Canadian Paralympic Committee

Melfort’s Julie Kozun was among the 11 athletes named to represent Canada in women’s sitting volleyball by the Canadian Paralympic Committee and Volleyball Canada at the Tokyo Paralympic Games next month. 

All 11 athletes are returning from the bronze medal performance at the 2019 Parapan Am Games including Kozun.  She is one of three on the roster making their Paralympic debut. 

Canada earned a spot at the Paralympics with a victory in its last-chance qualification tournament hosted in Halifax in February 2020. It is the second straight appearance for Canada in the sport at the Games.  

The red and white are ranked fifth in the world and will compete against seven countries including USA, China, Italy, Brazil, Rwanda, Japan and the Russian Paralympic Committee. The schedule for the event will be determined at a later date. 

Read more at Paralympic.ca 

Before Opening Ceremonies

Gilbert and Canadian softball team split first two games 

Softball made its return to the Olympics on Wednesday and Team Canada, including Saskatoon outfielder and pitcher Jenny Gilbert, celebrated the occasion with a 4-0 win over Mexico in their first round robin game. 

A pair of RBIs in the first inning gave the red and white an early 2-0 lead. Single RBIs in the third and fourth innings increased Canada’s lead to four, where it would remain for the rest of the game. 

Defensively, Canada limited the Mexicans to two hits in the game, had six strikeouts and prohibited those runners who did get on base from advancing past second base. 

Unfortunately, Canada wasn’t able to continue their winning ways in their second game, dropping a close 1-0 game to the United States on Wednesday evening. 

Neither team managed to make it around the bases in the first four innings, but a hit to right field in the top of the fifth inning brought home a runner for the United States to give the team a 1-0 lead. 

Canada came close to scoring in the sixth inning with two outs and runners on both the second and third bases, but a strikeout ended the inning. In the bottom of the seventh and final inning, the Americans secured their victory with three straight outs —one strikeout, a grounded out and a pop up— to end the game. 

The Canadians are now 1-1 in the standings, sitting tied for third place with Australia, behind the United States and Japan, which are both 2-0, and ahead of the 0-2 Mexican and Italian teams. 

All six teams will play each other in round robin play. At the end of that stage, the top two teams will advance to the gold medal final, while the third and fourth place teams will battle for bronze.  

Next up for Canada will be the Australians on Friday, July 23 at 7 p.m. (SK time). You can stream the game live on CBC Gem

Read more about both of Canada’s games at softball.ca

Olympic/Paralympic Notes: The Opening Ceremony will be Friday morning at 5 a.m. (SK time) and can be streamed on CBC Gem or watched live on CBC, all TSN networks, as well as Sportsnet and Sportsnet One…Melfort’s Julie Kozun was selected as one of 11 players to represent Canada in women’s sitting volleyball at the Tokyo Paralympics…Brisbane, Australia was selected as the host for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.  

Goncin, Ostepchuk at Paralympics

Paralympics.ca, July 19, 2021
Photo credit: Canadian Paralympic Committee

Saskatchewan’s Nik Goncin and Garrett Ostepchuk were two of the 12 athletes named to the Canadian men’s wheelchair basketball squad who will compete at the Tokyo Paralympic Games.

Goncin was with the Canadian team at the Paralympic Games in Rio in 2016, while it will be Ostepchuk’s first Paralympics.

“This is what we have been training for, and of course, I’m personally elated to be heading to Tokyo for my second Paralympic Games,” said Goncin. “Although the last 16 months have been challenging, we were gifted an additional year to grow as a team. I believe we have the right mix of talent and, more importantly, the right team mindset to have success in Tokyo.” 

The Canadian men sit in Group A, where they will battle South Korea, Spain, Turkey, Colombia, and Japan. They will start their campaign on August 26 versus Spain and wrap up the preliminary stage opposite Colombia on August 30.

Read more at Paralympic.ca