Rowers lead weekend medal rush

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Published on August 18, 2008

China's Zhong Man, left, and France's Julien Pillet compete during the semifinals of the men's individual saber quarterfinals at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Tuesday, August 12, 2008. - Photo by The Associated Press

Published on August 18, 2008

Xin Wang and Ruolin Chen from China performs a dive to win the gold medal in the women's synchronized 10-metre platform diving final at the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Tuesday, August 12, 2008. - Photo by The Canadian Press

Published on August 18, 2008

China's gymnast Yang Wei performs on the horizontal bar during the men's individual all-around competition at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Thursday, Aug 14, 2008. - Photo by The Associated Press

Published on August 18, 2008

South Korea's Lee Hyun-il competes against China's Bao Chunlai in the men's singles badminton quarterfinals at the Beijing Olympics Thursday Aug.14, 2008. - Photo by The Associated Press

Published on August 18, 2008

China's womens team Zhang Yining and Wang Nan play against Dominican Republic's womens team Joenny Valdez and Lian Qian during table tennis team competition at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in in Beijing,China, Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2008. - Photo by The Ass

Published on August 18, 2008

Canada's right fielder Michael Saunders (20) catches a first inning fly out by Cuba's Yuliesky Gurriel during a baseball game at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Thursday, Aug. 14 2008. - Photo by The Associated Press

Published on August 18, 2008

Canada's Adam Wong, from Calgary, performs on the parallel bars during mens individual all-around final gymnastics at the Beijing Olympics in Beijing, China Wednesday Aug.13, 2008. Wong was the highest Canadian in the competition placing 15th. - Photo by

Published on August 18, 2008

Janos Baranyai, of Hungary, grimaces on the platform after dislocating his right elbow while attempting to lift 148 kilograms in the snatch of the Group B of the men's 77 kg of the weightlifting competition at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Wednesd

Published on August 18, 2008

Gold medalist Yang Xiuli of China bites her medal at the suggestion of photographers at the medals ceremony of the women's judo -78kg half heavyweight division finals at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Thursday, Aug. 14, 2008. Photo by The Associate

Published on August 18, 2008

The Spanish Men's Track Cycling team works out during a training session at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2008. - Photo by The Associated Press

Published on August 18, 2008

Kim Jungjoo of South Korea takes a punch from John Jackson of Virgin Islands, during a men's welterweight 69 kilogram preliminary boxing match at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Thursday, Aug. 14, 2008. - Photo by The Associated Press

Published on August 18, 2008

Canadian Nathan Gafuik performs on the paralell bars at the men's individual all-around final during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in Beijing Thursday Aug 14, 2008. - Photo by The Canadian Press

Published on August 18, 2008

Canada's Mike Brown, from Oshawa, Ontario, looks back at his time in the men's 200-metre breastroke final at the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Thursday, August 14, 2008. - Photo by The Canadian Press

Published on August 18, 2008

Richard Kok of St. Catharines, Ont. removes his Canadian flag from the bleechers at the rowing venue in Beijing Olympics in Beijing, China, Thursday, Aug.14, 2008 after rain cancelled the afternoon events. Kok was on had to watch his daughter Melanie Kok

Published on August 18, 2008

49er crew from Australia, Canada, China and Austria, from left to right, compete during race 9 of the 49er class sailing competition of the 2008 Beijing Olympics in Qingdao, about 720 kilometers southeast of Beijing, Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2008. - Photo by T

Published on August 18, 2008

Li Na of China, reacts after defeating Venus Williams of the USA, during women's singles tennis action at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Thursday, Aug. 14, 2008. - Photo by The Associated Press

Published on August 18, 2008

China's Wang Feng, bottom, and Qin Kai compete in the men's synchronised 3m springboard diving final at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in Beijing Wednesday Aug 13, 2008. The pair won the gold medal. - Photo by The Associated Press

Published on August 18, 2008

Canada's Christine Sinclair, from Vancouver B.C. reacts after Team USA scored their first goal during womens quarter-final football action at the Beijing Olympics in Shanghai, China Friday Aug.15, 2008. The United States defeated Canada 2-1 in extra time

Published on August 18, 2008

Zhang Xi of China hits the ball during play against Cuba in a beach volleyball match at the Chaoyang Park Beach Volleyball Ground at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Friday, Aug. 15, 2008.China won 2-0. - Photo by The Associated Press

