RIO DE JANEIRO — Rosie MacLennan etched her name in Canadian Olympic history on Friday.
MacLennan delivered an impressive mix of flips, twists and jumps in her final routine to repeat as women’s individual trampoline Olympic champion, becoming the first Canadian summer athlete to successfully defend an individual Olympic title.
“It feels incredible,” said MacLennan, who also won at the 2012 London Games. “I don’t know how it compares but it’s just absolutely amazing.”
MacLennan, from King City, Ont., just outside Toronto, had her trip to Rio in doubt after a pair of head injuries left her concussed. She battled headaches, vision issues and occasionally mixed up her words at times, a dangerous place to be when you’re jumping 25 feet high in the air and the trampoline looks more like a postage stamp than a large mat.
“In some ways it was really tough,” MacLennan said of the comeback. “But it was also a reminder of how much I really did love the sport. Because if I didn’t, I would have given up.”
Reigning world champion Li Dan of China followed with a score of 55.885, taking bronze when Tatsiana Piatrenia of Belarus settled for fifth with the final routine. That result gave Britain’s Bryony Page (56.040) the silver and MacLennan her second Olympic title.
MacLennan’s gold wasn’t the only medal Canada won on Friday, with rowers Lindsay Jennerich and Patricia Obee relying on their powerful finishing kick for a silver medal in the women’s lightweight double sculls.
Trailing by nearly three seconds at the halfway mark, the Victoria duo closed the gap to 1.63 seconds heading into the final 500 metres.
“If we couldn’t do anything until the last 250, our last 250 is so strong I knew that we were going to get a bronze, at least,” said Obee. “The aura in the boat felt like we’re charging and it could be gold, it could be anything.”
They finished in seven minutes 5.88 seconds at Lagoa Stadium, just behind Ilse Paulis and Maaike Head of the Netherlands, who won gold in 7:04.73. China’s Huang Wenyi and Pan Feihong were third in 7:06.49.
In Friday’s early race, Carling Zeeman of Cambridge, Ont., finished fourth in her women’s single sculls semi, just missing out on a spot in the final. She will race in Saturday’s consolation race.
Canada’s women’s eight will take part in Saturday’s final.
Also, Mandy Bujold of Kitchener, Ont., won by unanimous decision in her preliminary 51-kilogram bout against Yodgoroy Mirzaeva of Uzbekistan. It was Bujold’s first-ever Olympic fight.
The 29-year-old had hoped to compete at the London Games when women’s boxing made its Olympic debut in 2012.
Canada’s men’s field hockey team ended their winless streak in Rio, concluding Olympic pool play on Friday with a 2-2 tie against India.
Team captain Scott Tupper of Vancouver scored twice for Canada, while Akashdeep Singh and Ramandeep Singh had goals for India.
Miranda Ayim of London, Ont., scored eight to lead Canada’s women in a 81-51 loss to the United States.
The Canadian Press
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