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Who will win Canada's 1st medal at the Rio Olympics?

Who will win Canada's 1st medal at the Rio Olympics?

Posted by PanamericanWorld on August 04, 2016

Canadian chef de mission Curt Harnett says he believes Canada will win roughly 19 medals these Games, which would eclipse the team's totals from London 2012. But Canadian fans eagerly want to know: who will be the first?

With that question in mind, here are five athletes or teams who can break the ice for Canada in Brazil.

Ryan Cochrane

The Canadian arguably in the best position to earn the country's first medal is swimmer Ryan Cochrane (not to be confused with the kayaker by the same name).

Cochrane is set to compete on Saturday in the 400-metre freestyle. While it's not his bread and butter event, Cochrane did capture gold at the Pan Am Games. He followed that up with a bronze at the world championships last year.

At London 2012, he missed the 400 freestyle final by one-hundredth of a second.

This will also be the 27-year-old's final Olympics, adding the motivation to go out on a winning note.

Emily Overholt

The only thing hindering Emily Overholt's chances at nabbing the first medal over Cochrane is 19 minutes.

That is, Cochrane's final is scheduled 19 minutes before Overholt's potential 400 individual medley final.

The 18-year-old swimmer is a favoured to reach the podium after a bronze medal at the world championships, where she also set a Canadian record.

If Overholt can reach the podium in Rio it will be the first time a Canadian woman has won an Olympic swimming medal since 1996.

But if she fails to reach the podium, Overholt will get another crack in the 400 freestyle on Sunday, an event where she won gold at the Pan Am games last year.

Jennifer Abel / Pamela Ware

Keep an eye out for Canada's 3m synchronized springboard diving duo of Jennifer Abel and Pamela Ware on Sunday.

For starters, Abel already has the title of "Canada's first medallist" after breaking the ice with then-partner Émilie Heymans at London 2012, also in the 3m synchronized springboard.

Going into Sunday's competition, Abel and Ware are ranked fourth in the world, and are returning to Rio where they won silver at the FINA Diving World Cup back in February. They also won silver at the world championships in August of 2015.

Women's rugby 7s team

If no Canadian can reach the podium within the first two days – it took two days at London 2012 – the rugby sevens team may raise Canada's first flag by Monday.

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