By Haley Ryan - Metro Halifax
SHERBROOKE, QUE. - Nova Scotia paddlers have made quite a splash in the 2013 Canada Games, with all 20 athletes stepping onto the podium to claim a medal by Wednesday morning.
A girl’s team from Halifax Regional Municipality kicked off the day in Sherbrooke, Que. with a gold finish in the K4-200 metre canoe/kayak race.
“It was amazing,” said Ailish McNulty of Dartmouth. “The race kind of went perfectly.”
Although McNulty said the crew of Liz Girgulis, Anna Hetzler and Olivia Denman was “thrown together” and the girls hadn’t practiced that distance together often, they were confident of a medal.
“It’s really important … to be relaxed before the line so you can get those first couple strokes in. They set the tone for the whole race,” said 17-year-old Denman.
Peter Lombardi was on the C4 men’s team which nabbed silver in the 200-metre sprint on Wednesday, one-tenths of a second behind Quebec.
“It was tight up to the line,” Lombardi said. “We were feeling pretty good. Winning the 1000 (metres) yesterday definitely helped.”
Lombardi said the crew of Tom Hall, Lukas Hetzler, Tom Miller and himself were “underdogs on paper,” and while they had hoped to match their gold medal were satisfied with silver.
Nova Scotia had 43 medals as of Wednesday night, just nine short of the team’s 52 all-time record.
“I am incredibly proud of Team Nova Scotia. Your dedication to sport has paid off and it is wonderful to see you being rewarded for it,” said Premier Darrell Dexter in a release Wednesday.
Lombardi said this is definitely the first time in the last two Canada Games all paddlers are walking away with a medal.
In other action Wednesday, the girls basketball team edged Newfoundland 53-50, and will play in the quarter-finals against Ontario on Thursday.