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Canada earns four medals, including gold, at University Games

The Canadian Press

7/10/2013 10:12:49 PM

KAZAN, Russia -- Kimberly Hyacinthe earned Canada's first gold at the 2013 World University Games by winning the women's 200 metres final on Wednesday.

The Terrebonne, Que., native finished first with a personal-best time of 22.78 seconds on a four-medal day for Canada.

Ellie Black, a 2012 Olympian from Halifax, collected two medals in women's artistic gymnastics with a silver in the floor final and bronze on the beam.

Canada's fourth medal on the day came in the pool, with the women's 4x100-metre freestyle relay team of Sandrine Mainville of Boucherville, Que., Caroline Lapierre-Lemire of Rouyn-Noranda, Que., Paige Schultz of Toronto and Brittany MacLean of Etobicoke, Ont., capturing bronze.

It was also a strong day for team sports as three Canadian squads booked their ticket for the quarter-finals.

Canada advanced out of pool play in men's soccer, women's water polo and women's basketball.

Hyacinthe, a University of Quebec at Montreal student, became the first Canadian female to win individual gold in athletics at the FISU Games.

"I'm happy to have the first gold medal for Canada and I believe there's more to come," said Hyacinthe. "I think I came off the corner second, so I knew I was good to go because the last stretch is my strength.

"The track is great, the people are great ... it's been more than we could ask for."

Hanna-Maari Latvala of Finland (22.98) and Andreea Luiza Ograzeanu of Romania (23.10) claimed silver and bronze, respectively, while Shai-Anne Davis, of Richmond, B.C., finished just outside the podium in 23.12.

Before Black's performance, Canada's only FISU Games medal in women's artistic gymnastics was a third-place finish by Anita Botnen at the beam 30 years ago in Edmonton. Canadian women had not competed in the sport at the Universiade since 1999.

"It's incredible and I'm so happy," Black. "In my vault final, I didn't medal but that was still the highlight because I've landed one vault I've never competed before. This has been amazing to represent Canada so well. I am so proud and to bring home medals is incredible."

The bronze medal-winning women's relay touched the wall in 3:40.71. Russian took the gold in a Universiade record time of 3:38.15 with the U.S. just 0.45 behind.

"I think the goal of the whole day was to medal," said MacLean, a 2012 Olympian. "It's great to bring home a medal on the first night and get the ball rolling for Team Canada's success at this meet.

"Going into the next few days I think people are excited. We're capable of being up there with the rest of the world and we are going to be a force to reckon with the rest of the week."

In men's soccer, a penalty goal by captain Robbie Murphy of Ottawa in the 59th minute gave Canada a 1-1 draw with powerhouse Brazil. The Canucks (1-0-2) end pool play in second place in their group and face host Russia Friday in the quarters.

Canada had advanced to the playoffs only once in the past in men's soccer at the FISU Games, finishing fourth in 2007 in Bangkok.

In women's water polo, the Canadians (2-1) beat Japan 13-7 to end the preliminary round in second place. They face France Friday in the quarter-finals.

Shae Fournier of Winnipeg, Kelly McKee of Calgary and Alexa Tielmann of Abbotsford, B.C., all registered hat tricks against the Japanese side.

In women's basketball, despite a second loss in three pool matches, this time 72-67 to Taiwan, Canada advanced to the Final Eight thanks to an upset win by Japan over Ukraine. The red and white battles undefeated Australia (3-0) Friday.

Rachelle Coward of Dartmouth, N.S., led the way with 13 points for the Canadians, who were down by as much as 28 in the third quarter before mounting a furious comeback.

Jay Triano's men's basketball squad was also victorious on Wednesday, moving to 3-0 thanks to a come-from-behind 92-83 victory over Australia. Canada can clinch a spot in the quarter-finals Thursday against the Czech Republic.

Brady Heslip of Burlington, Ont., was the top scorer for the third consecutive match with 18 points.

Meanwhile, Canada lost in women's volleyball, a straight-setter against Brazil, and in men's water polo, 13-4 to Hungary.

The Canadian women had already clinched their spot in the volleyball quarter-finals on Tuesday. They will open the Round of 8 Friday against Thailand.

In beach volleyball, Canada continued to impress in both women's and men's.

The undefeated duo of Melissa Humana-Paredes of Toronto and Taylor Pischke of Winnipeg beat Germany to advance to the quarters, where they play a team from Poland Thursday.

On the men's side, Grant O'Gorman of Toronto and Samuel Pedlow of Barrie, Ont., dropped their final preliminary match 2-0 to Germany but rebounded with a 2-0 win over France in their first playoff contest. They will resume play in the Round of 16 on Thursday.