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PADDLERS ADD THREE MEDALS, SWIMMER EARNS GOLD AT THE 2017 CANADA SUMMER GAMES
Three medals for Canoe-Kayak, one gold medal for swimming
(Winnipeg, MB) The city of Winnipeg is once again buzzing with energy as sports venues have reopened filled up by sports fans coming from across the country to either compete or cheer on the athletes at the 2017 Canada Summer Games.
After a day of transition and a day of practice, Alberta was once again competing for gold medals in this seventh day of competition.
The first gold medal of the week for Alberta came courtesy of Emma O’Croinin, winning gold at the 1500m freestyle swimming competition.
Brady Garcia had the honor of winning Alberta’s first medal of the second week of competition, a bronze medal in Canoe-Kayak. Garcia added a silver medal later in the evening, and silver in the men’s C2 1000m race alongside long-time friend Gavin Jaeger-Freeborn.
Jane Girgulis and Stephanie Kendall added a bronze medal in the women’s C2 500m race.
Both volleyball teams won their respective matches, similarly to softball.
With the four medals on this seventh day of competition, Alberta remains fourth in the medal standings with 38 medals.
ALBERTA PADDLES TO 3 MEDALS ON OPENING DAY OF WEEK 2
The Manitoba Canoe & Kayak Centre hosts the Canoe-Kayak competition all week, and Alberta started the day with a bronze medal in the C1-500m race, thanks to Brady Garcia of Calgary, AB.
Garcia, who carried Alberta’s flag at the 2016 Western Canada Summer Games in Fort McMurray, completed the race distance with a time 2:10.01.
“It’s so cool to win a medal representing your province. There is a lot of hype being around this Team Alberta this year. There is a lot of good athletes,” said Garcia, 20, who trains at the Calgary Canoe Club under the watchful eye of head coach Edgar Garza. “The second race was a really cool race. I think we both got to showcase willpower. It took a lot of guts to come back in the end to take the silver medal.”
Brady is also excited about the venue and the city. “The host has put on a great venue. I have high expectations as I had been to a couple of other games. They have put together a great course, a lot of great volunteers. I’m impressed.”
Alberta won the bronze medal in the women’s K2 1000m race with Jane Girgulis and Stephanie Kendall, both from Calgary, AB by posting a time of 4:14.64.
In the last race of the day featuring the 1000m C2 race, the Alberta duo of Garcia and Gavin Jaeger-Freeborn posted the fastest time in the qualifying heat to advance to the finals.
The two athletes, who are returning to the Canada Games for the second time and have been on the same crew for more than 10 years, won the silver medal finishing second in the finals with a time of 4:15.610. They edged the team from Nova Scotia at the finish line, which finished with a time of 4:15.68, just 0.07 seconds behind Alberta.
The strong head wind rendered the condition difficult for the racers. Jaeger-Freeborn explains the wind impact in such a long race: “The wind changes a big part of the race. Usually, a 1000m C2 race is around two minutes, but today it was over four minutes. The winds changed the race from being a technical, strategic race to an endurance race. It becomes a game of how much pain you can get your body through.”
GOLD MEDAL FOR ALBERTA SWIMMER
Alberta swimmers took no time to earn success at the Pan-Am Pool, with Emma O’Croinin of Edmonton, AB, winning Alberta’s first Gold Medal of the second week of competition.
O’Croinin, who is only 14 years old, finished first of the Timed Final in the 1500m freestyle with an impressive time of 17:19.31, leading her closest rival by more than 19 seconds.
“I’m really proud to have posted the best time. That is exactly what I wanted to do with that race. It feels pretty good [to win Alberta’s first gold medal of week 2]. It’s so surreal and really fun!”
Coach Greg Kozell chimed in: “I’m thrilled. I think it’s a great start to the week. I told her before the race that she was the pace-setter for these Games and done her job brilliantly.”
Training at the Edmonton Keyano Swim Club, the young athlete posted the fastest time in Canada this year in girls 14 and under in the 1500m freestyle event.
WOMEN SOFTBALL WIN OPENING MATCHES AGAINST QUEBEC, NOVA SCOTIA
The women of softball began their competition at the John Blumberg Softball Complex with a set of two wins on a hot and sunny day.
Against the team from Quebec, Julia Suchan of Calgary hit a triple with two ladies on base in the second inning to take a 2-0 lead. Alberta added a run in the fifth inning increasing their lead to three runs heading into the seventh inning. Cornered against the wall, Quebec answered with a run early in the seventh. With ladies on first and second bases, the winning run was at bat. Alberta managed to withstand the pressure from Quebec to take the 3-1 victory.
In the evening match against Nova Scotia, the ladies maintained a slow and steady approach and took the win 8-1. After the first day of action, Alberta shows a record of 2-0.
The softball ladies will face the very powerful team from Ontario tomorrow in pool action. Ontario sits first with a record of 2-0, having yet to allow a run with two shutouts on day 1.
WINS FOR BOTH INDOOR VOLLEYBALL TEAMS
The women’s volleyball team started their pool action with a win in three straight sets (25-19, 25-13, 25-9) against the team from Newfoundland and Labrador. Later throughout the day, the Alberta team led by coach Christine Smyth defeated Northwest Territories in three straight sets (25-9,25-9, 25-6) to remain perfect after two matches. The ladies will face Quebec Tuesday.
The men’s team faced off against Newfoundland and Labrador to start their competition and took only three sets to win the match (25-21, 25-14, 25-19). The men will face North West Territories in their next match on Tuesday.
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