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Top 5 Canadian Athletes in 2016 Rio Olympic Games

Top 5 Canadian Athletes in 2016 Rio Olympic Games

Posted by Miguel Ernesto on April 21, 2016

Canada has participated in 25 editions of the summer Olympic Games and, all in all, that country has collected 282 medals: 60 gold medals, 101 made of silver and 121 bronzes. Will Canada win its 300th medal in the Rio de Janeiro edition? It could be possible; however, the northern delegation is actually likely to improve the results obtained in London 2012, when it barely got a title.

In the Olympic history, the list of Canada’s most outstanding athletes has been made up of Lesley Thompson-Willie, archery, and Phil Edwards, athletics, since both sportsmen won five medals. Thompson was the best one, with one gold, three silver medals and one bronze, obtained between Los Angeles 1984 and London 2012, when he was already 52 years old. On the other hand, Edwards finished with five bronzes, in different specialties (800 and 1,500 meters and 4 x 400 meter relay), between Amsterdam 1928 and Berlin 1936.

Four years ago, in London, the Canadian delegation was far from every forecast, since it only conquered one title (Rosie MacLennan in the trampoline), 5 silver medals and 12 bronzes. Many things have happened in this four-year period and the Canadian sport has undoubtedly climbed to a higher level. This fact was proven during Toronto Pan Am Games, when Canada reached its highest result in the history, by finishing second in the medal count, with 78 titles.

Who carries Canada’s main hopes in Rio 2016? PanamericanWorld suggests a list of five athletes with real potential to step on top of the podium. Each champion will be given 50 thousand US dollars; while the second position gets 20 thousand and 10 thousand dollars for the third ones.

Shawnacy Barber

Canada’s athletics showed great improvements during the past World Championship of the IAAF, held in Beijing, where the delegation won eight medals. The eyes of specialists and fans are usually focused on the most spectacular events, like speed, where Andre De Grasse stands out, this Pan American triple champion in Toronto and bronze medalist at the Chinese capital, in 100 meter dash; nevertheless, Canada’s main hopes on athletics are not linked to speed, but to pole vault and heptathlon.

The best man with the pole is the present world champion Shawn Barber, 22 years old, who holds Canada’s national record, with a jump beyond 5.93 meters. Moreover, Barber already knows what surpassing six meters is like, because he reached that height on January 15, in a roofed track. He is the great favorite to prevail in Rio, although he’ll be facing strong rivals, like French Renaud Lavillenie.

Brianne Theisen-Eaton

This 28-year-old athlete participated in the London edition of the Games and she presently holds the Canadian record in heptathlon, with 6,808 points. Theisen-Eaton won the silver medal in the World Championships carried out in 2013 and 2015 and she finished second in the indoors World Championship held in 2014. As for Rio Olympic Games, she is one of the favorites to win this demanding competition.

Mark de Jonge

This 32-year-old kayaker is one of the benchmark athletes in his discipline around the world. In London Olympic Games he got the bronze in K1 - 200 meters, but he has barely lost a competition after that event. For instance, he finished second in the World Championship that took place in Duisburg, in 2013, and he was the world champion in the editions of 2014, in Moscow, and 2015, in Milan.

Ryan Cochrane

The swimmer, who is 26 years old, has been on the Olympic podium twice. In Beijing Olympic Games, in 2008, he won the bronze in 1,500 meters, free style and, four years later, he went to a higher level, by conquering the silver in London, in the same specialty.

Cochrane was great in Toronto Pan Am Games, since he won two titles, in 400 and 1,500 meters free style and he finished third in 4x200 meter relay. Moreover, Cochrane holds a record with the highest number of medals obtained by a Canadian swimmer in events organized by the International Federation: seven. Rio Olympic Games could be his farewell to active sport, so Cochrane is going to swim for a last medal.

Jennifer Abel

This diver has vast international experience. At the age of 15 she participated in Beijing Olympic Games, but she couldn’t make it to the podium. Her sports evolution was shown in Guadalajara Pan American Games, in 2011, where she got the silver in the synchronized platform, three meters, accompanied by Emilie Heymans. A year later, in London Olympic Games, the couple won the bronze medal.

In Toronto Pan Am Games, Abel was victorious in the three-meter platform and finished second, with Heymans, in the three-meter synchronized platform. Now, in Rio, Abel is going to team up with Pamela Ware and this duo is one of the favorites to get a medal.

Other Medal Options

Canada will go to Rio with other medal options. For example, golf is back in the program, so young Brooke Henderson, who is only 18 years old and shows great talent, is going to fight for the podium at the Brazilian city.

As for beach volleyball, at least there are three possibilities for Canada. The country has two of the best couples of the world: Heather Bansley - Sarah Pavan and Jamie Broder - Kristina Valjas. Nobody would be surprised if one of them reaches the final game, for the Olympic title; while the Ben Saxton - Chaim Schalk couple is positioned in the world Top 10.

It’s not clear yet if veteran rider Ian Millar is going to compete in his eleventh Olympic Games in a row, which would enhance his record. In Toronto Pan Am Games, Millar helped the Canadian equestrian team win the competition.

32-year-old canoeist Mark Oldershaw is another option, since he was Canada’s standard-bearer in Toronto Pan Am Games. In his Olympic debut, in Beijing, he finished in the 10th position in C-1 500 meters, but he got the bronze in London, in C-1 1,000 meters. We could also include gymnast Ellie Black on the list of possible medalists, because she won five medals in Toronto Pan Am Games; and we can’t forget about high jumper Derek Drouin, world champion in Beijing, 2015, with a jump over 2.34 meters, and bronze medalist in London Olympic Games. 

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