These Olympic Games have been short on happy endings for Canadian athletes, but on Wednesday Carol Huynh provided fans with something to smile about. Huynh brought home bronze with a win over Senegal’s Isabelle Sambou. She wasn’t able to defend her gold medal from 2008, after falling in the semifinals to eventual gold medalist Hitori Obara of Japan. Huynh was within a point of tying that match, but was unable to flip Obara over after a takedown just as time expired.
Also vying for bronze on Wednesday was Laval, Quebec’s Martine Dugrenier, who fell just short against Mongolia’s Battsetseg Soronzobold in one of two 63 kg bronze medal matches. Dugrenier was in familiar territory when she found herself competing in the bronze medal repechage. It was the same position she was in at the 2008 games when she lost an agonizingly close match and finished fifth. This time around, she made it to the medal stage, but the hardware still managed to elude her. Dugrenier was dominant in her repechage match against Henna Johansson, where she mercied the Swede 6-0 after taking her down and rolling her over repeatedly.
On Thursday, Canada’s ladies scored even more hardware as Tonya Verbeek brought home her second consecutive silver medal in the 55 kg division. Verbeek was on a warpath before falling in the final against a familiar foe, Japan’s Saori Yoshida, who also defeated Verbeek in the 2008 finals. It was Yoshida’s third straight Olympic gold medal.
Canada’s male wrestlers began their Games this morning, with a pair of Canucks in action. Stoney Point, Ontario’s David Tremblay was ousted quickly from the 55 kg tournament after his preliminary round loss to Turkey’s Ahmet Peker. Tremblay lost a 3-1 decision by points after scoring a bye through the qualification round.
American-born Matt Gentry of Burnaby, BC moved past the preliminary round of the 74 kg tournament this morning by besting Narsingh Yadav of Pancham on a 3-1 decision by points. Gentry then went on to be eliminated in the quarterfinals later in the day against American rival Jordan Ernest Burroughs.
Three more Canadian men will take to the mats on Saturday. Cuban-born Haislan Garcia will compete at 66 kg, Russian-born Khetag Pliev will compete at 96 kg, and Richmond, BC’s Arjan Bhullar will compete at 120 kg. Respective matchups for those divisions have not yet been determined.
Canada’s taekwondo team also began their competition this morning, with reigning silver medalist Karine Sergerie leading the charge. Sergerie won a tight preliminary match against Azerbaijan’s Farida Azizov. Sergerie, the number two seed in the tournament, took the match by a final score of 1-0. That’s unfortunately as far as Sergerie would make it at the London Games, as Franka Anic of Russia defeated her in the quarterfinals.
In men’s action, unranked Armenian competitor Arman Yeremyan upset sixth-seeded Sebastien Michaud of Quebec City in the preliminary round of the 80 kg tournament. Yeremyan won in convincing fashion, doubling up Michaud by a final score of 8-4.
Canada’s third and final taekwondo competitor, second-seeded Francois Coulombe-Fortier, is scheduled to begin his Olympic Games on Saturday morning. He’ll face off with Russia’s Gadzhi Umarov in the preliminary round of the 90 kg tournament.
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