Road To The Olympic Games


Canadians Lalonde, Arop race to gold medals and Pan Am records in Lima

Canada's Genevieve Lalonde won the gold medal in the women's 3,000-metre steeplechase and Marco Arop took gold in the men's 800 metres Saturday at the 2019 Pan American Games. Both athletes set Pan Am records in their respective events.

Lalonde wins women's steeplechase, Arop takes men's 800m

Genevieve Lalonde of Canada celebrates her victory in Women's 3,000m Steeplechase Final on Day 15 of Lima 2019 Pan American Games at Athletics Stadium of Villa Deportiva Nacional on August 10, 2019 in Lima, Peru. (Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

Canada's Genevieve Lalonde won the gold medal in the women's 3,000-metre steeplechase and Marco Arop took gold in the men's 800 metres Saturday at the 2019 Pan American Games.

Both athletes set Pan Am records in their respective events.

Arop, from Edmonton, finished in a personal-best time of one minute 44.48 seconds. Wesley Vazquez of Puerto Rico was second in 1:44.48 and Ryan Sanchez, also of Puerto Rico, was third in 1:45.19.

"I'm on top of the world right now," said Arop, who overtook Vazquez in the final straight. "It can't get better than this."

The previous Pan Am record was 1:44.58, set by Cuba's Yeimer Lopez in Rio de Janeiro in 2007.

WATCH | Marco Arop runs to Pan Am games 800-metre gold:

Marco Arop set a Pan American Games record in the men's 800 metres race, finishing with a personal-best time of one minute 44.48 seconds. 1:08

"I don't know what to think of that. Times were the last thing on my mind. I was just hoping to win a medal for Canada," Arop said. "To have a personal best and Pan Am Games record is just extra. That's just a bonus right there."

Lalonde, from Moncton, N.B., raced to victory in a Pan Am-record time of 9:41.45.

Marisa Howard of the United States was second in 9:43.78 and Belen Casetta of Argentina was third in 9:44.46.

Brazil's Tatiane Da Silva, who finished fourth, led the pack at the 1,000-metre mark. But Lalonde took over by the 2,000-metre and held on over the final third of the race.

Lalonde eclipsed the Pan Am record of 9:48.12 set by American Ashley Higginson set at the 2015 Games in Toronto.

WATCH | Genevieve Lalonde runs to steeplechase Pan Am gold:

Genevieve Lalonde won the gold medal in the women's 3,000-metre steeplechase, setting a Pan American Games record in the process. 0:29

"Representing Canada every time is just such an honour and every time I put that Canadian flag on, you want to do your best for your country so being able to bring home gold in a field like today's, it definitely means a lot," she said.

The medals brought Canada's athletics haul to five gold and 14 overall in Lima.

Men's field hockey team falls in final

The Canadian men's field hockey team will have to take the longer road to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Canada missed out on its first chance to qualify, falling 5-2 to reigning Olympic champion Argentina in the final of the Pan American Games on Saturday.

The tournament winner earned a direct berth to Tokyo. Canada will now play in a playoff later this year for the right to go to the Summer Games.

Both Canadian water polo teams falter in finals

The United States scored 10 first-half goals en route to a comfortable 18-6 victory over Canada in the men's water polo gold medal final on Saturday. The win gave the Americans the Pan Am gold and a berth in next year's Tokyo Olympics.

The Canadian men will get another chance to reach the Tokyo Games at a qualification tournament in March. The Pan Am silver matches the team's previous best from the 2011 Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.

On the women's side, the top-ranked Americans dumped Canada 24-4 in the earlier gold medal game on Saturday.

However, the ninth-ranked Canadian women still managed to lock up a spot in Tokyo, as the Americans had previously qualified, handing Canada the Olympic berth.

Softball silver

Canada settled for silver after losing 3-1 to the United States in the women's grand final. Holly Speers of Surrey, B.C., drove in a run for Canada in the top of the fourth to tie the game at 1-1, but the Americans scored two in the bottom of the sixth and held Canada scoreless in the top of the seventh to come away with the win.

Golfer in contention

Brigitte Thibault of Rosemere, Que., shot a third round of 3-under 68 to move into medal contention in women's individual competition. Thibault enters Sunday's final round tied for fifth at 2 over, two shots back of third-place Paula Hurtado of Colombia and three back of second-place Julieta Granada of Paraguay. Emilia Migliaccio of the U.S. has a comfortable lead at 7 under. Mary Parsons of Delta, B.C., the first-round leader, struggled with a round of 4-over 75 and fell into a tie for seventh at 3 over.

In men's competition, Austin Connelly, a dual Canadian-American citizen who competes for Canada, was in tied for sixth at 8 under and two shots off of third place after a round-best score of 6-under 65. Joey Savoie of La Prairie, Que., struggled to a third round of 5 over and was at 8 over through three rounds.

Silver in fencing

Canada took silver in the men's team sabre, losing to the U.S., in the final.

Shaul Gordon of Richmond, B.C., and Joseph Polossifakis and Fares Arfa of Laval, Que., represented Canada.

"I think this is one of the closest we've come to beating the U.S, we've fenced them every year and it doesn't feel too good right now because we could almost taste it," Gordon said.

Karate podium

Daniel Gaysinsky of Vaughan took silver in the men's kumite 84 kg, while Kate Campbell of Fredericton, N.B., was second in the women's kumite 55 kg.

Wrestling success

Jevon Balfour of Brampton, Ont., (74 kg) and Korey Jarvis (125 kg) of Elliot Lake, Ont., won bronze medals. 

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