Olympic wake-up call: Canada secures emotional bronze medal, new national records – CBC.ca

It was an emotional day in Tokyo on Monday, as Canadians posted national records  — and earned a bronze medal in judo for the first time since the London Olympics in 2012. 


Canada’s Jessica Klimkait, in blue, and Slovenia’s Kaja Kajzer, in white, compete in the judo women’s under-57 kg bronze medal bout during the Tokyo Olympic Games. (Franck Fife/AFP via Getty Images)

It was an emotional day in Tokyo on Monday, as Canadians posted national records and earned a historic bronze medal in judo.

Judoka Jessica Klimkait won the bronze in an explosive performance in the under-57 kilogram event. The reigning world champion from Whitby, Ont., became the first Canadian woman to take home an Olympic medal in judo.

The 24-year-old yearned for a chance in the gold-medal contest. CBC Sports’s Devin Heroux recounts Klimkait’s dominance on the mat against Kaja Kajzer of Slovenia and how she came back after a tough semifinal loss. 

On the men’s side, Canadian Arthur Margelidon succeeded in the repechage to move into the bronze-medal match, but lost to Tsogtbaatar Tsend-Ochir of Mongolia.

The opportunity came five years after Margelidon’s hopes were dashed in Rio. The 27-year-old was to make his Olympic debut with Team Canada in 2016, but broke his arm and couldn’t compete.

Here’s some more of what you might have missed in Tokyo on Monday.

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New Canadian records

The day started as a golden one in the pool: Maggie Mac Neil won the first gold medal for Canada at these Games. Three of four medals won by Canada have been in aquatics.

WATCH | Maggie Mac Neil on her gold medal win and her family’s reaction:

adrienne maggie

Mac Neil, who won the women’s 100-metre butterfly at the Tokyo Olympics, speaks with The National’s Adrienne Arsenault. 1:29

The 21-year-old from London, Ont., squinted without her glasses to read the times across the pool and was in shock to see her name in first place.

A golden GIF for a golden reaction.

We had to do it 🇨🇦🥇@mags_swims26 #Tokyo2020 pic.twitter.com/CApzxntVDh


Fourteen-year-old Summer McIntosh of Toronto finished fourth in the women’s 400-metre freestyle race in her Olympic debut. The teen set a new Canadian record time of four minutes, 2.42 seconds.

A national record was set on the men’s side too — the Canadian men’s 4×100 metre freestyle earned a fourth-place finish and swam a speedy 3:10.82.

Three-time Olympian and 37-year-old Brent Hayden led the way for the Canadian team, which also includes Joshua Liendo Edwards, Yuri Kisil, and Markus Thormeyer. 

13-year-olds get skateboarding gold, silver

Teen skateboarders swept the podium in the women’s street skateboarding competition. 

Thirteen-year-old Momiji Nishiya of Japan won the first-ever gold. And Brazil’s Rayssa Leal — also just 13 — got silver. 

Japan’s Funa Nakayama, 18, won bronze. The country has captured three of six available medals in men’s and women’s skateboarding so far, including the men’s street gold. 


Brazil’s Rayssa Leal, silver, Japan’s Momiji Nishiya, gold, and Japan’s Funa Nakayama, bronze, pose during the medal ceremony of the skateboarding women’s street final in Tokyo. (Jeff Pachoud/AFP via Getty Images)

Meanwhile Canadian Annie Guglia finished in 19th place. Even being in Tokyo was a surprise for Guglia, who only recently found out she would get the chance to compete due to an injury to another skater.

Flag-bearers get start in basketball, rugby sevens

Canada’s women’s basketball team is on the medal hunt, but was narrowly defeated by Serbia in their opening match at the Tokyo Olympic Games.


Miranda Ayim of Team Canada drives to the basket against Serbia during the second half of the women’s preliminary round Group A game. ( Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The Canadians were behind after the first half, and despite making moves to tie the game, lost 72-68.

One half of the Canadian flag-bearing duo, Miranda Ayim of London, Ont., was battling on the court, where Kia Nurse of Hamilton, Ont., earned 16 points.

The other flag-bearer, Nathan Hirayama of Richmond, B.C., got in on the Tokyo action in men’s rugby sevens.

The Canadian team made its Olympic debut on Monday but faltered against Great Britain, losing 24-0. 

They later put up a fight against reigning Olympic champions Fiji, but remained winless after a 28-14 match. 

Men’s triathlon

Norway won its first Olympic medal of the Games, with Kristian Blummenfelt earning gold in men’s triathlon. He crossed the finish line in a time of 1:45:04.

Just behind him, Alex Yee of Great Britain grabbed the silver, and Hayden Wilde of New Zealand captured the bronze. 


Kristian Blummenfelt of Team Norway celebrates after crossing the line to win the men’s individual triathlon. (Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Athletes had to restart the race after a boat was seen blocking the start line of the swimming leg, and reversing as competitors dove into the water. 

CBC Sports’s Jamie Strashin has details on the exhausting race and the disappointment of Oak Bluff, Man.’s Tyler Mislawchuk. He finished 15th. Fellow Canadian Matthew Sharpe finished 49th.