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Olympics2012Olympic Hot Sheet: Drouin saves the day for Canada

Posted: Tuesday, August 7, 2012 | 05:46 PM

Categories: Olympics2012

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Derek Drouin rescued a disappointing day for Canadian athletes by winning a surprise bronze medal in the men's high jump. (Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images) Derek Drouin rescued a disappointing day for Canadian athletes by winning a surprise bronze medal in the men's high jump. (Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

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A guide to what happened Tuesday, and what to look for Wednesday, at the Olympic Games in London, including Derek Drouin's surprise bronze medal in the high jump on an otherwise disappointing day for Canada.
A guide to what happened Tuesday, and what to look for Wednesday, at the Olympic Games in London.

Things can change in a hurry at the Olympics.

Late in Day 11, Canadian fans were staring down the barrel of what they may have thought was their country's third consecutive medal-less day. Flag bearer Simon Whitfield had crashed out of the men's triathlon, diver Alex Despatie finished well out of contention in the men's three-metre springboard, and track cyclist Tara Whitten placed fourth in the women's omnium. All this a day after the women's soccer team's controversial semifinal loss to the U.S. took away a chance at a guaranteed medal.

Never mind that Whitfield and Despatie, despite being big names, were long shots to reach the podium in the sunset of their careers. And never mind that a pair of strong medal contenders loom Wednesday in kayaker Adam van Koeverden and wrestler Carol Huynh. There was quite a bit of fretting about Canada's lagging performance following a hot start that had exceeded everyone's expectations.

So what happens in the final hour of track and field competition? Derek Drouin comes out of nowhere and wins bronze in the high jump - the first time a Canadian has reached the podium in that sport since 1976.

The lesson on a day when Canada's medal count rose to 11, which is just about where it should be (we predicted a final tally of 15)? Don't overreact to a relatively short string of results. Every day brings a new schedule and - as Drouin showed - the potential for a surprise.

What did the Brits used to say? Keep calm and carry on.

Punishment for women's soccer players?

As you probably know, Canada's women's soccer team was livid after its semifinal loss to the Americans, particularly over the controversial (and rarely seen) call against Canadian keeper Erin McLeod for holding the ball too long, which gave the U.S. a free kick that led to a Canadian hand ball that led to a American penalty kick that tied the match at 3-3 late in regulation time. The U.S. eventually won 4-3 with another late goal, at the tail end of extra time.

Canadian coach John Herdman said referee Christiana Pedersen would "have to sleep in bed tonight after watching the replays" of the McLeod infraction. Star forward Christine Sinclair went a step further, saying "the ref decided the result before the game started."

Today's development in the story is that FIFA, soccer's international governing body, is considering disciplinary action against Herdman and his players for their remarks. FIFA spokesman Alex Stone told CBC's Stephanie Jenzer that no time frame has been set for a decision, so it remains to be seen whether the Canadian roster will be affected for the bronze match against France on Thursday.

Looking ahead...

While you're sleeping, van Koeverden has a good chance to win his fourth Olympic kayak medal. He's the reigning world champion in the K-1 (singles) 1,000-metre event, which goes at 4:30 a.m. ET.

At 4:48 a.m. ET, Canadian canoeist Mark Oldershaw goes for a medal in the C-1 1,000 final. The third-generation Olympian (his grandpa, dad and two uncles competed) placed fifth at last year's world championships.

Huynh tries to defend her title in the women's 48-kg wrestling event, which starts at 8 a.m. ET, with the medal rounds later in the day. Huynh won Canada's first-ever Olympic gold medal in women's wrestling in 2008, nabbed a bronze at the 2010 world championships, and got bounced in the quarter-finals at the worlds in 2011.

Canada has another intriguing wrestling entry in Martine Dugrenier. She's a three-time world champ, but her Olympic chances are hurt by the fact that her natural 67-kg division isn't offered at the Olympics. That forces Dugrenier to drop down to 63 kg, where she's still pretty good (she lost a bronze-medal match in Beijing) but perhaps a bit out of place.

Divers Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion are back in action in the women's individual 10m platform event. The pair won bronze in the 10m synchro on July 31.

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