The ‘flame’ was extinguished at San Paolo Stadium in Naples Sunday night, bringing to a close the 30th FISU Summer Universiade.
The stainless steel electronic cauldron on the north end of San Paolo Stadium, in the shape of nearby Mount Vesuvius, went dark as the athletes and 35,000 spectators looked on. Chengdu, China, the host of the 31st Summer Universiade in 2021, made a cultural presentation featuring dancing pandas following the traditional handover of the FISU flag from the mayor of Naples to the mayor of Chengdu.
Canada finishes the biennial summer games with six medals, down seven from the 2017 Universiade in Taipei, Chinese Taipei but just two less than the total from the 2015 event in South Korea, which also took place in the same summer as the Pan American Games.
The medal tally fails to tell the entire story, however, as Canada finished with an incredible 10 fourth-place finishes across five different sports.
“Despite the obstacles we faced in these games, I’m proud of how our student-athletes performed. They all understood the responsibility that comes with representing your country at any international event, and we saw many outstanding performances."
Ari Grossman, Team Canada Chef de mission
“I’m thankful as well for an outstanding group of dedicated volunteer coaches, medical staff, and mission staff who dedicated part of their summer to support our student-athletes. They all dove in with both feet, worked hard to remove hurdles for our athletes, and never once dropped the ball.”
Canada’s track and field athletes posted the strongest performances of the Universiade, bringing home three medals and adding a slough of fourth- and fifth-place finishes.
Sarah Mitton provided the highlight of the games with her gold medal in the shot put, posting the only throw over 18 metres in the competition to win by nearly 50 centimetres with a top effort of 18.31. Canada’s lone silver medal also came at San Paolo Stadium with Nicole Hutchinson posting a strong effort over the final few laps of the 5,000 metres to post a time of 15:48.06, good enough for the second spot on the podium. And on the final night, Courtney Hufsmith ran her second personal best time in as many outings to win bronze in the 1,500 metres in a time of 4:11.81.
In addition to the podium performances, the Canadians also picked up four fourth place finishes in the women’s 10,000 metres, the women’s discus, the men’s 3,000-metre steeplechase, and the men’s 5,000 metres.
A star-studded team of U SPORTS players improved by four positions the finish from Taipei 2017, finishing sixth with a 4-2 record. Led by two-time national player of the year and Canadian flagbearer Kadre Gray, the Red and White rolled through the group stage with a perfect record at 3-0 including an opening 96-70 win over host Italy, an 80-61 triumph over Germany, and a 73-65 victory over Norway. In the quarter-final against Ukraine, Canada almost came back from a 24-point deficit in the fourth quarter but was unable to get over the hump, falling 82-80 to the eventual silver medallists. The Canadians bounced back on the consolation side to thump Argentina 82-68, setting up a return match with the Germans for fifth place. There, Canada fell behind early and Germany took an 88-74 decision as Canada finished sixth.
Four Canadians averaged better than 10 points per game, led by Munis Tutu with 14.2 and Gray with 13.7. Mambi Diawara added 10.3 points per outing, while Brody Clarke chipped in with 10. Tutu was also Canada’s leading rebounder with 41 in six games.
The Canadian women faced a tough challenge in a group with Australia, China, and Finland. After opening the tournament with an 89-64 setback to China, Canada fell 85-51 to eventual champion Australia and wrapped up the group stage with an 82-59 loss to Finland. After a tough 54-53 setback to Slovakia in the quarter-final round for the bottom half of the tournament, the Canadian women put together back-to-back victories to close out the Universiade, defeating Argentina 75-36 and Mexico 67-54 to finish 13th in the tournament.
Reigning U SPORTS player of the year Sarah-Jane Marois of Laval led the way for Canada with 74 points in six games, while Cape Breton’s Hannah Brown scored 49 points and added 39 rebounds.
Laurent Gosselin-Paradis captured two bronze medals, Canada’s first two of the Games, in Naples. Gosselin-Paradis and Ethan Pitman claimed the bronze medal in the men’s synchronized platform on Day 2, while Gosselin Paradis went onto place third in the men’s platform on Day 5.
