Alysha Newman leads Canada to another big Commonwealth day

Pole vaulter Alysha Newman’s record-setting performance highlighted another big day for Canada that saw the country win 14 more medals at the Commonwealth Games in Australia.

Newman matched her own Canadian record and broke the Commonwealth Games record by clearing 4.75 metres on her final attempt to defeat New Zealand’s Eliza McCartney (4.70) and Australia’s Nina Kennedy (4.65)

Newman was one of 4 Canadian track and field medallists on day 9 of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.3:15

Newman, who set the Canadian record last summer, easily beat the old Commonwealth Games mark of 4.62, which had stood since 2006.

Newman, a bronze medallist at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and an Olympian in 2016, got a boost from the crowd before her final, record-setting jump.

“Having the crowd close by helped so much,” said the 23-year-old from London, Ont. “I felt vibrations from my toes all the way up to my hands when I was holding the pole.

“I couldn’t let anyone down.”

Canada’s 14 medals on Day 9 matched its Day 4 tally for the country’s best single-day haul at these Games. Canadians have won 27 medals over the last two days to raise the country’s total to 74. That trails only host Australia (168) and England (99).

Rhythmic gymnast Sophie Crane won the club event to give Canada another gold medal Friday, bringing Canada’s total in that department up to 14. That ranks fourth behind Australia (65), England (31) and India (17).

The Canadian team has set a goal of winning 100 medals before competition ends on Sunday.

Here the breakdown of Canada’s Day 9 medals:

Gold

  • Track and field: Alysha Newman — women’s pole vault
  • Rhythmic gymnastics: Sophie Crane — club

Silver

  • Track and field: Mo Ahmed — men’s 10,000m
  • Track and field: Nina Schultz — heptathlon
  • Wrestling: Danielle Lappage — women’s 68kg
  • ​Lawn bowls: Ryan Bester — men’s singles
  • Diving: Philippe ​Gagné and Franç​ois  Imbeau-Dulac — men’s 3m synchro

Bronze

  • Boxing: Sabrina Aubin-Boucher — women’s 57kg
  • Boxing: Tammara Thibeault — women’s 75kg
  • Boxing: Eric Basran — men’s 56kg
  • Boxing: Harley-David O’Reilly — men’s 81kg
  • Wrestling: Emily Schaefer — women’s 57kg
  • ​Wrestling: Jordan Steen — men’s 97kg
  • ​Track and field: Brittany Crew — women’s shot put

Combat, baby

Canada’s combat-sport athletes raked in seven medals Friday, with boxers winning four and wrestlers picking up three.

A day after leading the Canadian charge with four medals, including a pair of gold, the wrestlers added three more courtesy of Lappage (silver), Shaefer (bronze) and Steen (bronze).

Danielle Lappage, Emily Schaefer and Jordan Steen all added to Canada’s impressive wrestling medal count on day 9 of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.2:11

All four boxing medals were of the bronze variety and came after Canadian fighters lost their semifinal bouts. There are no bronze-medal matches in boxing — both semifinal losers receive a bronze.

Canada will get another boxing medal Saturday after Thomas Blumenfeld fights in the men’s 64kg gold-medal bout against Namibia’s Jonas Jonas. Blumenfeld advanced with a semifinal victory over Ghana’s Jessie Lartey on Friday.

Gagné dives to 2nd silver

Philippe ​Gagné picked up his second diving silver medal in as many days by teaming with Fran​çois Imbeau-Dulac to finish second in the men’s 3m synchro.

The Canadian diving pair finished 2nd in the men’s synchronized 3-metre springboard final at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.1:11

Gagné took silver in the individual version of the event Thursday.

Canadian divers have now combined for six medals at these Games but are still looking for their first gold. Meaghan Benfeito also has a pair of silver medals.

Women’s rugby 7s team starts strong

Canada’s women’s rugby sevens team put itself in contention for a medal with a pair of wins to open its tournament.

Canada defeated South Africa 29-0 in the first-ever women’s rugby sevens match at the Commonwealth Games, with Caroline Crossley scoring the historic first try.

The Canadians then beat Kenya 24-12, setting up Saturday’s clash with world No. 2 New Zealand.

Canada scored 24 points in the 1st half on their way to a dominating win over South Africa to open the Rugby Sevens pool round at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.1:31

New Zealand is also 2-0, so the winner of that game will finish atop Pool A. The top two teams in each of the two pools advance to the semifinals.

The Canadian men’s team opens Saturday and will face Kenya, Zambia and New Zealand in pool play.

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