Canada’s Olympic boxing medal drought continues despite valiant effort
The last Canadian boxer remaining in action at Rio 2016, Mandy Bujold, has been eliminated from the Olympic tournament.
Competing in the women’s flyweight (48-51kg) division, the Canadian boxer fell 3-0 in the quarterfinals to China’s Ren Cancan on Tuesday morning, knocking her out of medal contention.
This fight was particularly tough for Bujold, as just hours before, she was hospitalized with an illness which she needed to overcome to even compete.
“In any other circumstance I would probably be upset about my performance, but I didn’t think I would step in the ring today. I was sitting in a hospital bed about an hour before this and I was just thinking ‘I can’t quit now, I came this far’ and I was still getting some energy back as they were giving me liquids. I just thought ‘I am going to go out there, even if I need to stop somewhere in between the fight, at least I consider that I got in and I didn’t quit’,” Bujold told CBC.
Competing at her first Olympic Games, the 29-year-old Canadian and two-time Pan Am Games champion booked her ticket to the quarterfinals after beating Yodgoroy Mirzaeva of Uzbekistan by unanimous decision on Friday. But Ren was a tougher opponent, having won Olympic silver at London 2012 along with three world titles. Still, Bujold kept it close, losing each round by a 10-9 score on each of the three judges’ scorecards.
Even with the issues faced in her last Rio 2016 appearance, Bujold’s first Olympic experience has provided some important lessons to the Canadian athlete.
“It (the Olympic Games) just told me I never quit, no matter what are the circumstances, I always want to push it forward,” she also told CBC. “I learned a lot about myself and how far I can push myself no matter how I am feeling. I am really proud of that.”
Bujold was the last Canadian to leave the boxing competition.
The only man on Canada’s boxing team, Arthur Biyarslanov, started his Rio 2016 campaign by defeating Jordan’s Obada Alkasbeh 3-0 in the light welterweight (64kg) division. In his second match on Sunday, he lost 2-0 to Germany’s Artem Harutyunyan, leaving the tournament in the round of 16.
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Representing Canada in the women’s middleweight (69-75kg) event, Ariane Fortin was eliminated in her first bout, after being defeated 2-1 by Kazakhstan’s Dariga Shakimova.