Sport Shorts: Summer Athletes Heating Up
His Sixth Grand Slam Title: At 37, Torontonian Daniel Nestor captured the sixth Grand Slam title of his career on the red clay of Roland Garros. Nestor and Serbian partner Nenad Zimonjic won the French Open on Saturday, defeating Leander Paes and Lukas Dlouhy 7-5, 6-2. They are now the No. 1 ranked doubles team on the ATP World Tour. It’s the second French Open crown for Nestor, who won in 2007 with partner Mark Knowles. Next up is Wimbledon, which starts June 23.
Synchronized Medals: In the world of diving, Canadians are always either on the podium, or hovering near it. Over the weekend at a World Cup in Changzhou, China, Roseline Filion (Laval, Que.) and Meaghan Benfeito (Montreal) captured bronze in 10-metre synchro. Benfeito nearly had a second medal, finishing fourth in the 10-metre tower – a big result after being 11th after the semifinals. Filion was sixth. Canadians won a second synchro medal, this time in the 3-metre springboard, as Emilie Heymans (St-Lambert, Que.) and Jennifer Abel (Laval) finished third. Abel – a certifiable rising star – had a huge individual performance in 3-metre, finishing fourth with a personal best score. In men’s 3-metre synchro, Alexandre Despatie (Laval) and Reuben Ross (Regina) were fourth. Ross aims to move to Montreal this fall to train full-time with veteran Despatie for a shot at a 2012 Olympic medal.
Golden Canoeist: Laurence Vincent-Lapointe has won her second World Cup gold medal of the season. The canoeist from Trois-Rivieres, Que. won the C-1 200 metre sprint in Duisburg, Germany. Just 0.5 seconds behind was teammate Nicole Haywood (Nanaimo, B.C.), who secured silver. Mark Oldershaw (Burlington, Ont.) also won a medal in canoe, bronze in the C-1, 1,000 metres.
In the parallel sport of kayak, three-time Olympic medallist Adam van Koeverden (Oakville, Ont.) won silver in K-1, 1,000 metres. In the K-1 500 metres, Ottawa’s Angus Mortimer won bronze, ahead of van Koeverden, who was fourth. Mortimer is now part of the top tier of K-1 paddlers. Canada also won two 4×200-metre relay medals. Kia Byers (Regina), Genevieve Orton (Lake Echo, N.S.), Émilie Fournel (Montreal), Marie-Pier Langlois (Quebec City) won silver on the women’s side. Andrew Willows (Gananoque, Ont.), Ryan Cochrane (Windsor, N.S.), Richard Dober Jr., (Trois-Rivières), and Connor Taras (Waverley, N.S.) captured bronze on the men’s side.
Three Medals in Athletics: At the IX European Athletics Festival in Poland on Sunday, Canadian athletes nabbed three medals. Leading the way was 100-metre hurdler Perdita Felicien (Pickering, Ont.), who took gold in her race. Teammate Priscilla Lopes-Schliep (Whitby, Ont.) captured bronze. Over in men’s shot put, Dylan Armstrong (Kamloops, B.C.) won silver a week after crushing his own Canadian record.
Mo is Rhythmic Champion: The biggest story to emerge from the Canadian rhythmic gymnastics championships last weekend were the breakthrough performances of Nerissa Mo and Mariam Chamilova. At their first senior championships, Mo (Vancouver) and Chamilova (Maple, Ont.) finished one-two in the all-around competition by winning every event final. Mo was hoop and ribbon champion; Chamilova was tops on rope and ball.