Oakville athletes enjoy seven medal, double gold weekend at Pan Am Games


Published November 6, 2023 at 8:30 am

Lee Parkhill of Oakville earned two medals for Canada on the weekend, including a gold in the men's Sunfish event. Photo Nathan Denette Canadian Press

Oakville athletes had a final Pan Am weekend to remember on the water and on the court in Santiago, Chile, earning seven medals – including a pair of golds – in kayak. sailing and squash events.

Simon McTavish was golden with partner Ian Gaudet Saturday in the men’s K2 500m, finishing in a time of 1:30.45 – almost a second ahead of second place.

It was the debut race together for Gaudet and McTavish, a veteran paddler and Tokyo Olympian who competed at the junior level for Australia before switching to his birth country in 2019.

“To go out there and have a good race as our first race together — it’s pretty special,” McTavish said after the winning paddle.

Ian Gaudet and Simon McTavish capture gold in the K2 1.000-metres race

McTavish also teamed up with Nick Mateev, Pierre-Luc Poulin and Laurent Lavigne to earn a bronze in the men’s K4 500. Their time of 1:21.28 was about half a second behind Argentina.

The hardware was part of nine-medal haul for Canadian paddlers on the weekend, which also included gold medals from Katie Vincent and Sloan MacKenzie in the women’s C2 500m, Michelle Russell in the women’s K-1 500m and Alix Plomteux and Crag Spence in the men’s C-2 500m.

Oakville sailors also excelled in Santiago, taking three Pan Am medals over the weekend, including a gold by Lee Parkhill in the men’s Sunfish final.

Parkhill, who earned a bronze medal in the Laser event at the Toronto Pan Am Gemes in 2015 and made his Olympic debut in Rio the following year, won three of the 13 Sunfish races in Santiago and finished second in two others, adding an all-important third place finish in the medal race.

Parkhill also came home with a bronze medal in Laser at these Pan Am Games.

Will Jones is also bringing back a Pan Am Games medal in sailing after he and Justin Barnes of Pickering finished third in the men’s Skiff (also known as the 49er FX), also securing an Olympic spot for Canada at Paris 2024 in the process. They had been in third place heading into the medal race and locked up that position by finishing third in Friday’s final race.

George Crowne of Oakville is returning home with medals from the squash court after teaming up with Nicole Bunyan for a silver in mixed doubles and adding a bronze in the men’s team event with David Baillargeon.

In other big news from the final weekend of the Games for Canada, B-Boy Phil Wizard (Phillip Kim) of Vancouver got his golden ticket to next year’s Olympics with an historic gold medal in breaking. The 2022 break dancing world champion will be part of the sport’s Olympic debut in Paris.

Also, world champion hammer thrower Ethan Katzberg put his name on another record with a gold medal in Santiago. Katzberg became the first man to go over 80 metres in the hammer throw at the Pan Am Games with his performance on Saturday, hitting a distance of 80.96 metres. He threw more than three metres farther than silver medallist Daniel Haugh of the United States.

Canada finished third in the medal count with 164 medals, including 46 gold. The USA took top honours with 124 gold medals and 286 total medals, with Brazil second with 204 medals; 66 of them gold.

Katie Vincent of Mississauga, who was crowned Pan Am Games champions in the women’s C-2 500m final with partner Sloan MacKenzie of Halifax, and Kim were Canada’s flag bearers at the Pan Am Games closing ceremonies.


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