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HIGH ACHIEVERS: Canada’s rugby 7s teams split first two matches at Commonwealth Games

HIGH ACHIEVERS: Stay-Safe Edition
Keeping Local Sport Spirit High During the Pandemic

By Martin Cleary

Ottawa athletes recorded mixed results on the first day of competition Friday at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.

Canada’s women’s and men’s rugby 7s teams each split their first two round-robin games.

Olivia De Couvreur and Pamphinette Buisa of the Ottawa Irish played a combined 24 and 10 minutes respectively as the Canadian women dropped their opening game 45-7 to New Zealand, but rebounded to defeat England 26-19.

On the men’s side, Bytown Blues’ prop Elias Hancock supported from the sidelines in both games as the Canadian men shut out Wales 31-0 before losing to Fiji 19-12.

Goalkeeper Rowan Harris of Ottawa played the first 52 minutes and Marcia Laplante of Waasis, N.B., finished the final eight minutes as Canada blanked Wales 4-0 in women’s field hockey. Harris made seven saves for her part in the shutout.

A tired Canadian women’s squad finished fifth out of five teams in the 4,000-metre team pursuit in track cycling with a time of four minutes, 24.701 seconds. Edmonton’s Ngaire Barraclough of the Ottawa-based Cyclery Racing Team and Gatineau’s Ariane Bonhomme formed half of the four-rider team.

Canada had the fastest time after the first 1,000 metres and remained in first at the halfway point, after producing the third-best time over the second 1,000 metres. But the Canadian team slowed in the second half as it could only muster the fifth-best times at the final two 1,000-metre time intervals and dropped to third and eventually fifth respectively.


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Osgoode’s Derek Gee of the Israel Cycling Academy was part of the men’s team pursuit squad, which also was fifth out of five teams in its qualifying heat in 4:03.618.

Canada did not advance to the medal round in women’s and men’s team pursuit.

Martin Cleary has written about amateur sports for 48 years. A past Canadian sportswriter of the year and Ottawa Sports Awards Lifetime Achievement in Sport Media honouree, Martin retired from full-time work at the Ottawa Citizen in 2012, but continued to write a bi-weekly “High Achievers” column for the Citizen/Sun.

When the pandemic struck, Martin created the “Stay-Safe Edition” to provide some positive news during tough times, via his Twitter account at first and now here at OttawaSportsPages.ca.

Martin can be reached by e-mail at martincleary51@gmail.com and on Twitter @martincleary.


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