Team 'Toba sets medal record at Canada Summer Games

Team Manitoba's medal count climbed to 41 on Friday, after breaking the province's record for medals earlier in the day at the Canada Summer Games.

Manitoba athletes earned 41 medals at the Games by Friday evening

On Monday, Manitoban James Lavallee, seen here in Lane 4, won bronze in the men's 500-metre kayak. On Friday, Team Manitoba's medal count grew to 36, a Games record for the team. (Twitter/TeamToba)

Team 'Toba has set a team record for most medals at a Canada Summer Games.

Sam Stevens's bronze-medal effort in the single men's 5,000-metre canoe race on Friday afternoon pushed the total Team Manitoba count to 36.

Later Friday evening, four wrestlers also medalled: Carson Lee and Khaled Aldrar earned a silver medal apiece and Hunter Lee and Jessica Rabet each scored a gold.

Swimmer Oksana Chaput also secured her second gold medal of the Games in the 50-metre freestyle on Friday, bringing the Team Manitoba medal count to 41.

Manitoba set its previous medal record of 35 at the 2013 Canada Summer Games in Sherbrooke, Que.

That year, Manitoba was also awarded the Centennial Cup, presented to the team showing the greatest improvement from one Games to the next.

Barry Moroz, chef de mission for Team Manitoba, said Friday breaking the record was exhilarating.

"It was totally awesome, and the best part about it, we're guaranteed another couple of medals tonight, and the chance to guarantee a couple of others," Moroz said.

I said about a year and a half ago ... it wouldn't surprise me at all by being the home team ... that we could set a new record.- Barry Moroz, chef de mission for Team Manitoba

Team Manitoba is guaranteed four more medals Friday night in wrestling, he said, and there are other possible medals in swimming. As well, if Team Manitoba wins in soccer and women's volleyball tonight, there will be more guaranteed medals Saturday.

Moroz said playing at home has been an advantage.

"I said about a year and a half ago, in an interview about the Games, I said it wouldn't surprise me at all by being the home team and having the home team in our province, that we could set a new record."

Moroz said for the most part, the medals won by individual athletes were expected, but there were some surprises: "Swimming was the big unknown. It was a totally new age category for these Games, and they're relatively young. So it was a great unknown.

"But Oksana Chaput has come through with three medals, as have our Special Olympics swimmers. We expected them to do well."

The team is riding the momentum of more medals and pushing themselves harder, Moroz said. "When you look at a day like today … it seems our team is just feeding off of one another, and there's obviously tremendous momentum as we head into the final couple of days."