Thibeault's boxing title highlights Canada's 4-gold medal day at Commonwealth Games

·8 min read
Canada's Tammara Thibeault claimed the women’s middleweight boxing title at the 2022 Commonwealth Games at the NEC Arena in Birmingham, England, on Sunday. (Eddie Keogh/Getty Images - image credit)
Canada's Tammara Thibeault claimed the women’s middleweight boxing title at the 2022 Commonwealth Games at the NEC Arena in Birmingham, England, on Sunday. (Eddie Keogh/Getty Images - image credit)

Canada's Tammara Thibeault struck gold in women's middleweight boxing final on Sunday, highlighting the country's 4 gold medal day at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.

The 25-year-old Montreal native defeated Rady Adosinda Gramane of Mozambique by unanimous decision.

Thibeault added to her recent success, following a world championship gold medal at the 2022 IBA Women's World Boxing Championships in Istanbul in May.

"It's more than just the Commonwealth Games, it's been a really long and challenging year, full of great moments ... And I'm just so proud of not only what I've accomplished, but also what my team has accomplished," Thibeault said.

"We've been through some rough patches, and we just keep becoming more and more resilient and we just walk out of these tournaments better than we came in."

WATCH l Tammara Thibeault captures gold medal: 

The Canadian, who was defeated in a quarter-final at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021, improved from a won bronze medal in the same event at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

"These are the big moments. People see these moments. They don't see the small moments in the gym, and that's what makes this happen."

Canada has won 26 gold, 31 silver and 34 bronze for a total of 91 medals at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, which has them third in the standings.

The Games conclude on Monday.

Canadian women claim 4x400m relay gold

The Commonwealth Games women's 4x400m relay final involved an amazing late push by a Canadian athlete, a photo finish, post-race drama and another gold for Canada.

Natassha McDonald, Aiyanna Stiverne and Micha Powell took care of Canada's first three stints, placing the country in third place behind England and Jamaica.

Kyra Constantine then put on a strong final push to place Canada well in front of the last Jamaican runner. The 24-year-old crossed the finish line side-by-side with the English athlete in a photo finish.

Michael Steele/Getty Images
Michael Steele/Getty Images

Initially, the official results had Canada's time of three minutes 25.84 seconds as 0.01 seconds shy of the English athletes, who celebrated their gold medals on track after the announcement.

Moments later, England was disqualified from the event due to a lane violation, which propelled Canada to the gold medal and Jamaica, who had a time of 3:26.93, to silver.

WATCH l Canada's women's 4x400m relay team races to gold: 

"Everybody did their part really well," said Constantine, a Toronto native. "I got the baton in a really good position and all that was left for me to do is to fight, I guess. I'm proud, I'm happy."

Scotland inherited bronze, coming 4.31 seconds behind the Canadians.

The English team protested the decision to no avail.

Canadian beach volleyball duos take gold, silver

Canadians Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes took down Australia in three sets in the women's beach volleyball final, grabbing Canada's 26th gold medal of the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The Canadian duo bounced back from a 24-22 defeat in the opening set, claiming 21-17 and 15-12 wins in the second and third to complete the comeback over Australians Mariafe Artacho del Solar and Taliqua Clancy and strike gold.

Pavan and Humana-Paredes, who also won the tournament in 2018, leave Birmingham undefeated with six wins. Miller Pata and Sherysyn Toko of Vanuatu earned bronze for the country's first medal of the Games.

WATCH l Canada's Pavan, Humana-Paredes capture women's beach volleyball title: 

"To win a second Commonwealth gold medal, it's a great feeling, and it was a much better performance on our side than [Saturday's semifinal]," said Pavan, from Kitchener, Ont. "So, it's nice to end like this. It's nice to walk away with a gold medal for Canada and this has been just an incredible experience."

"Oh my gosh, to be able to defend a title is one of the most challenging things to do," added Toronto's Humana-Paredes.

"This holds a lot of weight because it's been four years since our last one and a lot can change in that, and a lot of teams have improved since then. And so the fact that we can produce another gold-medal performance, it's rare and so it's really special. This holds a lot of meaning."

In the men's beach volleyball gold-medal match, Canada's Sam Schachter and Daniel Dearing finished with a silver medal after falling in three sets (21-17, 17-21, 18-20) to Australia's Chris McHugh and Paul Burnett.

