Jean-Philippe Le Guellec hits target on Canadian Trail
Day 1 produces two golds and a silver
While the lights shone on two of the Dufour-Lapointe sisters with Justine and Chloe's gold and silver in women’s moguls, and Mark McMorris taking bronze in snowboard slopestyle, there were other bright moments along the Canadian Trail.
Jean-Philippe Le Guellec almost made history, again, by coming within a few strides of a bronze medal in the men’s 10-kilometre biathlon sprint. His fifth place finish, keyed by perfect shooting, was just three seconds back of the podium and only nine behind legendary winner Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, of Norway.
Le Guellec’s effort was the best-ever by a Canadian man, an honour the Shannon, Que. resident already held by placing sixth in Vancouver four years ago.
Nathan Smith of Calgary had a good day too, taking 13th in the race while Brendan Green of Hay River, N.W.T. was 23rd and Scott Perras of Regina was 74th.
Meanwhile, the women’s skiathlon (7.5 km of classic cross-country style and 7.5 km of skate style) found Canadians well back. Emily Nishikawa of Whitehorse was 42nd, Brittany Webster of Caledon, Ont., 51st and Amanda Ammar, Onaway, Alta. was 55th.
Another interesting story was found in men’s ski jump on the normal hill as Canada’s long-moribund program continued its resurrection with a 21st by Mackenzie Boyd-Clowes of Calgary, and Dusty Korek, also of Calgary, in 28th. Both advanced to Sunday's final.
Four years ago the best finish was 45th by Boyd-Clowes. It has been 26 years since a Canadian male broke the top 10 in any ski jump event (Horst Bulau, seventh on the large hill.)
Also on the normal hill on Saturday, Matthew Rowley, of Red Deer, Alta., was 41st and Trevor Morrice of Calgary was 47th. They did not advance.
Elsewhere along the Trail:
• Tessa Virtue of London, Ont. and Scott Moir of Ilderton, Ont., were second in the ice dance short portion of the figure skating team competition. Kaetlyn Osmond, the pride of Marystown, N.L., was a strong fifth in ladies short while Kirsten Moore-Towers, of St. Catharines, Ont., and Dylan Moscovitch, of Waterloo, Ont. were second in pairs long. Canada trails Russia 47-41 heading for the final day of the team event on Sunday.
• Audrey Robichaud (12th), of Quebec City, and Maxime Dufour-Lapointe (14th) of Montreal both missed the finals in women’s moguls.
• In women’s hockey, Canada defeated Switzerland 5-0 in the opening round of that competition. Rebecca Johnston of Sudbury, Ont. had three points.
• A trio of Calgarians are competing in men’s singles luge. Sam Edney is sitting 10th after two runs, with Mitchel Malyk 27th and John Fennell 30th.
• As Mark McMorris was winning bronze in men’s snowboard slopestyle, teammate Maxence Parrot, of Bromont, Que., was coming in a strong fifth. Sebastien Toutant, of L’Assomption, Que., was ninth in the final. Charles Reid, of Mont-Tremblant, Que., was 14th in qualifying and did not advance.
• Over at the speed skating oval, first day of competition found Mathieu Giroux, of Pointe-aux-Trembles, Que., 22nd.