Published on August 18, 2008

U.S. sailor Anna Tunnicliffe sails to the start of race four of the Laser Radial Women class sailing competition of the 2008 Beijing Olympics in Qingdao, about 720 kilometers southeast of Beijing, Friday, Aug. 15, 2008. - Photo by The Associated Press

Published on August 18, 2008

The United States' Shannon Boxx head the ball over Canada's Diana Matheson during their women's soccer quarterfinals match at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Shanghai, Friday, Aug. 15, 2008. - Photo by The Associated Press

Published on August 18, 2008

In this combo of photos, New Zealand rider Katie McVean goes over her horse Forest at a fence during the first qualifying round for the Equestrian Show Jumping competition during the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Hong Kong, Friday, Aug. 15, 2008. - Photo by Th

Published on August 18, 2008

Sofia Assefa of Ethiopia, third left, and other competitors clear the water jump in a women's 3000m steeplechase heat during the athletics competitions in the National Stadium at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Friday, Aug. 15, 2008. - Photo by Th

Published on August 18, 2008

United States' Margaret Hoelzer swims the backstroke leg of a women's 4x100-meter medley relay heat during the swimming competitions in the National Aquatics Center at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Friday, Aug. 15, 2008. - Photo by The Associated

Published on August 18, 2008

Canada's goal keeper Karina LeBlanc, from Maple Ridge, B.C. leaves the football pitch following Canada's 2-1 loss to the United States in quarter-final womens football action at the Beijing Olympics in Shanghai, China Friday Aug.15, 2008. - Photo By The C

Published on August 18, 2008

Canada's Dylan Armstrong, from Kamloops, B.C., sits on the bench after missing the bronze medal on the last throw during the shot put final at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Friday, August 15, 2008. - Photo by The Canadian Press

Published on August 18, 2008

Canada's Jeane Lassen from Victoria, B.C. kisses the weights as she competes in the women's 75kg weightlifting final at the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Friday, August 15, 2008. Lassen placed eighth. - Photo by The Canadian Press

Published on August 18, 2008

Canada's Carol Huynh from Hazelton, B.C. reacts following her gold medal victory over Chiharu Icho from Japan in the women's freestyle 48kg wrestling final at the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Saturday, August 16, 2008. - Photo by The Canadian

Published on August 18, 2008

Carol Hyunh of Canada,is carried off after defeating Japan's Chiharu Ichu in the final of 48kg women's freestyle wrestling competition at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Saturday, Aug. 16, 2008. Carol won gold. - Photo by The Associated Press

Published on August 18, 2008

Canada's David Calder of Victoria, B.C. shares a moment with his daughter Mira, 4, after he and teammate Scott Fradsen of Kelowna, B.C. won the silver medal in the men's pair rowing final at the Beijing Olympics in Beijing, China, Saturday, Aug. 16, 2008.

Published on August 18, 2008

Italy's Valentina Vezzali, right celebrates after winning the final point to Hungary's Virginie Ujlaki at the women's team foil bronze medal final at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Saturday, August 16, 2008. - Photo by The Associated Press

Published on August 18, 2008

Xiaomei Li from China is in the neck bridge to avoid a pin by Inni Merleni from the Ukraine in the women's freestyle 48kg wrestling repechage at the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Saturday, August 16, 2008. - Photo by The Canadian Press

Published on August 18, 2008

Canada's Tonya Verbeek shows her bronze medal in the women's freestyle 55 kilogram competition at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China Saturday, Aug. 16, 2008. - Photo by The Associated Press

Published on August 18, 2008

China's Qin Kai warms up before the start of the men's 3-meter springboard semifinal at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2008. - Photo by The Associated Press

Published on August 18, 2008

Colin Jenkins of Canada competes in the swimming portion of the men's Triathlon final at the Triathlon venue on Day 11 of the Beijing 2008 Olympics, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2008 in Beijing, China. - Photo by The Associated Press

Published on August 18, 2008

The duet team of Jiang Wenwen and Jiang Tingting of China perform the duet free routine preliminary in synchronized swimming during the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2008. China placed third with Japan in the preliminaries. - Photo by

