A look at five things to know from Thursday at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

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TOKYO — From Canada's first rowing medal at this year's Olympics to a perfect beach volleyball run, here are five things to know from Thursday at the 2020 Tokyo Games.


Physical effort and heart. That's the combination that earned Canada its first rowing medal at the Tokyo Olympics, according to Caileigh Filmer. The Victoria rower and partner Hillary Janssens of Surrey, B.C., took bronze in the women's pair after a gutsy performance. "The first 1,000 (metres) was about being physical. And the second half was about rowing with our heart," said Filmer. "I'm just proud." It was Canada's first medal in the event since Marnie McBean and Kathleen Heddle won gold at the 1992 Games in Barcelona.


A few Canadians narrowly missing out on a medal Thursday. The women's 200-metre freestyle relay team finished fourth in their final, setting a Canadian record in the process. A medal in the event would have made the 21-year-old Penny Oleksiak Canada's most decorated Olympian of all-time. "We all swam the best we could so that's all you can really ask for. You can't be disappointed with a Canadian record," she said. Canadian judoka Shady El-Nahas lost a bronze-medal match in the men's 100-kilogram division. The 23-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., lost to Jorge Fonseca of Portugal by waza-ari and finished fifth.


The perfect run for the top Canadian duo in women's beach volleyball continued Thursday. Toronto's Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan of Kitchener, Ont., improved to 3-0 with a victory over Switzerland's Joana Heidrich and Anouk Verge-Depre. The Canadians topped Group A without dropping a single set. They advanced to the knockout stage and will face a lucky loser in the round of 16. Later, Heather Bansley of Waterdown, Ont., and Brandie Wilkerson of Toronto finished third in their group at 1-2 following a 2-0 loss to a Brazilian duo.


After suffering a loss in the tournament opener, the Canadian women's basketball team bounced back with an emphatic 74-53 victory over South Korea. Bridget Carleton led the way with 18 points while her Minnesota Lynx teammate Natalie Achonwa added 14. Canada improved to 1-1 after losing 72-68 to Serbia in Game 1. "Any win in the Olympics is something to be celebrated," Achonwa said. "I'm just really proud of our team and the effort and how we came back from a loss that was disappointing for us." The women's rugby sevens team is also sporting a 1-1 record after a pair of matches played Thursday. Canada thumped Brazil 33-0 to open the group stage before dropping a 26-12 contest to Fiji.


A positive COVID-19 test affected two track teams at the Olympics. American pole vaulter Sam Kendricks, one of track's high-profile athletes, pulled out of the Tokyo Games because of a positive result. Australia then put its entire team – 41 athletes and 13 officials – in isolation and subjected it to testing after three athletes reported having casual contact with Kendricks. Hours later, the trio tested negative but remained in isolation while the rest of the team was cleared to return to normal activities. The track field competition is scheduled to open Friday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 29, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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