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Olympics2012Olympic Hot Sheet: Who will win Canada's next medal?

Posted: Sunday, July 29, 2012 | 04:38 PM

Categories: Olympics2012

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Canadian synchro divers Emilie Heymans, left, and Jennifer Abel show off their bronze medals. (Martin Bureau/AFP/GettyImages) Canadian synchro divers Emilie Heymans, left, and Jennifer Abel show off their bronze medals. (Martin Bureau/AFP/GettyImages)

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A guide to what happened Sunday, and what to look for Monday, at the Olympic Games in London, including our best guess at who could win Canada's next medal after synchro divers Emilie Heymans and Jennifer Abel put us on the board with a bronze.

A guide to what happened Sunday, and what to look for Monday, at the Olympic Games in London.

We're on the board

Canada picked up its first medal of the London Olympics on Sunday when Emilie Heymans and Jennifer Abel won the bronze in the women's 3m synchronized diving event. Heymans made history by becoming the first female diver ever to reach the podium in four consecutive Olympics. Her first medal came at the 2000 Sydney Games in the 10m synchro with then teammate Anne Montminy.

If you read Saturday's Hot Sheet, you know we tapped Heymans and Abel as candidates to nab Canada's first medal. So when might Canada win its next?

There's not much doing on Monday, and Tuesday features only a couple of outside chances in weightlifter Christine Girard and 10m synchro divers Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion. Surprises can always happen, but a better chance comes on Wednesday, with the final of the men's eight rowing event. If Canada makes it. (More on that later.)

France's revenge

Saturday's big story was Ryan Lochte's victory over rival Michael Phelps in the men's 400-metre individual medley. On Saturday the two biggest names in swimming joined forces on the U.S. 4x100 freestyle relay team. Swimming the anchor, Lochte looked poised to add his second gold in as many days, but he was chased down by France's Yannick Agnel in the final length, dropping the Americans to the silver medal.

The win was extra-magnifique for France, which would have upset the U.S. at the 2008 Beijing Olympics had little-known Jason Lezak not swam the anchor leg of a lifetime to rally the U.S. to victory and preserve teammate Phelps' (eventually successful) quest for eight gold medals.

France won another gold when Camille Muffat touched the wall first in the 400 freestyle.

Swim-off!

Canada's Tera van Beilen finished tied for eighth overall in qualifying for the women's 100 breaststroke, forcing her into a dramatic (and very rare) swim-off against Jamaica's Alia Atkinson for the last spot in the final. It wasn't much of a contest, though, as Atkinson won handily.

Our favourite athlete/blogger Julia Wilkinson also came agonizingly close to making the final in the women's 100 back, finishing ninth in the semis, just 0.09 of a second behind the last qualifier.

Border war

On Sunday, Canada's women's eight crew did what the men couldn't a day earlier by winning their heat to earn a direct berth in the final. That sets up a race for gold on Thursday against the mighty U.S. boat, which has won the world's top competition (world championships or Olympics) six years running. Canada has placed second at the last two worlds.

Waits are over

It's been a hot, dry summer in much of the country, but Canadian Olympians snapped a pair of long droughts on Sunday. Custio Clayton earned Canada's first Olympic boxing victory since 2004, and the women's gymnastics squad qualified for the team final for the first time since 1984. Those Games in L.A. were boycotted by the Soviet bloc, so this is the first time Canada has reached the final against a full field.

Looking ahead...

  • The Canadian men's eight rowing crew has something to prove in Monday's repechage round at 4:50 a.m. ET. The defending champions were forced into the second-chance qualifier after placing last in their four-boat heat on Saturday. Was it a tactical move, though? Only the top boat advanced directly to the final, and Canada was in the same heat as powerhouse Germany. Were the Canadians conserving energy, or are they struggling? We'll find out in the repechage, where the fastest four of the six boats will advance to the final against Germany and the U.S.
  • Phelps and Lochte are back in the pool. Lochte, the early front-runner for "Star of the Games" after his dominating win in Saturday's 400 IM, goes for his second gold in the 200 freestyle at 2:43 p.m. ET. Phelps tries to rebound from missing the podium in the 400 IM when he competes in the 200 butterfly heats in the morning and (he hopes) the semis later in the day.
  • Canada's women's basketball team looks to bounce back from its opening loss to Russia when it plays host Great Britain at 3 p.m. ET.

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