Published on August 18, 2008

Australia's forward Penny Taylor reacts after she was injured against the Czech Republic during the third quarter of their women's quarterfinal basketball game at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2008. - Photo by The Associated Pre

Published on August 18, 2008

China's Guo Shuang falls during the Track Cycling Women's Sprint race, at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2008. - Photo by The Associated Press

Published on August 18, 2008

Canada's Adam van Koeverden paddles to the win as New Zealand's Steven Ferguson, back, closes in the Kayak Single K1 500M men's heat at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2008. - Photo by The Associated Press

Published on August 18, 2008

Canadian fans cheer as the duet pair of Marie-Pier Boudreau Gagnon and Isabelle Rampling perform the duet free routine preliminary in synchronized swimming during the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2008. - Photo by The Associated Press

Published on August 18, 2008

Canada's Zachary Bell, right, from Whitehorse hands over to Martin Gilbert from Chateauguay, Que. during the men's madison cycle race at the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Tuesday, August 19, 2008. - Photo by The Canadian Press

Published on August 18, 2008

Canada's Jason Burnett, from Etobicoke, Ont. holds up his silver medal following competition in the mens trampoline final at the the Beijing Olympics in Beijing, China Tuesday, Aug.19, 2008. - Photo by The Canadian Press

Published on August 18, 2008

Canada's Priscilla Lopes-Schliep, right, from Whitby, Ont., competes in the women's 100 meter hurdle final at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Tuesday, August 19, 2008. Lopes-Schliep won bronze with a time of 12.64 seconds. - Photo by The Canadian Pre

Published on August 18, 2008

The word relax is seen written on the hand of Canada kayak four (K4) team member Genevieve Beauchesne-Sevigny of Trois-Riveres, Que. as she wipes her eyes following her teams 4th place finish in the K4 womens 500 meter semifinal at the Beijing Olympics in

Published on August 18, 2008

Canada's Alexandre Despatie of Laval, Que. celebrates his silver medal win following the 3 meter diving final at the Beijing Olympics in Beijing, China, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2008. - Photo by The Canadian Press

Published on August 18, 2008

Canada's Alexandre Despatie of Laval, Que. does a twist during his last dive prior to winning the silver medal in the 3 meter diving final at the Beijing Olympics in Beijing, China, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2008. - Photo by The Canadian Press

Published on August 18, 2008

Riders are airborne during the BMX Men's Quaterfinals run, at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2008. - Photo by The Associated Press

Published on August 18, 2008

Canada's Priscilla Lopes-Schliep celebrates winning the bronze medal in the women's 100-meter hurdles during the athletics competitions in the National Stadium at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2008. - Photo by The Associated Pr

Published on August 18, 2008

Canada's pitcher Lauren Bay Regula fires a pitch against Australia during the women's softball semi-final at the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Wednesday, August 20, 2008. Canada was eliminated losing 5-3 to Australia. - Photo by The Canadian Pr

Published on August 18, 2008

Canada's Mark Oldershaw of Burlington, Ont. reacts to falling out of his boat at the finish line of the canoe single (C1) 500 meter semifinal at the Beijing Olympics in Beijing, China, Thursday, Aug. 21, 2008. Oldershaw finished in 4th place and did not

Published on August 18, 2008

Canada's Adam van Koeverden of Oakville, Ont. paddles past a photographers boat following his 1st place finish in the kayak single (K1) 500 meter semifinal at the Beijing Olympics in Beijing, China, Thursday, Aug. 21, 2008. - Photo By The Canadian Press

Published on August 18, 2008

USA's Danielle Scott-Arruda spikes against Cuba during their women's volleyball semifinals match at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Thursday, Aug. 21, 2008. USA won the match. - Photo by The Associated Press

Published on August 18, 2008

Germany's Ariane Hingst fights for the ball with Japan's Yuki Nagasato, center, during their women's soccer bronze medal match at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in China Thursday, Aug. 21, 2008. - Photo by The Associated Press

Published on August 18, 2008

Georgia's George Gogshelidze, top, wrestles Cuba's Michel Batista in a bronze medal 96 kilogram freestyle match at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Thursday, Aug. 21, 2008. Gogshelidze won bronze. - Photo by The Associated Press

Published on August 18, 2008

Melissa Wu of Australia dives during the Women's 10m Platform Preliminary diving competition during the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2008. - Photo by The Associated Press

