Canadian medal hopefuls made their way onto the scene Wednesday at the Tokyo Olympics, and they did not disappoint.
Damian Warner started his quest for an Olympic title in the decathlon in spectacular fashion, dominating two of the top three events in the discipline.
Warner first tied his world record in the 100-meter decathlon by crossing the finish line in 10.12 seconds. He then set an Olympic record in the long jump in the decathlon with a distance of 8.24.
Warner struggled more in the shot put, but leads after three out of 10 events using a total of 2,966 points. Fellow Canadian Pierce LePage follows in second, with 2773 points.
Good canoe positions
Céistes Laurence Vincent-Lapointe and Katie Vincent then sent a strong message to their opponents during the single-seater canoe races over a distance of 200 meters. A first in the history of the Olympic program.
In the third wave, Vincent finished first with a time of 46.391 seconds and qualified for the semi-finals.
Moments later, Vincent-Lapointe quickly took the lead and held on to first place to join her compatriot in the semi-finals. The Québécoise clocked 45.408 seconds, the second fastest in qualifying.
” I’m satisfied. I didn’t know what to expect from my competitors, but I knew I had a really strong wave. I focused on myself. I left with a good start. From the start, I saw that I had taken a step ahead. I tried to stay strong until the end, ”observed Vincent-Lapointe.
The only other woman in contention on Wednesday, Nova Scotian Michelle Russell advanced to the semi-finals in the K1500 meters finishing third in her quarter-final.
On the men’s side, Nicholas Matveev was the only one to reach the semi-finals of his discipline, the K1200 meters. Mark de Jonge was sent off following a third place in the quarter-finals.
In K2 1000 meters, Quebecer Vincent Jourdenais and his colleague from British Columbia Brian Malfesi narrowly missed their qualification towards the semi-finals. The duo rowed the distance in 3: 15.736.
Back on the springboard in the semi-final
Three-time Olympic medalist Meaghan Benfeito qualified for the semi-final in the individual 10-meter, but teammate Celina Toth did not.
Benfeito, 32, bronze medalist in Rio in 2016 in this event, placed 5.
The semi-final will be presented on Thursday morning and the top 12 will meet for the final in the afternoon.
Last week, Benfeito and his teammate Caeli McKay finished close to the podium in the synchro event.