Day 7 in London
Dylan Armstrong, arguably Canada's best hope for a track and field medal, goes for gold today in shot put. The six-foot-four 345 pound giant from Kamloops, B-C missed a medal in Beijing by one centimetre and begins the Olympic competition ranked seventh in the world.
Armstong advanced to the finals after making the top 12. The finals are at 3:30 p.m.
The women's heptatlon begins with the first five of the eight events. Jessica Zelinka of Calgary set a Canadian record at the national trials and is seeded fourth in London. She was fifth in the heptathlon in Beijing. Brianne Theisen of Humbolt, Saskatchewan also competes today in hurdles, high jump, shot put and the 200-metres.
Canada has 45 track and field athletes in London, and only seven are Olympic veterans. In 2008, Canada won a single medal in track and field -- Priscilla Lopes-Schliep's bronze in 100-metre hurdles. Canada also recorded a pair of fourth place finishes -- Dylan Armstrong in shot put and Gary Reed in the 800-metres.
Four more swimming gold medals today, but only one Canadian is in a final -- Sinead Russel of Burlington, Ontario in the women's 200-backstroke. Canadians are in all four swimming heats, including Ryan Cochrane in the 15-hundred and Victoria Poon of Montreal in the women's 50-metre freestyle. Canada has teams in both the men's and women's 4-by-100 metre medley relays.
Four gold medals today in rowing, including a tough task facing Dave Calder of Victoria and Scott Fransden of Kelowna in the pairs final. New Zealanders Eric Murray and Hamish Bond rule the event, winning a World Cup race in Switzerland this year by seven seconds over their British rivals.
Christine Sinclair and Canada's women's soccer team are in their first-ever final four as they battle Britain today. It won't be easy for the seventh-ranked Canadians. Britain has won all three games so far and has yet to allow a goal. The Canadians have a win and a loss and are coming off a tough 2-2 draw with fourth-ranked Sweden.
Canada needs to beat Brazil in women's basketball today to stay in the playoff chase. The 1-and-2 Canadians are fourth in their six-team pool and the top four teams advance. Brazil are last in the pool at 0-and-3. Canada's final pool game is Friday against Australia.
TRAMPOLINE, CYCLING, SHOOTING
In men's trampoline, Jason Burnett of Toronto will try to add to the silver medal he won in Beijing. In cycling, Monique Sullivan of Calgary rides for a medal in the women's Keirin, in which riders follow a pacing motorcycle at the start of the race. Cory Niefer of Yorkton, Saskatchewan will aim for a medal in men's 50-metre prone rifle in shooting.
Today's tennis semifinals feature some of the top pro players. Top-ranked Roger Federer of Switzerland faces Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina in one semi today while Britain's Andy Murray takes on Novak Djokovic of Serbia. In women's play, Maria Sharapova faces fellow-Russian Maria Kirilenko, and Victoria Azarenka of Belarus meets American Serena Williams.
(The Canadian Press)