Canadian hammer thrower Camryn Rogers topped the podium in the women’s final on Saturday for the country’s 22nd gold medal of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.
The 23-year-old from Richmond, B.C., launched her third throw 74.08 metres to win the event in front of a roaring crowd at Alexander Stadium.
New Zealand’s Julia Ratcliffe claimed silver with a throw of 69.63m, while fellow Canadian Jillian Weir of Kingston, Ont., captured bronze (67.35m).
Kaila Butler of Port Coquitlam, B.C., finished eighth (64.22m).
Rogers was under pressure after hitting the cage on her second attempt, leaving her with just one more chance to secure a spot in the next round. But she stepped up on her third attempt with a big throw that vaulted her into first place, giving her a healthy lead that she wouldn’t relinquish.
“To be able to come back and get it in the third round … We train for every possible outcome,” Rogers said. “The first couple felt really good. They were just a little off. To get it in the third round was great.
Rogers advanced to the final on Thursday while setting a new Games record with a throw of 74.68m to lead the qualifying round. She won a historic silver medal at the World Athletics Championships last month, becoming the first Canadian woman to win a hammer throw medal at worlds.
Canada has also won 29 silver and 33 bronze for a total of 84 medals at the Commonwealth Games, which currently has them third in the standings. The Games conclude on Monday.
Wrestlers Di Stasio, Randhawa win gold medals
Canadian wrestler Justina Di Stasio topped the podium in the women’s 76-kilogram division earlier on Saturday.
The 29-year-old from Coquitlam, B.C., claimed a 4-2 victory over Nigeria’s Hannah Rueben in the gold-medal match at Coventry Arena. Di Stasio captured the medal with a four-point takedown.
“She was very strong, but when I pulled her down the first two times, I could feel her pulling up,” Di Stasio explained. “She was strong enough to pull up, so I let her, so I could sneak in.
“But I had to be patient because if I missed, I knew she’d know it was coming.”
Di Stasio, who also won a world title in 2018, advanced to the final after a pair of dominant wins earlier in the day. She beat Australia’s Naomi de Bruine 10-0 in the quarter-finals and went on to defeat India’s Pooja Sihag 6-0 in the semifinals.
Abbotsford, B.C.’s Nishan Randhawa also won a gold medal with a victory in the men’s 97 kg final, defeating South Africa’s Nicolaas De Lange 9-3.
“As the match went on, I think I picked up the pace a little bit,” said Randhawa. “Feels amazing. It’s been a long road and had a couple injuries along the way.
“We’re ending off strong. Hopefully we can keep this momentum going into the senior world championship in Serbia.”
The 24-year-old booked his spot in the gold-medal match with a 7-0 win over Pakistan’s Tayab Raza in the semis. Randhawa won a close match against India’s Deepak Nehra earlier on Saturday in the quarter-finals, coming out on top 8-6.
Kallemaa claims 3 medals in rhythmic gymnastics
Canada got off to a strong start on Saturday with four medals in rhythmic gymnastics.
Carmel Kallemaa led the way with three podium finishes. The 24-year-old from Toronto won silver in the clubs event and bronze in both the ribbon and hoop events.
“It was just my dream to make it to this competition,” Kallemaa said. “At first I didn’t even dream about finals. I was just thinking I wanted to make it there. I made it there and was hoping to at least make one final.
“To make three finals and one medal in each event, it’s just unbelievable. It’s one of the best days of my life so far for sure.”
Kallemaa also helped Canada win gold in the team final on Thursday.
Kallemaa kicked off her final day of competition by earning 28.200 points in the hoop, finishing third behind Anna Sokolova of Cyprus (28.300) and Gemma Frizelle of Wales (28.700), who made history as the first Welsh gymnast to win hoop gold at the Commonwealth Games.
Fellow Canadian Tatiana Cocsanova finished fifth (27.100).
Kallemaa went on to earn 29.100 points in clubs while leading all competitors with an 8.200 execution score.
Australian Alexandra Kiroi-Bogatyreva won gold ahead of Kallemaa with 29.400 points for her third medal in Birmingham. Malaysia’s Izzah Amzan took bronze (28.600)
Kallemaa added her second bronze of the day with 27.500 points in ribbon. Malaysia’s Ng Joe Ee won gold (27.800), finishing ahead of Scotland’s Louise Christie (27.550).
