By Ottawa Sportspage
Two Ottawa cyclists placed on the podium at Round 3 of the Union Cyclist Internationale Track Cycling World Cup. The Mattamy National Cycling Centre in Milton played host to the event for the first time and on home soil Ottawa Bicycle Club products Ariane Bonhomme and Derek Gee both contributed medal performances. Canada’s team pursuit squad, of which Bonhomme rides as part of, caught New Zealand in the gold medal final to win first place. In the men’s team pursuit, which Gee rides as part of, Canada overcame a crash to capture a silver medal. In their gold medal qualifying race the men’s team set a Canadian record in the event with a time of 3:58.359.
Both Gee and Bonhomme were named to Canada’s team for the XXI Commonwealth Games based in Gold Coast, Australia in April. Gee will ride in the men’s track endurance and road team, while Bonhomme will ride as part of the women’s team.
Ottawa’s Steve Gray was honoured as a member of the Rugby Ontario Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017. Gray tallied 47 international caps for Canada, and had three World Cup appearances in 1987, 1991, and 1995, and one 7s World Cup appearance (1993). Gray was a captain of Team Canada on numerous occasions. In 1986 he scored three tries in a game for Canada, which set a team record. Gray was also a member of the Ottawa Irish 1st XV 1986-1992, which was named to the Rugby Ontario Hall of Fame in 2015.
The RA Centre’s House of Sport celebrated its official opening on January 18. The $8 million renovated space in the re-purposed section of the Centre’s west wing will house more than 20 National Sports Organizations, Multi-Sport Organizations, not-for-profits and sport-related businesses.
The West Ottawa Soccer Club’s 2003 girls team had an unblemished showing at the Disney Showcase in Orlando in November. The team swept its three games by scores of 1-0, 4-0 and 1-0.
In December, two of the club’s older players, Amanda Smith and Alexander Hewish, made their declaration to play at St Francis Xavier University.
Gabriela Dabrowski is on a tear. The tennis player won the doubles division of the Sydney International with her partner Xu Yifan by beating the tournament’s top seeded team of Latisha Chan and Andrea Sestini Hlackova in straight sets in the tournament’s final. She followed that up by winning the mixed doubles title at the Australian Open with her partner Mate Pavic of Croatia.
It’s a strong start to the year for Dabrowski, who became the first Canadian woman to win a senior Grand Slam title in last year’s French Open with her partner Rohan Bopanna.
Shainah Joseph added to her incredible volleyball resume with an NCAA division 1 silver medal. The Franco-Cite graduate had 11 kills and 11 points for the Florida Gators in the tournament final in what was the University of Florida’s first appearance in an Final Four in women’s basketball since 2003. The Ottawa Mavericks and Canadian national team member was also named as an American Volleyball Coaches’ Association second team All-American.
Ottawa’s Margaret Gibson was awarded the Ontario Tennis Association’s Distinguished Service Award at the organization’s 2017 annual general meeting. Gibson played at Grand Slam events including Wimbledon before becoming a coach. She also managed the Canadian Junior National Tennis Team in the 1980s and worked with juniors for a period extending beyond 30 years. Recent Australian Open mixed doubles winner, Gabriela Dabrowski is a notable former pupil of hers. Among her other achievements, Gibson was also recognized for promoting and pushing the sport of tennis forward in Ottawa.
Ben Kendrick took bronze at the 2018 Elite National Championships for Judo, held in Montreal in January. Competing in the senior 90kg weight division, Kendrick lost to the eventual national champion in the semifinals. A month earlier at the Asian Open in Hong Kong, Kendrick won a bronze medal for Canada.
Three Ottawa girls were invited to Canada Basketball’s Women’s National Age-Group Assessment Camps in December. Julia Chadwick, who competes for Durham Elite, was invited to be assessed to compete in the next FIBA U18 Americas Championship. Merissah Russell and Isabella Gaudet, who play for Capital Courts in Orleans were in attendance for assessment for Canada’s FIBA U17 Women’s Basketball World Cup team.
Kristin Stremlaw, 17, and Jade Warren, 15, got an early Christmas present by being named to Synchro Canada’s 2018 Junior Worlds Athlete Pool. Stremlaw, who trains with Ontario’s Regional Training Centre, and Warren, from GO Capital Synchro, will be part of a team of 24 who will enter the final phase of selection to represent Canada at the FINA Junior World Artistic Swimming Championships next summer.