Mia Vallée led the Canadian women with two fourth-place finishes. Vallée placed just off the podium in the women’s 3 m springboard and teamed up with Olivia Chamandy to finish fourth in the synchronized 3 m springboard. The Kirkland, Que., native also finished seventh in the 1 m springboard, while Chamandy was sixth in the 3 m springboard event.
After placing fourth in the women’s platform, Elaena Dick teamed up with Pitman to place seventh in the mixed team event. Peter Mai rounded out Canada’s results with a seventh-place finish in the men’s 3 m springboard.
David Chen-Li of the University of Toronto led Canada’s men with a 45th place finish in the individual men’s foil event. He, along with Gavin Hay and Edward Li, went onto place 14th in the men’s foil team relay. Riley Norman also finished 45th in the men’s epee competition and, with the help of Francois Oimet and Jason Harel, placed 19th overall in the team relay. Philip Pitura was Canada’s lone male sabreur and finished 49th in the individual competition.
Chen-Li’s U of T teammate Rebecca Jeffrey was Canada’s top female competitor. Jeffrey placed 43rd overall in the women’s sabre individual competition, with Julia Creusot finishing 55th. Karina Li was 45th in the women’s foil event, while Tamara Booy earned a 47th place finish in the women’s epee. Booy teamed up with Kirsten Van Marion and Evelyn Zheng to place 17th in the women’s epee team relay.
In artistic gymnastics Canada finished seventh in the men’s and fourth in the women’s team competitions. Denelle Pedrick finished seventh overall in the women’s individual all-around competition, while Jessica Dowling was 12th. Dowling was sixth in the uneven bars, seventh in both the beam and floor routine, while Jacob Bonnay was eighth overall in the men’s pommel horse. In Rhythmic gymnastics, Alexandra Chtrevenski finished 23rd in the all-around event with a combined score of 53.10 points.
Canada’s men’s and women’s rugby sevens teams had a quick exit out of their tournaments as both teams failed to qualify out of preliminary play. The women opened their tournament with a 14-12 win over Italy, before conceding losses to Japan (29-0) and France (17-7) to finish 1-2 and third in their pool. The men were 0-3 with losses to France (35-5), Japan (44-5) and Italy (12-5) and finished fourth in their pool. Only the top two in each pool moved on to the championship bracket.
Canada played five matches over 10 days and matched their eighth-place finish from the 2017 FISU Games in Taipei. After opening the tournament with a 4-1 loss to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Canadians rebounded with a 1-0 victory over South Africa. That set up a quarter-final match-up with Japan, where Canada dropped a 3-0 decision. The Canucks dropped a narrow 2-1 decision to the Republic of Korea in the consolation semifinals, before falling 5-2 to the host Italians in the 7th/8th place match.
Jessica Bunker of Laval University led the team offensively with two goals, while Katherine Bearne, Thea Nour and Victoria Hinchcliffe each scored once during the Games.
Ingrid Wilm, Nina Kucheran, Hannah Genich and Ainsley McMurray earned Canada’s lone medal in the pool on the final day of competition, clocking a time of 4:03.32 to place third in the women’s 4 x 100 m medley relay.
Earlier in the meet, Wilm placed fourth in the 100 m backstroke and seventh in the 50 m backstroke, while McMurray and Genich finished seventh and eighth in the 100 m freestyle and butterfly events, respectively.
Indiana University standout Kennedy Goss had a busy week, finishing fifth in both the 100 m backstroke and 400 m freestyle events, seventh in the 200 m backstroke and eighth in the 200 m freestyle. She and McMurray teamed up with Charis Huddle and Sarah Watson to earn a fifth-place finish in the women’s 4 x 100 m freestyle relay. Goss, McMurray, Watson and Marit Anderson also placed fifth in the 4 x 200 m freestyle relay. Sophie Angus of Northwestern University made the A final in the 50 m breaststroke, placing fifth overall.
Cam Kidd led Canada’s men with a ninth-place finish in the 50 m freestyle, with Rob Hill placing 10th in the 200 m individual medley and 16th in the 100 m backstroke. Eli Wall and Montana Champagne placed 14th and 15th in the 200 m breaststroke and butterfly events, respectively.
