Canada Games Alumni perform well in opening weekend of Rio Olympics

Tuesday, 9th August 2016

It was a successful opening weekend for our alumni in Rio. Here's how a few of them fared:

For a full list of Canada Games alumni competing in Rio, click here.

 
 
Diving // Plongeon
 
Jennifer Abel Quebec 2005
Pamela Ware Quebec 2009

 

Jennifer Abel and Pamela Ware narrowly missed the podium this weekend as they fell short of 3rd place by less than one point in the women's 3-metre synchro. 

Abel, who competed at the 2005 Canada Games in Regina, was trying to capture her second Olympic medal after winning bronze four years ago in London. 

Next on the docket for the Quebec alumni is the individual 3-metre springboard scheduled for August 12th at 2:30 p.m. EST.  

    
                                                                               
 
Swimming / Natation


Sandrine Mainville Quebec 2009
Chantal Van landeghem Manitoba 2009

Canada's women's 4x100-metre freestyle relay team gave the nation its first medal on Saturday. 

The team that features two 2009 Canada Games alumni in Sandrine Mainville and Chantal Landeghem captured bronze finishing with a time of three minutes 32.89 seconds. 

The team performed well throughout the relay and finished especially strong towards the end of the race when youngsters Taylor Ruck and Penny Oleksiak provided an extra push. 

Landeghem, who represented Manitoba at the 2009 Canada Games, was thrilled with how the team performed. 

"We belong here and we belong on that podium," van Landeghem said. "I'm just so excited right now, I'm so proud of these girls and I hope we made Canada proud tonight."

 
Basketball
Shona Thorburn Ontario 2001
Lizanne Murphy Quebec 2001
Nirra Fields Quebec 2009
Katherine Plouffe Alberta 2009
Michelle Plouffe Alberta 2009

Team Canada's basketball team had a strong first game as they handled China by a score of 90-68. 

The team includes five Canada Games alumni and features the same 12 players that won gold at last year's Pan Am Games in Toronto. 

The squad will face Serbia today at 1:15 p.m. EST. 

 
Judo
Antoine Bouchard Quebec 2011

Antoine Bouchard turned some heads this weekend as he put on a superb performance, almost giving Canada a surprise medal. 

The Team Quebec alumni who competed at the 2011 Canada Games in Halifax put on a show as he started his day with three straight wins, including an upset victory in the round of 32 over Russia's Mikhail Puliaex. 

Nicolas Gill, a fellow Canada Games alumni and Team Canada's head coach, had nothing but great things to say about the young judoka:

“To come to the Olympics and perform your best, that’s a talent few have,” Gill said. “He’s not in yet in the window of performance, which theoretically isn’t before ages 23-27. That still leaves him plenty of good years.”

 
Soccer
Rhian Emilie Wilkinson Quebec 2001
Diana Matheson Ontario 2001
Allysha Chapman Ontario 2005
Desiree Scott Manitoba 2005
Shelina Zadorsky Ontario 2009

Canada's Soccer team has officially clinched a spot in the next round after opening the Olympics with two decisive wins. 

The team won against Australia 2-0 to open the Olympics and also captured a victory versus Zimbabwe 3-1 this weekend. They now find themselves atop group F with six points. 

The team features five Canada Games alumni. 

 

 
Tennis
Eugénie Bouchard Quebec 2009
Gabriela Dabrowski Ontario 2009

Canada had a great opening weekend in Tennis as Eugenie Bouchard and Gabriela Dabrowski won their first-round matchup versus Klaudia Jans-Ignacik and Paula Kania of Poland. 

Bouchard and Dabrowski, who both competed at the 2009 Canada Games in PEI, won the match 6-4,5-7,6-3. 

The win comes a day after Eugenie put on a clinic in the singles competition where she won in convincing fashion versus American Sloane Stephens. 

 
Volleyball
Fred Winters British Columbia 2001
Gavin Schmitt Saskatchewan 2005
Blair Bann Alberta 2009
Rudy Verhoeff British Columbia 2009
Steven Marshall British Columbia 2009
Justin Duff Manitoba 2009
Nicholas Hoag Quebec 2013

It had been 24 years since Canada had competed in Men's Indoor Volleyball at the Olympics, but they certainly showed they belong among the game's elite on Sunday when they stunned the USA 25-23, 25-17, 25-23. 

The fifth ranked Americans had a difficult time containing spikers Nick Hoag and Gavin Schmitt as the duo hit spike after spike to help Canada get the victory. 

Hoag, who recently competed at the 2013 Canada Summer Games in Sherbrooke, hit thundering spikes asserting his role as one of Canada's top playmakers. 

Schmitt, a veteran who competed at the 2005 Canada Games in Regina, helped set the momentum from the start with his spectacular play. 

"We're not intimidated by anybody," Schmitt said. "We're going to go at everybody. We're here to compete."

Canada will now face top ranked Brazil on Tuesday at 9:35 p.m. EST.