The Canadian duo entered the gold-medal match undefeated after five straight wins.

They cruised to a straight-sets victory in the quarter-finals against Cyprus' Antonios Liotatis and Charalambos Zorbis on Friday, and they booked their spot in the final with a 15-21, 21-13, 15-7 win over twins Javier and Joaquin Bello of England on Saturday.

Schacter also won silver at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia alongside Sam Pedlow.

WATCH l Canada's Schachter, Dearing finish with silver: 

Dunfee takes gold with record-setting performance

Canada's Evan Dunfee won the men's 10-kilometre race walk with a record-setting performance.

The 31-year-old from Richmond, B.C., finished the race in a Games record time of 38 minutes 36.37 seconds while also breaking his own Canadian record and setting a new personal best.

It was 3.35 seconds faster than his previous national record of 38:39.72 set in June 2021 at the Harry Jerome Track Classic.

Dunfee fell behind at the halfway point, but he moved up from fifth place and took the lead in the closing stages. It's his first Commonwealth Games medal in his third appearance.

WATCH l Dunfee tops podium in men's race walk:

"To believe in myself today as much as my friends and family back home believed in me. That was the goal for today, to just come in here and have that same belief as everyone else has in me, and back myself, and that's what I did and I'm thrilled," Dunfee said.

Australia's Declan Tingay won silver with a personal best time of 38:42.33, while India's Sandeep Kumar also set a personal best to claim bronze (38:49.21).

Sunday's race was a huge change for Dunfee, as it was held on the track in Alexander Stadium.

"That was amazing, to come out here, be in the stadium, we've never experienced anything like this as race walkers," he said.

Phil Noble/Reuters
Phil Noble/Reuters

Dunfee's victory comes after a tough season that saw him struggle with a nagging hamstring injury and lack of motivation largely around the elimination of the 50km event, in which he won bronze at both last summer's Tokyo Olympics and the 2019 world championships.

Dunfee had lobbied fiercely to keep the event, but it was eventually scrapped from the world and Olympic programs.

Dunfee finished sixth in the 35km race at the World Athletics Championships last month in Eugene, Ore. He also holds the Canadian record in the 50km event.

Wiens dives to silver in 10m platform

Canadian diver Rylan Wiens won silver in the men's 10-metre platform final later on Sunday after being bumped out of first place on the final dive of the event.

The 20-year-old from Saskatoon amassed 492.80 points over six dives at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre in Birmingham. Wiens was in second place entering the final round, but he momentarily moved into top spot with his best dive of the day — back 2 ½ somersaults 2 ½ twists in the pike position — to earn 97.20 points.

WATCH l Wiens captures diving silver:

Australia's Cassiel Rousseau claimed gold with a spectacular final dive for the dramatic finish.

He pulled off a forward 4½ somersaults in the tuck position to earn 103.60 points in front of the cheering crowd — including a perfect 10 score from one of the seven judges. Rousseau finished with 501.30 points.

England's Matthew Lee (477.00) won the bronze medal with his final dive, bumping Canada's Nathan Zsombor-Murray down to fourth place.

Zsombor-Murray racked up 447.85 points. The 19-year-old from Pointe-Claire, Que., won silver alongside Wiens in the synchronized 10m platform final on Friday.

Fellow Canadian Benjamin Tessier also had a strong performance on Sunday while finishing fifth out of the 12 divers with 440.30 points.

Vallée wins bronze in 3m springboard

Canada's Mia Vallée won bronze in the women's three-metre springboard final with 329.25 points over five dives — her third medal of these Games.

The 21-year-old from Kirkland, Que., was in second place following her last and best dive of the day, earning 72.00 points. But Australia's Maddison Keeney bumped Malaysia's Nur Dhabitah Sabri out of top spot to claim gold on the final dive of the event, leaving Vallée in third place.

Keeney amassed 348.95 points, while Dhabitah Sabri finished just ahead of Vallée with 330.90.

Fellow Canadian Margo Erlam of Calgary finished fifth with 309.65 points.

Vallée won gold in the women's one-metre springboard final on Friday, and bronze in the women's synchronized three-metre springboard final on Saturday alongside Erlam. Vallée also took silver in the three-metre springboard event at the world championships.

WATCH l Mia Vallée dives to bronze:

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