Bryan Ho led Canada in the men’s singles competition, defeating Estonia’s Artjom Hisko 4-2 in the round of 64 before falling 4-0 to Wang-Wei Peng of Chinese Taipei to finish 33rd. Matthew Lehmann then joined Ho to reach the round of 32 in men’s doubles action. In women’s singles action, Vida Sieu, Justina Yeung and Alayna Chan were all eliminated in the round of 64. Yeung and Chan, as well as Jacie Liu and Sieu, both reached the round of 32 in doubles play. Ho and Yeung teamed up and dropped a 3-0 decision to Sweden in the mixed doubles round of 32, while Lehmann and Chan fell 3-2 to another Swedish team in the round of 64.
Jordan Stewart was Canada’s top finisher in taekwondo, earning a fifth-place finish in the men’s 87kg class. The Humber College student entered the competition in the Round of 16 and, after trailing 10-8 heading into the third round, came from behind to defeat Italy’s Matteo Marjanovic 14-11. He then met South Korea’s Inho Park in the quarter-final round, suffering an early 6-0 deficit before falling 8-3.
Jackson Carroll of Saint Mary’s University placed ninth in the men’s 63kg category, while Hunter Carroll finished 17th in the men’s 68kg class. Viviane Tranquille and Marianne Leclerc each placed 17th in the women’s 53kg and 62kg events, respectively. In poomsae, Ethan Lippman and Holly Cheuk placed 13th, with Cheuk, Kaitlyn Weins and Jina Ha narrowly missed the women’s team poomsae final, placing 10th overall with a score of 70.6 points.
The men's volleyball team tied its 2017 Taipei Summer Universiade result, finishing 11th out of 20 teams. The Canadians completed their group-play action with a 1-4 record in a very strong pool, which included silver medalist Poland and fourth-place France. An exciting five-set victory over Iran allowed Canada to move on to the 9-16 place consolation side. Canada showed character by winning two of its last three games, against Ukraine (3-0) and Brazil (3-2).
Saskatchewan Huskies outside hitter Dylan Mortensen had a good tournament with 70 kills and a hitting percentage of 33.8 per cent. The 2018 U SPORTS rookie of the year also had a team-high 14 blocks for Canada.
Canada went 2-4 to finish eighth overall and improve upon their 2017 result in Taipei, where they finished 13th. The squad opened the tournament with straight set victories over Mexico and Thailand, before falling 3-1 to Russia to finish second in Group A. Canada met a strong Hungarian team in the quarter-finals, dropping a 3-0 decision. They went onto fall 3-1 to Brazil in consolation semifinal action and 3-0 to the Czech Republic in the seventh place match.
Canada was led offensively by a trio of U SPORTS stars. Hilary Howe of Trinity Western University had a team-high 61 points over six matches, registering 43 kills, 14 blocks and four aces, while University of Alberta’s Kory White had 59 points off of 50 kills, five blocks and four aces. Kelsey Veltmann of Western University totaled 55 points off of 29 kills, 20 blocks and six aces.
WOMEN’S WATER POLO
Canada’s water polo team finished second in their pool with a 3-1 record and wins over France (8-1), Czech Republic (23-8) and Japan (12-10) and a loss to the eventual tournament champions Hungary (7-16). Canada went on to play the USA in their quarter-final and defeated the Americans 10-9 after goalie Rachel Jaffe made the lone save in a penalty shootout to secure Canada’s shot at a medal. In the semifinals, Canada lost 15-7 to a talented Italian side and were then forced to settle for fourth place after a dominant 22-7 loss to Russia in the bronze-medal game. Canada was led in scoring by Valeria Rojas who has 12 goals, while Daphné Guèvremont had 10.
Naples 2019 Summer Universiade
TEAM CANADA MEDAL SUMMARY
Sarah Mitton, Athletics, women’s shot put
Nicole Hutchinson, Athletics, women’s 5,000 m
Courtney Hufsmith, Athletics, women’s 1,500 m
Ingrid Wilm, Nina Kucheran, Hannah Genich & Ainsley McMurray, Swimming, women’s 4x100m medley relay
Laurent Gosselin-Paradis, Diving, men’s platform
Laurent Gosselin-Paradis & Ethan Pitman, Diving, men’s synchronized platform