Montreal’s Suzanna Shahbazian claimed silver in the ball event with 29.050 points for her second medal of these Games.
Joe Ee won another gold medal with 29.700, while Sokolova rounded out the podium with 28.800 points.
Hammer thrower Katzberg wins silver
Ethan Katzberg won Canada’s third silver medal of the day in the men’s hammer throw final.
The 20-year-old from Nanaimo, B.C., set a new personal best with a throw of 76.36 metres on his fifth of six attempts.
England’s Nick Miller won gold (76.43m) and Alexandro Poursanidis of Cyprus captured bronze with a season-best throw of 73.97m.
Vallée, Erlam dive to bronze
The Canadian diving duo of Mia Vallée and Margo Erlam added to the country’s impressive medal total in the pool with bronze in the women’s synchronized three-metre springboard final.
The Canadians amassed 297.00 points over five dives at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre in Birmingham.
Australia’s Maddison Keeney and Anabelle Smith won all five rounds while topping the podium with 316.53 points.
Malaysia’s Ng Yan Yee and Nur Dhabitah bumped the Canadians out of silver position with a strong final dive — forward 2½ somersaults 1 twist — that earned 67.50 points for a total of 299.85.
It’s Vallée’s second medal of these Games, having also won gold in the women’s one-metre springboard on Friday.
Canadian wrestlers continue to shine
Along with Di Stasio and Randhawa’s gold medals, Canada’s freestyle wrestlers added four more medals on the final day of wrestling.
Samantha Stewart claimed silver in the women’s 53 kg Nordic tournament with a 6-5 points win over Nigeria’s Mercy Adekuoroye. In the Nordic format, wrestlers compete in a round-robin to determine the top three wrestlers.
The 32-year-old from Fredericton, N.B., dropped her opening match of the day, as she was pinned by India’s Vinesh Phogat, who went on to win gold. But she bounced back with a dominant 12-2 win over Sri Lanka’s Chamodya Keshani Maduravalage Don.
Madison Parks of Komoka, Ont., made it all the way to the gold-medal match in the women’s 50 kg division, but she was pinned in the final by Nigeria’s Mercy Genesis, leaving her with a silver medal.
Coquitlam, B.C.’s Darthe Capellan won his bronze-medal match in the men’s 57 kg category, defeating Jakobo Tau of South Africa 12-2.
Jasmit Phulka of Abbotsford, B.C., added Canada’s fourth wrestling medal of the day in the men’s 74 kg division with a commanding 11-1 victory over New Zealand’s Cole Hawkins in the bronze-medal match.
Dhillon, Sanford, Al-Ahmadieh earn boxing bronze
Boxer Priyanka Dhillon took home a bronze medal in the women’s 48 kg division after making it to the semifinals.
The Winnipeg native started the competition by winning 4-1 on points against Kenya’s Christine Ongare, who won bronze at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia. But Dhillon went on to lose her semifinal match to India’s Nitu Ghanghas after the referee called a stop to the contest in the third round.
Bronze medals are automatically awarded to the semifinal losers.
Dhillon also captured bronze at the 2022 AMBC Continental Championships in March, where she represented Canada for the first time.
Canadian Olympian Wyatt Sanford was also awarded a bronze medal in the men’s 63.5 kg division after losing on points to Scotland’s Reese Lynch in the semifinals.
The 23-year-old from Kennetcook, N.S., advanced to the semis following three straight wins.
Sanford opened competition with a stoppage victory over Niue’s De Niro Pao, and he followed it up with points decisions over Lesotho’s Qhobosheane Mohlerepe and Uganda’s Joshua Tukamuhebwa.
Keoma-Ali Al-Ahmadieh took home Canada’s third boxing bronze medal of the day in the men’s 57 kg division. He was unable to compete in the semifinal due to injury, sending Ireland’s Jude Gallagher to the final by walkover.
The Montreal native was on a strong run after points victories over Australia’s Charlie Senior in the round of 16 and Guyanese Olympian Keevin Allicock in the quarter-finals.
Also on Saturday, Canada’s Tammara Thibeault took down Caitlin Anne Parker of Australia in the women’s boxing 70kg-75kg semifinal to set up a gold-medal decision on Sunday with Rady Gramane of Mozambique.
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