Sport Shorts: Diving, Soccer, Biathlon, 2010

Success for Synchro Divers: At the World Aquatic Championships in Rome, Alexandre Despatie (Laval, Que.) and Reuben Ross (Regina) won the bronze medal in 3-metre synchronized diving on July 18. It was the first time that Despatie, a two-time Olympic silver medallist, teamed up with Ross, a 2008 Olympian. The result: Canada’s first medal at this major event. In the women’s 10-metre synchronized event, a close battle for silver and bronze between three teams meant one would finish fourth. Despite a strong effort, fourth place went to Roseline Filion (Laval, Que.) and Meaghan Benfeito (Montreal). In the women’s 1 metre, Melanie Rinaldi (Montreal) and Jennifer Abel (Laval, Que.) both reached the final and finished 10th and 12 respectively.

2010 Panel Launched: On July 17, the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of State (Sport), unveiled a panel on post-2010 high performance sport in Canada. Called the “2010 and Beyond” Panel, its members will make recommendations guiding Canadian sport now and into the future, utilizing the momentum of hosting an Olympic Winter Games. The Panel will analyze Own the Podium’s progression, as well as other high performance programs, ensuring that Canadian sport stays innovative and strong. The Panel includes two-time Olympic speed skater Cathy Priestner Allinger (Windsor, Ont.), a 1976 silver medallist.

National Soccer Teams Both Lose 1-0: Despite hard fought battles in Philadelphia and Rochester, N.Y., the men’s and women’s national soccer teams dropped 1-0 decisions over the weekend. The men lost to Honduras in the quarter-final of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, with the sole goal coming on a penalty kick in the 35th minute. The women battled world No. 1 USA, which pitted Christine Sinclair (Burnaby, B.C.) against Abby Wambach (USA), both women with 99 career international goals. It was Wambach who reached triple digits first, scoring in the 78th minute. Despite the loss, Canada played well, particularly its defense and goalkeeping.

Biathletes Roller Ski in Whistler: Canadian biathletes who hope to make the 2010 Olympic team are busy preparing at the Olympic venue in Whistler. Minus the snow, they are instead strapping on roller skis and gliding on the biathlon course – which is paved during the offseason. This way, they can get a feel for the land, the hills and the bends of the course, as well as practice shooting their rifles on the same ranges that will be used next February.