With this being the final day of competiton at the Canada Games Oval, the athletes continued to impress the crowds with their speed and sheer determination. The conditions today were not idea with winds gusting to 55kph and windchill values of -25.
First up were the semi finals in the 100m sprints. Each and every skater pushed the envelope to try and advance to the final medal round. There were some new faces this time on the podium as Heather McLean MB captured the gold in the distance with a time of 11.33. For her second podium appearance Isabel Dilger took the silver while Kate Hanly took home the Bronze. Due to the conditions, no Canada Games records were broken in this distance.
In the men’s 100, Laurent Dubreuil Que, who previously broke the Canada Games record in the time trials, reached the top of the podium one more time proving that he was the skater to beat at these Games in the sprints. An extremely happy Hewson Elliott from Manitoba earned the silver medal with an impressive time of 10.30. Earning his second medal of these Games was Benjamin Tam of Alberta. He finishes these Games with 2 broze medals.
On an exciting note, Alex Peppard of New Brunswick finished 10th with a time of 10.83 and while Evan Tara of Nova Scotia slipped in his race, he finished a very respectable 12th.
As the temperature started to rise a little and the winds calmed somewhat, the women’s team pursuit proved to be excellent racing for the fans. Relying on a sound strategy and great team work, the skaters from B.C took home the gold. Coach Nancy Goplen was extremely happy with her athletes’ results given the fact that two out of the four girls only train short track. In second was the team from Quebec followed by Team Alberta. A new Canada Games Record was set at 3:36.62. The previous record was 3:47.11
The men’s team pursuit, proved equally as exciting as once again the skaters from Quebec smashed the previous Games record with a time of 4:23.65. The old record set in Whitehorse was 4:31.09. The fans watched in anticipation as to who would win the silver and bronze. Earning their first medal of these Games, Saskatchewan just edged out Manitoba for the silver with a time of 4:30.56. Manitoba’s time was 4:32.30 earning them a bronze medal.
As the last medal was handed out and the media wound down their interviews, there was a common feeling among the crowd. With 97 results skated under previous Games records, these were exeptional Games with great fans, good weather and last but not least, superb facitilies. Thank you Halifax!