Published on August 18, 2008

Ukraine's Anna Bessonova performs with the rope during the gymnastics rhythmic individual all-around qualification at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Thursday, Aug. 21, 2008. - Photo by The Canadian Press

Published on August 18, 2008

Canada's Thomas Hall of Pointe-Claire, Que. celebrates his bronze medal win in the canoe single (C1) 1000 meter final at the Beijing Olympics in Beijing, China, Friday, Aug. 22, 2008. - Photo by The Canadian Press

Published on August 18, 2008

Kara Grant, of Canada, left, attacks Qian Chan, of China, during their fencing epee bout in the women's modern pentathlon at the Beijing 2008 Olympics Games, Friday, Aug. 22, 2008. - Photo by The Associated Press

Published on August 18, 2008

Table tennis players eye on the ball during matches at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing between Aug. 13-21, 2007. - Photo by The Associated Press

Published on August 18, 2008

Germany's Thomasz Wylenzek, bottom, is assisted by officials after finishing second with Christian Gillie in the canoe double C2 1000M men's race at the Beijing 2008 Olympics Friday, Aug. 22, 2008. Later, Wylenzek was hospitalized because of dehydration.

Published on August 18, 2008

USA Brian Barden throws out Cuba Alexei Bell during a stolen base attempt at second during their baseball game in the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Friday, Aug. 22, 2008. - Photo by The Associated Press

Published on August 18, 2008

Water flies around Pietro Figlioli of Australia as he takes his turn in a shootout against Italy in a semifinal round classification men's water polo match at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Friday, Aug. 22, 2008. Australia won 17-16. - Photo by The

Published on August 18, 2008

Vincenzo Picardi of Italy, red, fights Somjit Jongjohor of Thailand, blue, during a men's flyweight 51 kilogram semifinal boxing match at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Friday, Aug. 22, 2008. - Photo by The Associated Press

Published on August 18, 2008

Italy's Alex Schwazer reacts after winning the men's 50-kilomter walk during the athletics competitions in the National Stadium at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Friday, Aug. 22, 2008. - Photo by The Associated Press

Published on August 18, 2008

Bryan Clay of the United States attempts a clearance during the pole vault in the decathlon during the athletics competitions in the National Stadium at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Friday, Aug. 22, 2008. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Published on August 18, 2008

Canada's synchronized swimmer Dominika Koipcik is raised by her teammates as they perform their synchonized swimming technical routine at the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Friday, August 22, 2008. - Photo by The Canadian Press

Published on August 18, 2008

Fireworks explode over China's National Stadium, also known as the "Bird's Nest", during the closing Ceremony of Beijing Olympics in Beijing, Sunday, August 24, 2008. - Photo by The Associated Press

Published on August 18, 2008

Fireworks explode over Beijing's Tiananmen Square to help mark the closing of the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Sunday, Aug. 24, 2008. - Photo By the Associated Press

Published on August 18, 2008

Dancers perform in National Stadium during the closing ceremony for the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Sunday, Aug. 24, 2008. - Photo by The Associated Press

Published on August 18, 2008

Canadian athletes celebrate during the closing ceremony for the Beijing 2008 Olympics at the National Stadium, in Beijing, Sunday, Aug. 24, 2008. - Photo by The Associated Press

Published on August 18, 2008

A British double-decker bus enters the National Stadium during the closing ceremony for the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Sunday, Aug. 24, 2008. - Photo by The Associated Press

Men's eights crew makes up for Athens disappointment with gold in Beijing

Beijing - The medals kept coming fast and furious for Canada at the Beijing Olympics on Sunday, as the country's athletes hit the podium multiple times for a second straight day.
Rowers accounted for three medals, with the men's eight crew claiming gold in a race they led start-to-finish - four years after posting a disappointing fifth-place finish as the favourites in Athens.
"For me, it's not about reconciling, it's about winning," said rower Kyle Hamilton. "We win the gold medal, I'm speechless. I can't very well say it's the happiest day of my life because I've got married between Athens and now. This is a close second."
The lightweight women's double and the lightweight men's four each earned bronze, while swimmer Ryan Cochrane started the day with a third-place finish in the gruelling men's 1,500-metre freestyle race.

