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Calgary Herald from Calgary, Alberta, Canada • 40

Publication:
Calgary Heraldi
Location:
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Issue Date:
Page:
40
Extracted Article Text (OCR)

CALGARY HERALD Aug. 1,1986 D3 adians lack killer Con instinct in pool News Analysis By Geoff Fraser (Canadian Press) EDINBURGH The Canadian swim team went into the Commonwealth Games convinced it could beat the Australians on neutral ground. It didn't On one side of the ledger, it was a draw 11 gold medals each. On the other side, it was a puzzling loss 25 total medals to the Australians' 33. There were successes and failures.

As Canadian head coach Deryk Snelling said following the swim competition's conclusion Wednesday night, "It was a fair result." Yet it also showed that some Canadian swim- mers were not ready for the Games, others too ready. And nobody had seriously taken into account that England's swimmers could pull off a few surprises on their "home turf." The results also proved the pool is no longer the 1 property of Australia and Canada. England won 22 medals overall, including six gold. New Zealand counted two gold among its six and even Scotland pulled in a pair of silvers and bronze. "All the governments are putting money in, all the staffs have been increased on every national team, so it's a real battle," said Snelling.

But all the money in the world will not guaran- tee pool gold. That rests squarely on the shoulders, arms and legs of each competitor. What money can Kelemen, Jennifer McArton, Jenny Tysdale, Jeff Hirst and Randy Sageman. Synchronized swimming? Another judged discipline in which Canada has the best in the Commonwealth and the world in Carolyn Waldo, Michelle Cameron of Calgary and Sylvie Frechette. However, "ooner or later, other Commonwealth countries wid improve and a battle will ensue.

In the pool, the clock is all-powerful. A swimmer is either the fastest in the Commonwealth on race day or not. In many cases, Canadian entries were not. Mark Tewksbury, Sandy Goss, Victor Davis, Alex Baumann, Donna McGinnis (who rediscovered her stroke after four disappointing days), Allison Higson and Jane Kerr were. Tom Ponting, who set a national record but found out once again that whenever he goes fast, New Zealander Anthony Mosse goes just that bit faster, and Cindy Ounpuu, who had an off meet, weren't.

But, if not for Kerr, there would have been no Canadian medals in the freestyle sprints, male or female. If Canada ever hopes to be the No. 1 swimming country in the Commonwealth, it must improve its freestyle program. The women's backstroke discipline was a flop with no one qualifying for the 100 sprint. Higson showed world-class potential in the training and there is no shortage of these in Canada.

Why Canada showed a lack of depth is puzzling. Perhaps the world championships, to be held in a little more than two weeks' time in Madrid, overshadowed preparations for these Games. "When we come into a Games, we know it's a matter of the top two (teams) fighting to see who's best in the Commonwealth," said Australian swimmer Rob Woodhouse. "They (the Games) are more important to us, as a team, than the worlds or Olympics." Therein lies the crux of the matter. To Australia, the Games are the event.

The elite go to the worlds and Olympics, the team goes to the Commonwealths and swims its best. "We're having to work very hard for success because all the Commonwealth countries have really put a lot of effort into this," said Snelling. "It's not something they do once every four years any more." Canada seems to have lost its killer instinct for the Commonwealth Games. With all its stars and all its preparations, Canada was No. 2 in the pool.

Leave diving out of it. It's a judged sport and Debbie Fuller did herself and the Canadian team proud. So did John Nash, David Bedard, Kathy XIII COMMONWEALTH GAMES SCOTLAND 1986 women's breaststroke discipline and might surprise the East Bloc and American swimmers at Madrid. Baumann will be Baumann at the worlds. He was no surprise here.

In typical businesslike fashion, the man whom the BBC declared the greatest swimmer in the world, destroyed his opposition. Davis had a frustrating meet. He beat Adrian Moorhouse in the sprint breaststroke, but lost to Moorhouse in his specialty over 200 metres. It will be a determined Davis who takes to the pool in Madrid. But who takes over after Baumann and Davis have put their trunks out to dry? This was a Canadian team with very few promising stars, several aging veterans and many who did not show international calibre.

