Team Canada added three medals to its total on Sunday, Day 9 of the Taipei Universiade, including its fourth gold medal, courtesy of shot put champion Brittany Crew.
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Crew led from start to finish during the shot put event, registering a 17.74-metre throw on her first attempt. On her third attempt Crew reached the 18.00-metre mark and with the gold medal locked up before her final throw, she bettered her score with a throw of 18.34 metres.
“I knew that I had a really good chance winning this event and I knew that I had to get a really good throw out in the beginning (and) kind of shut down some girls,” said Crew. “This is my biggest medal I’ve got on the world stage so far. I’m super proud of myself and I’m really happy my coach got to be here to experience it with me. I can’t express the feelings I’m having right now.”
Crew is now a two-time Universiade medalist after winning the bronze medal in 2015 in Gwangju.
Jessica O’Connell also won a medal at Taipei Stadium tonight, finishing second in the 5,000m event. O’Connell was at the front of the pack for the majority of the final. Nearing the bell lap, she was in the pack of four front runners and a strong final 400m propelled her onto the podium. Gold went to Germany’s Hanna Klein but O’Connell held off a surging Jessica Judd from Great Britain to claim the silver medal.
“I knew there were two other very strong runners and it started out pretty slow so we were all controlled but I knew these two girls would pick it up near the end,” said O’Connell following the race. “I knew I had to keep contact and when they went, I had to go with them and that’s exactly what happened.”
In other action at Taipei Stadium on Sunday, the women’s heptathlon came to a close with Dallyssa Huggins and Nicole Oudenaarden both winning their 800m heats to round out the competition. Huggins finished sixth overall while Oudenaarden finished 11th. Sekou Kaba finished seventh in the 110m hurdles final while pole vaulter Deryk Theodore cleared 5.10 metres and finished 10th. In the 3,000m steeplechase, John Gay placed 11th. Also competing in the women’s shot put was Sarah Mitton who threw a personal best 16.32 metres and finished 10th. In the 4 x 400m relays, the Canadian men’s and women’s teams both finished third in their heat and qualified for the final on August 28.
Canadian divers were successful on the final day of diving competition, medaling in the mixed team event. This time it was Celina Toth and Tyler Henschel earning silver at the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei. Ukraine took gold with 398.90 points, Canada finished with 362.80, while Germany won bronze with 353.15. Just 30 minutes before the mixed team events Henschel finished ninth in the men’s platform final, admitting that Toth had the team event on her mind more than him.