October Snapshots: A roundup of local sports action

By Ottawa Sportspage

Smedley comes up big in biggest race of the season to secure Canada a canoe slalom Olympic berth

Ottawa’s Cam Smedley will be heading back to the Olympics after securing Team Canada a spot in the men’s C1 with his 9th place finish at the ICF Slalom World Championships last month.

The Dunrobin-born paddler’s quota at Tokyo 2020 was secured by him in the semifinals of the world championships, in which he placed 9th before repeating that finish in the final.

Smedley’s qualification is Canada’s first in the slalom for the 2020 Games, while his finals appearance at the world championships was Canada’s first in the C1 event since 2002, according to Canada’s national governing body for competitive paddling.

“I’m thrilled to be racing in the finals today and wrap up the Olympic quota for Tokyo,” Smedley said in a Canoe-Kayak Canada press release. “I made a few mistakes in the finals but I learned a lot today and this will help me execute my race plan even better next summer.”

Smedley finished in 15th in the C1 event at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Wiebe whiffs at World Wrestling Championships

Stittsville’s Erica Wiebe had an early exit from the World Wrestling Championships in September. Competing in the 76-kilogram division, Wiebe was taken down by her Estonian opponent, Epp Maee, in the dying seconds of their quarterfinals match. The maneuver gave Maee a 4-3 victory over Wiebe. “When you train so hard and make mistakes mentally, you don’t wrestle for the full six minutes, that’s what happens,” the 30-year-old said in an interview that was broadcasted after her loss. Six wrestlers from Wiebe’s division qualified from the world championships to compete at the Tokyo Olympics. There are still two events where the defending Olympic wrestling champion can punch her ticket to the 2020 Games: The Pan American Qualification Tournament and the World Qualification Tournament.

Woods registers DNF at World Championships for road racing, wins 1st career single-day race at Milano-Torino

Ottawa’s Mike Woods couldn’t one-up his bronze medal performance at last year’s World Championships in road racing at this year’s event, as the 33-year-old registered a did not finish in the race held in Yorkshire, U.K. in September. Woods had told Cyclingnews prior to the race that he thought there was 30 cyclists who had a chance in the race and that his racing style wasn’t well-suited for the Yorkshire course. Less than two weeks after the world championships, Woods picked up his first-ever win in a single-day professional cycling race in his career at the 100th edition of the Milano-Torino. Velonews reported that Woods distanced himself from eventual 2nd place finisher Alejandro Valverde with a well-timed acceleration with 300 metres to go in the race. He finished the 179 km race in a time of 4:03:48.

Seltenreich-Hodgson inducted into Nepean Sports Wall of Fame at age 24

Rio Olympian Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson headlined a list of 10 individuals who were given a place on the Nepean Sports Wall of Fame in its 2019 class of inductees. As well as swimming at the Olympic Games, Seltenreich-Hodgson made two Commonwealth Games appearances (2014 and 2018, when she won a bronze in the 200m IM), two world championship appearances (2013 and 2017), swam at the Pan Am Games twice (2015, when she won a bronze medal in the 4x200m freestyle relay, and 2019) and was dominant in U Sports, where she swam with the University of British Columbia. Other 2019 inductees to the Nepean Sports Wall of Fame included former NHLers Jamie Baker and Jeff Chychrun, high diver Steven Black, long-time CFLer Jed Tommy, as well as builders Alex Foti, for his work founding and facilitating the growth of the Nepean Hotspurs Soccer Club, Donald Kennedy, for his work with the NHA, Kevin Pigeon, who coached and promoted various sports and was involved with several charities, and Duane Jones, a long-time local swimming coach, and Jim York, who coached the with the Nepean Minor Hockey Asociation and helped found the Ottawa Sooners.

Ottawa tandem make finals at track world championships

Two Ottawa athletes made it to the finals of their events at the IAAF World Athletics Championships held earlier this month. Tim Nedow of the Ottawa Lions came in 9th place in men’s shotput. His furthest throw in the event’s finals was 20.85 metres. He was eliminated after three throws. Former Lion Alicia Brown was part of Canada’ 4x400m relay race team that was disqualified in the finals of their event. Running as Canada’s first leg, Brown helped her team to the 5th best time (3:25.86) in the qualifying heats.