Some strong individual performances, yes, but unless the Commonwealth Games are taken seriously as a team, 1990 will prove a battle for No. 2, not No. 1. create is team depth through quality facilities and World's fastest human is third jf i -y- 1 Goals golden EDINBURGH (CP) A little man and a giant, both of whom refuse to allow their medal hopes to be tarnished by the political boycott that has decimated their sport, lead Canada into the ring today in quest of an unprecedented Canadian medal haul in a depleted boxing competition at the Commonwealth Games. The pint-sized Canadian is Scott Olson, a five-foot-one, 106-pound product of Edmonton.

He is a light-flyweight, a little man living out a boxing dream at the small end of the weight scale. "I love it, I love the sport," he says, taking a break from shadow boxing in a white robe that reaches his feet. The behemoth is Lennox Lewis, an ox of a super-heavyweight from Kitchener, Ont. Lewis, six-foot-four and 205 pounds, is a big man with a big punch, but his coaches admit they have to light a fire under him to convert size and raw talent into aggression. Olson, Lewis and the other Canadian finalists are already assured of at least a silver medal.

Another four of their teammates won bronze Wednesday when they were beaten in their respective semifinals. Only England has placed more boxers in the final with seven. The Canadian and English have had little trouble banging their way through a draw that was slashed to 88 competitors from the 168 originally entered. In 1982, in a vastly stronger field, Canada won just two golds and a bronze. But the Canadians dismiss any suggestion that a gold medal won here would be a hollow victory in the absence of the boycotting Africans.

EDINBURGH (CP) Canadian speedster Atlee Mahorn ran down the fastest man in the t. world Thursday to win the men's 200-metre dash, denying countryman Ben Johnson a sweep in the sprints at the Commonwealth Games. After a scheduled two-day rest, track and field athletes returned to Meadowbank Stadium where a number of the key contests were between teammates. One such showdown failed to "materialze when an ailing tian Coe pulled out of the 800-, metre race, leaving the track open for fellow Englishman Steve Cram. A number of other world-class athletes were absent because 32 of 58 Commomwealth teams are boycotting the Games to protest Britain's refusal to im- pose economic sanctions against South Africa.

Authorities prepared for demonstrations against the government's policy when British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher attends the Games today. Canada, taking four gold medals in athletics last Sunday, added to the track and field haul by winning three gold also from sprinter Angella Issajenko and high-jumper Milt Ottey a silver and three bronze medals. Canadians also picked up a silver and two bronze in shooting and a silver in cycling. With all events completed Thursday and two days left in the Games Canada was still in the hunt for the most gold 1 medals, trailing Australia 36 to 33. England, with 31 gold, was the overall medal leader with 94 to Australia's 91 and Canada's 84.

Johnson, 24, of Toronto, called the fastest man since he humiliated American rival Carl Lewis in Moscow earlier last month, has attracted as much attention as any athlete at these Games, breezing to the 100-metre gold on Sunday. But, in the 200, he had to settle for bronze and was no match for Mahorn. As the 20-year-old from Toronto ran his victory lap clutching a Canadian flag in the chilly, wet stadium, team officials predicted the Jamaican-born Mahorn would soon be the world's best in his event. "He's going to become a dominant world force in the 200, there's no question about it," said Ken Porter, one of Canada's corps of sprint coaches. "He has 100 speed and quar-ter-miler strength," added Bruce Smith, Mahorn's coach.

Johnson, also born in Jamaica, did not appear too distressed by the loss he ran 20.64 seconds to Mahorn's 20.31, a personal best noting it was only his second 200-metre race since September. "I mostly concentrate on the 100," said Johnson, who set the Commonwealth 100-metre record at 9.95 seconds, the second fastest ever, in Moscow. "I just did the 200 to try and get the double in the Commonwealth Games. "Atlee was too strong for me over the last 40." Equally impressive was England's Cram, moving effortlessly to first from last on the back straight to win in 1:43.22, the fastest 800 this year. "I'm sorry that Seb wasn't there," Cram said of his rival and teammate, Coe, who holds the world record of 1:41.73.

An English showdown which did occur produced heartbreak Canadian Press Milt Ottey easily clears bar in this gold medal performance in high jump 1982 Games, survived a downpour to record a Canadian best, winning a silver in the men's 30-kilometre race walk. Kyle McDuffie, a 25-year-old chemist from Saskatoon, earned a bronze in the men's long jump. The medal haul raised Canada's total in track and field to seven gold, five silver and five bronze with two days of competition left at the stadium. Englishman Steve Ovett won the 5,000 metres in 13.24.11. New Zealand's John Walker finished a disappointing fifth.

