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CANADA GAMES – DAY 1 RECAP: BOTSIS BLASTS HAMMER THROW COMPETITION

Watch the 2022 Canada Games LIVE here, and find the schedule and live results here.

Day 1 of the Canada Summer Games athletics competition was filled with preliminary rounds and qualifying heats. The decathletes completed five of their ten total events, several men came close to Canada Games 100m record of 10.38, and a B.C. thrower stole the show from the hammer circle. Here are the top five highlights from Day 1, and five stories we look forward to following tomorrow, on Day 2.


DAY 1 – TOP 5

1- BOTSIS BREAKS HAMMER THROW RECORD

British Columbia’s Chanell Botsis is the latest athlete to add to Canada’s hammer throw success, in a year that already saw Camryn Rogers, Ethan Katzberg and Jillian Weir win international medals. The 24-year-old set a new Canada Games record with a toss of 61.44m, breaking Jennifer Joyce’s previous mark of 61.28m, set in 2021. Botsis is a member of Kajaks Track and Field Club, learning under Athletics Canada coach of the year Garrett Collier and athletes Rowan Hamilton and Commonwealth Games champion Rogers.

2 – MEN’S 100M RECORD IN JEOPARDY

The Canada Games 100m record of 10.38 is held officially by two Ontarian men: Karson Kowalchuk and Nathan Taylor. A third athlete, 2022 world championship gold medalist in the 4x100m Jerome Blake of B.C., also ran 10.38 in 2017, but finished second to Kowalchuk by thousandths of a second. That record, with all its owners, is in trouble. The preliminary round of the 100m saw Eliezer Odjibi of Ontario and Malachi Murray of Alberta run 10.47 and 10.48, respectively. Both athletes won their heats, each cruising comfortably past the finish line with energy to spare. The pair will meet in the final on Friday morning at 10:20 EST.

3 – DUPUY SETS NEW SPECIAL OLYMPICS RECORD

On the Special Olympics side of the 100m, Gabriel Dupuy (T20) of Team Québec stole the show, setting a new 100m record of 11.53. Dupuy’s mark handily bested the previous record of 11.81, set in 2017 by Gaerrisen Freeland on Ontario. Dupuy also dominated the qualifying round, finishing 0.65 seconds ahead of his closest competitor, Jesse Thibeault of B.C. The Québec athlete will be in action again in the final on Friday at 10:10 a.m. ET.

4–SUTHERLAND SHOWS EARLY DOMINANCE IN 400M HURDLE PRELIMS

Just two weeks removed from the World U20 championship, Saskatchewan’s Savannah Sutherland is already onto her next challenge: a Canada Games title in the 400m hurdles. The 19-year-old bested a field of more experienced athletes and rounded the track in 1:02.54: the fastest time in the preliminary round. Despite her young age, her personal best of 57.27 is faster than Sage Watson’s Canada Games record of 58.46. Sutherland will be in action again in the finals on Friday evening at 5:00 p.m. EST.

5- LAVOIE-BEAULIEU LEANS ON DECATHLON HIGH JUMP RECORD TO LEAD DAY 1

In his trademarked sprint approach, Édouard Lavoie-Beaulieu of Quebec leaped over a 1.98 metre-high bar, claiming the Canada Games decathlon high jump record and the Day 1 competition lead at once. The 20-year-old has accumulated 3665 points after five of ten events, leading Ontario’s Jared Hendricks-Polak by 47 points. The pair assume a near-200-point lead over the rest of the field, setting up a potential two-horse race for gold on Day 2.
 

TOMORROW – FIVE STORIES TO WATCH

1- CRAIG THORNE SET TO SMASH CANADA GAMES 110M HURDLES RECORD

The fastest 110m hurdles time ever recorded at the Canada Summer Games is 14.09, by Jared MacLeod of Manitoba. The mark, however, is in serious jeopardy when New Brunswick’s Craig Thorne steps on the track in Wednesday’s 110m qualifying round. The University of Guelph athlete has already broken the 14-second barrier five times this year, and his personal best of 13.87 makes him the early favourite.

2- UNDEFEATED IN VARSITY COMPETITION, EMILY BRANDERHORST WILL LEAP FOR GLORY IN HIGH JUMP

Competing for the University of Toronto, Emily Branderhorst completed a perfect season by jumping 1.78m and winning the gold medal at the 2022 U SPORTS championship. The Team Ontario athlete comes to the games undefeated in varsity competition in 2022. Her personal best of 1.81m is just five centimetres away from the Canada Games record of 1.86m.

3- CLASH OF THE VARSITY TITANS IN THE WOMEN’S 800M

The 800m women’s heats will feature a trio of perennial contenders. Sadie-Jane Hickson of Ontario, the defending 600 and 1000m U SPORTS champion for the University of Guelph, comes into the race as the favourite. But the 2022 bronze medalist in the U SPORTS 600m, Avery Pearson of Saskatchewan, and fifth-place finisher in both the 600m and 1000m Olivia Cooper of Alberta will look to pressure the top seed.

4- CATHERINE BEAUCHEMIN SEEKS CANADA GAMES REDEMPTION IN 3000M STEEPLE

When she was just 19 years old, Catherine Beauchemin had to settle for an eighth-place finish at the 2017 Canada Games in Winnipeg. Since then, she became a two-time U SPORTS cross-country bronze medalist with Université Laval – in 2018 and 2021 – and represented Canada at the World Universiade Games in 2019. On Day 2, she will aim for the medals in the 3,000m steeplechase.

5- THE MEN’S DECATHLON WILL CROWN ITS WINNERS

The battle between Édouard Lavoie-Beaulieu of Quebec and Jared Hendricks-Polak of Ontario will continue in the 110m hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin, and, finally, the gruelling 1500m.
 

MEDIA INQUIRIES

Alex Cyr

Manager, Digital Communications – Athletics Canada

alex.cyr@athletics.ca

902-598-8598