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Day 8 roundup: What the Canadians did

Canada's medal drought came to an end on Day 8 of the Beijing Games, with Canadian athletes winning three medals on Saturday.


Canada's medal drought came to an end on Day 8 of the Beijing Games, with Canadian athletes winning three medals on Saturday.

Wrestler Carol Huynh, a 27-year-old native of Hazelton, B.C., won Canada's first gold medal of the Games, winning the 48-kilogram freestyle weight class final over Japan's Chiharu Icho by a score of 4-0 and 2-1.

"This is unbelievable," she told CBC Sports following the medal ceremony. "I knew I wanted to go in with supreme confidence in my abilities, and not doubting myself one second. That's what I did, and I wrestled the match of my life, and it was awesome."

The men's rowing pair of Dave Calder, from Victoria, and Scott Frandsen, from Kelowna, B.C., started the day by winning Canada's first medal of the Olympics, claiming the silver on the water at Shunyi Olympic rowing park in Beijing.

"It was a tough race; we tried to ignore the fact that we haven't had a medal yet as a country, and just focus on our two [kilometres]," Calder told CBC Sports after the race.

"We can come off the water knowing we had a great race," said Frandsen.

Wrestler Tonya Verbeek won the second Olympic medal of her career and Canada's third of the day.

The Beamsville, Ont., native won bronze in the 55-kilogram weight class, beating Ida-Theres Nerell of Sweden by a score of 1-0, 1-0 in one of two bronze medal matches.

Verbeek, 31, won silver at the 2004 Athens Summer Games, the first to include women's freestyle wrestling.

She was smiling after the match, despite finishing one medal position below her 2004 Athens result. "I won a match to get the bronze and you're losing a match to get the silver," Verbeek said. "So it is a different feeling."

More medals for Canada could be on the way, as three Canadians advanced to women's and men's trampoline finals next week.

Rosannagh MacLennan of King City, Ont., finished third and Karen Cockburn of Toronto fourth in the women's preliminary round, while Toronto's Jason Burnett finished seventh among the men.

The women's final is Monday followed by the men Tuesday.

Blythe Hartley of Vancouver, B.C., qualified for the final of the women's three-metre springboard, finishing 10th in Saturday's semifinal with a total of 324.6 points from six dives.

The top 12 advanced to Sunday's final. Jennifer Abel of Montreal just missed the cut, finishing 13th in 296.1.

In other notable Canadian results:

  • The Canadian baseball team lost 5-4 to the United States. With a 1-3 record, Canada must win its final three preliminary round contests to have any hope of reaching the semifinals.
  • Zach Bell of Watson Lake, Yukon, was seventh in the men's points cycling race.
  • The men's water polo team is now winless in four games after suffering a 13-7 loss to Greece.
  • Carline Muir of Toronto advanced to Sunday's semifinals in the women's 400 metres. The 20-year-old ran a personal best 51.55 seconds to finish third in her heat and move on.
  • Jessica Zelinka of London, Ont., finished sixth overall in the women's heptathlon with 6,490 points, and had personal-best performances in four of the seven events which comprise the competition
  • Kelsie Hendry of Saskatoon failed to advance out of the qualifying round in the women's pole vault. She cleared 4.3 metres, but missed on all three attempts at 4.4.