Paul Williams, 29, of Burnaby, B.C., was fourth, while Paul McCloy, 22, of St. John's, and Rob Lonergan, 26, of Vancouver, who led the race briefly, placed ninth and 10th, better known by her maiden name, Taylor. Ottey, 26, of Toronto, the Commonwealth record holder at 2.33 metres, retained his Games title by jumping 2.30 to defeat Scotland's Geoff Parsons, who was unable to clear higher than 2.28. Ottey, at five-foot-10, and Parsons, six-foot-nine, made for an odd couple in the high jump pit as the only competitors left after 2.14. "I'm ecstatic, very, very happy with my performance," said Ottey, who failed at one attempt to set a Commonwealth record at 2.34.

"He (Parsons) really surprised me." Alain Metellus, 21, of Montreal, picked up the bronze. Race walker Guillaume Leb-lanc of Montreal, third at the for Fatima Whitbread, left weeping disconsolately at trackside after rival Tessa Sanderson heaved the javelin 69.80 metres on her final throw to regain her Commonwealth title. "The gods of sport have been shining on the wrong woman," said a bitter Whitbread, who had a Games best with her first throw and had beaten Sanderson seven straight times since losing under similar cicumstances at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Issajenko, 27, of Toronto, who lost her Games title when she settled for bronze in a photo finish in the 100, exploded off the blocks to run away with the women's 200 in 22.91 seconds. "Mentally, it made up for losing for the 100," said Issajenko, of student keeps matters in perspective Ad23yd WITH FULL OWNERSHIP Western Canada's finest R.V.

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She was an alternate for the relay team at the Los Angeles Olympics. From Edinburgh, she goes on to a meet in London, and then will compete in Europe before returning home in late August, perhaps without a Commonwealth Games medal, but definitely smiling. 11 Canary CENTRE INN By Eric Morse (Special to the Herald) EDINBURGH You don't 1 need a medal to be happy. A smiling Esmie Lawrence of Calgary came off the track at Meadowbank Stadium Thursday after finishing seventh in a field of eight in the women's 200 metre race won by Angela Tay-. lor-Issajenko of Toronto.

"I knew the field was tough and that I had no hope of a medal. "I really wanted to set a per-" sonal best, but the conditions were bad today. "It was really cold and it's hard to warm up for a race. It affected all the times. I did as well as I could have expected under the circumstances." Lawrence, a science student at the University of Calgary who is coached by John Cannon of the Spartans Club, was also in the 100 metre event and will run the second leg of the 4x100 relay on Saturday.

"I had bad luck in the 100 heats. I was in the second heat, which had a following wind factor of 1.8. "The girls in the first heat had a wind factor of 2.4 and their times were just better than ours, so I missed the final. "But I'm looking forward to the 4x100. I'm on the team with Angela Taylor, Angela Phipps and Angela Bailey.

They had to 262-7091 201-4th AeS.VV: CASING NOON TO MIDNIGHT Canada officially apologized Thursday for allegations made last Sunday by track coach Charlie Francis that Commonwealth Games' officials were favoring British sprinters. Jim Daly of Winnipeg, Canadian team manager, issued a written statement to Oliver Dickson, the Games' director of athletics, saying he apologizes on behalf of the Canadian team for "any allegations that would suggest cheating" by Games officials. "Mr. Francis's statements to the press were made in the heat of the moment and some media made more out of his statement then he intended." Daley's statement continued, "I do find it inexcusable to suggest that officials would cheat and this is certainly not the opinion of our team." He said he personally has been most satisfied with the efforts and co-operation of the athletic organization at the Games. BLACKJACK- ROULETTE Esmie Lawrence put an Esmie in to break up the string of Angelas!" How have the Games been? "The atmosphere is really good," said Lawrence.

"The boycott hasn't affected the quality of the track events that much. And Edinburgh is so beautiful, except for the weather. We went to a garden party at Holyrood Palace last night, and I met the Queen, and had a chitchat with Lady Diana. It's really wonderful how they can mingle so freely with everyone. Scotland is great I just wish it was warmer." Lawrence started competing 7 August 1,2,4,5,6,7 Alberta Volleyball Association Royal Canadian Legion 286 Jubilee Calgary United Soccer Association.

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