Canadian boxers assure themselves of a six-pack of Commonwealth Games medals - InfoNews

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Canadian boxers assure themselves of a six-pack of Commonwealth Games medals

April 11, 2018 - 11:04 PM

GOLD COAST, Australia - With two days of competition remaining, Canada's boxers have assured themselves of six medals at the Commonwealth Games.

Marie-Jeanne Parent has already earned bronze after her semifinal loss Wednesday. Five other fighters are still alive in the competition, looking to upgrade the colour of their medals.

Montreal's Eric Basran (56 kilograms), Thomas Blumenfeld (64 kilograms) and Harley-David O'Reilly (81 kilograms), Sabrina Aubin of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., (57 kilograms) and Montreal's Tammara Thibeault (75 kilograms) fight their semifinals Friday.

Whatever happens, it's the best Canadian showing at the games since 2002 in Manchester, England, where the team, led by future WBC light-heavyweight champion Jean Pascal, won two gold, two silver and three bronze.

Boxing Canada came to the Gold Coast with high expectations, having put all its top athletes under one roof in Montreal as of April 2017.

"We were expecting that kind of result ... We knew we had a really talented team," said Daniel Trepanier, Boxing Canada's high performance director.

A good pre-tournament camp and favourable draw helped.

"Everything was aligned for us to have good performances, which brought us to six medals," Trepanier added.

Four years in Glasgow, Canada's boxers won three medals: Samir El Mais (gold, 81 kilograms), Ariane Fortin (silver, 75 kilograms) and Mandy Bujold (bronze, 51 kilograms).

Canada failed to win a boxing medal in 2010 in Delhi.

Parent lost a 4-1 decision to England's Sandy Ryan in the 69-kilogram division. The 22-year-old from Quebec City was the last athlete named to the team, called in a little more than a month before the games when Bujold withdrew.

Caroline Veyre of Montreal was stopped by Nigeria's Yetunde Odunga in the 60-kilogram quarterfinal Wednesday.

That left Canada's record at 8-2 at the games.

The 21-year-old Thibeault faces Wales' Lauren Price, a bronze medallist four years ago in Glasgow where she lost a split decision to Canada's Fortin in the semifinals. Price is a former captain of the Wales under-19 soccer team.

Thibeault, champion at the 2017 Continental Championships in the Americas, is coming off a good year.

"She has developed into a really really really good international boxer," said Trepanier. "We're expecting a really good fight (Friday)."

The 33-year-old Aubin will face a partisan crowd when she meets Skye Nicolson. The Australian, a bronze medallist at the 2016 world championships, is following in the footsteps of her late brother Jamie Nicolson, a Barcelona Olympian and Commonwealth Games bronze medallist. Jamie Nicolson and his 10-year-old brother Gavin were killed in a car accident in 1994 on their way to the gym.

O'Reilly, 29, fights Australian-based Samoan Ato Plodzicki-Faogali while Blumenfeld, 20, takes on Ghana's Jessie Lartey, who is competing in his third Commonwealth Games. Basran, 19, meets Northern Ireland's Kurt Walter.

The games boxing competition, along with squash and table tennis, is taking place at Oxenford Studios.

Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter

News from © The Canadian Press, 2018
The Canadian Press

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