By: Tyler Hill
Seven days of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo have flown by and Team Canada has started to add to their medal count. So far, the story of these games for the red and white has been in the pool. Of their ten medals so far, five came in aquatics. Right now, Team Canada has three gold medals, four silver medals, and five bronze medals. Right now, they sit 12th overall in the total medal count- China, Japan and the US are currently in the top three.
Day two saw Team Canada get their first two medals of the game- both being silver. Canada’s women’s 4x100m freestyle swimming relay squad took home silver after posting a 3:32.78 time- two seconds behind Team Australia.
Staying in the pool, Jennifer Abel and Mélissa Citrini-Beaulieu placed second in women's three meter synchronized springboard event in diving with 300.78 points, nearly 26 points back of China. These two girls are both Quebec natives. For Jennifer, this is her second Olympic medal after winning bronze in the same event back in 2012. While she came up just short of repeating her bronze medal from 2016 with a fourth place finish, she put her disappointment behind her this year to improve two spots to win the silver medal.
Day three saw Canada’s first gold medal. Coming off a silver the day before with the Canadian women’s women’s 4x100m freestyle swimming relay squad, Maggie Mac Neil was the surprise gold medalist in the women’s 100m butterfly swimming event. Perhaps to some it didn’t seem much of a surprise as the London Aquatic Club product was a gold medalist in the same event at the 2019 World Aquatics Championship. But, after a subpar qualification in the semifinals of 6th place, she buried the doubt and swam to the top of the podium sealed with a priceless reaction of pure shock.
Jessica Klimkait earned Canada's first non aquatics medal with a bronze medal in the women's judo 57kg event. The Whitby Ont. native defeated Kaja Kajzer of Slovakia by waza-ari (the second highest score a fighter can achieve) to reach the podium. Jessica becomes the first Canadian woman to earn a medal in judo. This one year postponement may have helped her as she was coming off a gold medal at the World Judo Championships earlier this year in the 57kg event.
Day four saw the best day medal wise for Canada at this edition of the Summer Olympic Games. It all started with a strong swim by Kylie Masse in 100m backstroke to take the silver medal, posting a time of 57.72 in the final. Kylie previously won the bronze medal in the same event in 2016. A bronze medal in 2016, a silver medal in 2020- if we are following the pattern, is a gold medal in sight in Paris for Kylie?
Continuing on, Canada’s women’s softball team took home the bronze medal with a 3-2 win over Mexico. Their only losses came against Japan and the USA, but they only allowed one run in each of those games. This is the first medal in history for Team Canada in softball after a 4th place finish in 2008- the last time softball was an event at the Summer Olympics.
Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard won the bronze medal in the judo 63 kg event. She defeated Anriquelis Barrios by waza-ari in extra time in the 3rd place match. After her victory she said that "I remember going to Rio in 2016 and leaving so disappointed with my performance. I said to myself, I want to go to Tokyo, win a medal and perform there. And I did it."
Finally, Maude Charron won the gold medal in weightlifting in the women’s 64kg event. The 28 year old became just the second Canadian woman to medal in weightlifting-Christine Girard was the first in 2012.
Day five was slow for Team Canada. Their only medal came from Penny Oleksiak’s bronze in women’s 200m freestyle swimming, but it was a historic one. At just 21 years old, that bronze medal gave her the record for most overall medals in a career in Team Canada’s Summer Olympics history. She has two events remaining, the 4x200m freestyle relay and the 100m freestyle. If she wins a medal in any of those two events, she will become the winningest Olympian athlete in Canadian history in terms of Olympic medals- summer or winter.
Day six saw Team Canada win their tenth medal of the Games. Caileigh Filmer and Hillary Janssens won the bronze medal in rowing at the women’s coxless pairs event, posting a time of 6:52.10 in the final. Caileigh and Hillary have won medals together at the World Rowing Championships - gold in 2018 and bronze in 2019 - in the coxless pairs events, so team chemistry isn't an issue for either athlete.
UPDATE: Day seven saw the women's eight rowing team top the podium for the first time since 1992. The Canadian's crossed the line at 5:59.13, beating out second place New Zealand and third place China.
Kylie Masse won her second silver medal at the games in the 200-metre backstroke. Earlier in the games, Masse won silver in the 100-metre backstroke.