Up to seven medals
Coming on the heels of a gold, silver and bronze effort Saturday, Canada is now up to seven medals overall and is rapidly climbing up the standings after spending the opening week of the Games looking up at sporting minnows like Kyrgyzstan and Togo.
Canada now sits alone in 17th place in the overall medal count. The U.S. leads with 65 medals (19 gold, 21 silver, 25 bronze), with the Chinese close behind at 61 (35-13-13 bronze). Great Britain's 25 medals (11-6-8) round out the top three.
Sunday's tally would have been even higher had near-misses by the women's eight crew, less than a second behind bronze-medallist Romania; wrestler Martine Dugrenier, who lost to American Randi Miller in the dying seconds of the bronze-medal match; and sailor Chris Cook, who was fifth in Finn class, turned out a bit differently.

Baumann happy
"It's pleasing to see," said Alex Baumann, who heads up Canada's Road to Excellence program. "Hopefully (there are) more to come with canoeing starting and trampoline. Obviously, we're hoping there is a good momentum for more medals in the next week."
Blythe Hartley of North Vancouver, B.C., also missed a medal by the slimmest of margins, placing fourth in the women's three-metre springboard - the final competition of her career.
"I've never dove being so emotional," said the 26-year-old diving star. "I was proud of what I was able to achieve today.
"I'm ending my career doing my personal best at the Olympic Games and you couldn't ask for much more than that."
The men's eight crew, which came in as the defending world champion, delivered Canada's second gold of the Games and erased the bitter memories from Athens four years ago.
That crew went in as double world champions but finished a disastrous fifth.
"I've been thinking about it ever since," said Hamilton. "I never thought I'd get the opportunity to be a favourite in an Olympics again.
"Just to come in as a favourite is an amazing experience. To do it twice is just amazing and to win ... I can't say anymore."
This one was never in doubt, as they won in five minutes 23.89 seconds. Britain took silver in 5:25.11 while the United States won bronze in 5:25.34.
"I knew that we had won it, there was nobody coming back at that point," coxswain Brian Price said of raising his arms near the finish line. "I kept telling them to keep on cranking."
The eight comprises Hamilton of Richmond, B.C., Adam Kreek of London, Ont., Dominic Seiterle and Malcolm Howard of Victoria, Jake Wetzel of Saskatoon, Andrew Byrnes of Toronto, Ben Rutledge of Cranbrook, B.C., Kevin Light of Sidney, B.C., and Price of Belleville, Ont.
Earlier at the Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park, Melanie Kok of St. Catharines, Ont., and Tracy Cameron of Shubenacadie, N.S., won bronze in 6:56.68, holding off the Germans for third by 0.04 seconds.
"I thought we had it," said Cameron. "When we looked over I could see that our bow ball was definitely in front of the Germans. It was just making sure the judges were with us."
Just 40 minutes later, the crew of Iain Brambell of Victoria, Jon Beare of Toronto, Mike Lewis of Victoria and Liam Parsons of Thunder Bay, Ont., posted a time of 5:50.09 to finish third.
They used a late surge to solidify a claim on a medal, and almost moved into second place in the final leg. They finished just back of Poland, which took silver in 5:49.39.
"Coming into the last 500 we seemed to get our rhythm and Iain said 'Go for it,' we committed everything we had and went," said Parsons. "We knew it was tight, we really had no idea where we were when we started that sprint.
"It was exhausting. There wasn't anything left in the end."
It's been an emotional week for the four, whose coach Bent Jensen is battling pancreatic cancer. He came to the Games to lead his crew while getting chemotherapy treatments from the team doctor.
Cochrane got the good vibes going Sunday by winning the country's first Olympic swimming medal since the 2000 Games.
The tall, lean 19-year-old from Victoria clocked 14 minutes 42.69 seconds and had to hold off Russia's Yuriy Prilukov, who finished about half a second behind.
The last Canadian swimmer to win an Olympic medal was Curtis Myden, who finished third in the 400 individual medley.

Organizations: Beijing Olympics, Olympic Games

Geographic location: Canada, Athens, Beijing United States Great Britain Victoria Kyrgyzstan Togo North Vancouver Toronto Richmond London, Ont. Saskatoon Cranbrook Sidney Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park Shubenacadie Thunder Bay Poland Russia

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