Ottawa short track speedskaters race at home in first Ontario Cup

Kanata’s Bell Sensplex was the first site for provincial level short track speed skaters racing in the Ontario Cup circuit this season and there were 21 Ottawa-area athletes who competed. Accruing the most points among Ottawa skaters was Mathew Freitag (3,666 points), who finished 1st in the 1000m, 3000m, 1500m and 500m of the Open Men C division, Gloucester’s Daria Vogt (3,175 points), who placed 1st in the 500m, 2nd in the 1000m and 1,500m and 4th in the 3000m in the Open Women B division and Gloucester’s Edouard Parent (2,964 points), who finished 2nd in the 1000m and 1500m and 3rd in the 500m and 3000m in the Open Men A division.

Nation’s capital represented on the court and the bench at NORCECA Champion Cup

Maverick Volleyball and Louis-Riel high school volleyball coach Frank St-Denis manned the bench as an assistant coach of Team Canada, which also featured Cumberland-product Kevin Lebreux, at the NORCECA Champion Cup in August. St-Denis and Lebreux’s team finished with a 1-2 overall record, with their lone win coming in a four-set victory over the hosting United States. The tournament took place in Colorado Springs, CO. from Aug. 22-24. Winnipeg was the site of the next Olympic pre-qualifier, which took place in early September, but neither St-Denis or Lebreux were a part of that team.

City tennis champs crowned

The 2019 National Capital Tennis Association city championships were held at the Ottawa Tennis and Lawn Bowling Club and Rideau Sports Centre from Aug. 17-25. Petra Januskova was a triple champion at the event, winning the women’s singles, doubles and mixed doubles competitions. Her partner in mixed doubles, James Ferguson, was also the men’s doubles champion with his partner Iancu Ghinda. Elisabeth Fournier was Januskova pairing in women’s doubles. Marc Abdelnour won the men’s singles tournament.

Ottawa-area athletes compete at world triathlon circuit’s finale

Ottawa’s Jon Dunkerley finished 13th out of 16 para athletes at the 2019 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in Lausanne, Switzerland last month. Dunkerley, who is 38 years old and has competed at two Paralympic Games as a sprinter, has only taken up triathlon in the last few years after he initially decided to step away from athletics. Dunkerley was also crowned Canada’s Paratriathlon national champion earlier this summer. Carp-native Joanna Brown also competed at the final event of the world triathlon series in Switzerland, finishing 34th amongst the world’s best female triathletes. She finished the season at 17 in the ITU World Ranking as well as with a World Triathlon Series Ranking of 11. The number 20 spot she holds in the ITU Individual Olympic Qualification Rankings at the moment would be good enough to qualify her for the 2020 Tokyo Games if the competitors were chosen right now, but selection isn’t until May 11 – at which point she’ll have to hold a ranking of 26 or higher to guarantee that she qualifies.

Ottawa’s soccer stars shine in September

Jonathan David was named one of Canada Soccer’s Players of the Month for September. David was recognized for scoring four times in the month for his Belgium league club KAA Gent as well as for netting a highlight-reel goal in a Canadian victory over Cuba at Toronto’s BMO Field, which was one of two tallies he had in that game. David will play for Canada next on Oct. 15 when Canada takes on the U.S. in a Concacaf Nations League match in Toronto. David was also awarded player of the month honours from Canada Soccer in June.
Ottawa Capital United alumni Vanessa Gilles was on Team Canada’s roster for the squad’s first friendly match since the World Cup, which was a 4-0 loss to Japan on Oct. 6. West Ottawa’s Keera Melenhorst was invited to a Canada Soccer training camp for players of interest for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2020. The camp took place in Markham from Sep. 22-27.

Zakutney comes up short of Olympic berth at gymnastics world championships

Ottawa’s Sam Zakutney was part of Canada’s men’s gymnastics team that finished 17th at the gymnastics world championships, which was eight spots short of securing qualifying bid for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

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