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Olympics2012Olympic Hot Sheet: Canada's Brandi Chastain moment?

Posted: Thursday, August 9, 2012 | 04:17 PM

Categories: Olympics2012

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Canadian midfielder Diana Matheson celebrates her dramatic bronze medal-winning goal. (Mike Ridewood/COC/Canadian Press) Canadian midfielder Diana Matheson celebrates her dramatic bronze medal-winning goal. (Mike Ridewood/COC/Canadian Press)

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A guide to what happened Thursday, and what to look for Friday, at the Olympic Games in London, including the Canadian women's soccer team's thrilling bronze-medal victory and Usain Bolt's latest rewriting of the record books.
A guide to what happened Thursday, and what to look for Friday, at the Olympic Games in London.

Good as gold

There's been some grumbling about Canada's ratio of bronze to gold medals (10:1 after Day 13). But no one seemed to mind Thursday when the women's soccer team won an historic bronze in maybe the most dramatic fashion possible, on a 92nd-minute goal by Diana Matheson.

The new Paul Henderson? Not quite, but Matheson's strike did give Canada its first Summer Olympic medal in what people are calling a "traditional" team sport (meaning they don't count events like the rowing eights, even though rowing has a longer tradition than just about anything, but anyway...) since the men's basketball squad won silver at the 1936 Berlin Games.

It was a satisfying end to a fascinating narrative that picked up steam when the Canadians nearly upset the mighty United States team in the semifinals until giving it away late following a questionable call by the referee.

The question now is, what's the next chapter? Could this be Canada's Brandi Chastain moment - a milestone event that makes a lasting impression on young girls watching at home and sows the seeds for future international soccer success? We'll see. Plus, the Canadians all kept their shirts on.

Another fine lady

Lost amid the soccer celebrations was another great moment for a Canadian female athlete. Wrestler Tonya Verbeek won a medal for the third consecutive Olympics when she took silver in the women's 55-kilo division. Verbeek lost the gold-medal match against a nearly unbeatable foe: Japanese great Saori Yoshida won her third straight Olympic gold, and has also taken the last seven world titles.

Not a bad way to go out for Verbeek, who has said she plans to retire after the world championships in Edmonton in September.

Bolt doubles up

Usain Bolt made history again (and again) when he won gold in the men's 200 metres. Bolt is the first man to repeat as the Olympic 200m champion, and the first to pull off the 100m-200m double at consecutive Olympics (Carl Lewis went 3-for-4 in 1984 and '88).

Bolt led a Jamaican sweep of the 200 podium, with rival Yohan Blake taking silver (he did the same in the 100) and Warren Weir getting the bronze.

Now Bolt gets to try for his second consecutive Olympic triple when he races in the 4x100 relay with the defending champion Jamaican team. The opening round goes Friday at 2:45 p.m. ET, with the final on Saturday at 4 p.m. ET.

Remember the name

Canada's Damian Warner finished fifth in the men's decathlon, setting multiple personal bests on the world's biggest stage. He's only 22, so keep him in mind for Rio 2016.

Looking ahead...

With 16 medals, Canada has already surpassed our (admittedly low) prediction of 15, and women's mountain bike favourite Catharine Pendrel doesn't race until Saturday. The medal count could rise before that, perhaps as early as Friday, when some Canadian hopefuls are in action:

  • Karine Sergerie fights in the women's 67-kilo taekwondo event, with the prelims starting at 7:30 a.m. ET and the medal rounds later in the day. Sergerie won Olympic silver in this weight class in 2008, and took bronze at the 2011 world championships in the 62-kilo division.
  • Richard Weinberger swims in the men's 10-km open water marathon at 7 a.m. ET at Hyde Park, where he won the Olympic test event last year. The betting line, though, says Weinberger is just the No. 9 contender.

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