Canada’s Connaughton 2nd at Osaka event

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Last Updated: Saturday, May 8

Charlottetown’s Jared Connaughton, seen in 2009, finished second in Osaka on Saturday. (Thomas Lohnes/AFP/Getty Images)
Canadian Jared Connaughton earned the most impressive result of his senior athletics career on Saturday in Japan, finishing second in the 200 metres at the Osaka Grand Prix.

The Charlottetown native, who reached the semifinals at the distance in the Beijing Olympics, crossed the line 20.61 seconds. The 24-year-old trailed only Michael Rodgers of the United States, whose time was 20.55.

Two-time world championships medallist Perdita Felicien of Pickering, Ont., finished third in the 100 metre hurdles with a time of 13.03. American Virginia Powell-Crawford ran 12.76 to take the race, with Russia’s Tetyana Dektyareva in second at 12.88.

Two-time Olympic champion Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica won the women’s 100 metres.
Campbell-Brown finished in 11.02 seconds. Japan’s Chisato Fukushima was second with a time of 11.27 while Australia’s Melissa Breen was third in 11.47.

Campbell-Brown, who won gold in the women’s 200 in Beijing and Athens, quickly make up ground to finish comfortably ahead of Fukushima.

“I didn’t get the start I wanted,” Campbell-Brown said. “I didn’t execute the way I wanted but am happy to get the win. It’s always good to come back to Osaka.”

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Hesjedal second in prestigious Amstel Gold race

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Talk of Victoria’s Ryder Hesjedal being moved up from support rider to more of an attacking role because of his success this past season.


VICTORIA — Victoria cyclist Ryder Hesjedal wasn’t expecting to take such a long route to the podium Sunday in the prestigious Amstel Gold race at Valkenburg, Netherlands.

With the Icelandic volcano curtailing flights over northern Europe, he was forced to drive 1,300 kilometres from his Garmin-Transitions team’s base in Girona, Spain, to Valkenburg, located near the Dutch border with Germany.

So a scuttled one-and-a-half-hour hop by plane became a 13-hour car ride.

But it was worth it as Hesjedal placed second in the 257-kilometre race in six hours 22 minutes 56 seconds. He was just two seconds behind winner Philippe Gilbert of Belgium with Enrico Gasparotto of Italy third.

“It’s unbelievable to be second in one of the top races on the calendar,” said Hesjedal, by phone Monday from the Netherlands.

“This is among the top of the classic one-day races and it’s like a dream to be on the podium.”

The silver medal may have been tempered by the fact 13 of the 192 scheduled racers couldn’t make it to the race because of the European no-fly situation — including Lance Armstrong, Fabian Cancellara, Bradley Wiggins, Carlos Sastre and Alejandro Valverde — but you can only race against who is there and there is no diminishing what Hesjedal achieved.

Photograph by: Jerry Lampen, Reuters
The result continued Hesjedal’s steely climb up the pro racing ladder.

In 2008 and 2009 he became only the fourth Canadian to ride in the Tour de France and the first in over a decade. He capped last summer by becoming the first Canadian to win a stage in the Tour of Spain, which with the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia comprise the Grand Tour of pro cycling. It was the first Grand Tour stage victory by a Canadian since Steve Bauer of Fenwick, Ont., in the 1988 Tour de France and followed up a second-place Tour of Spain stage finish by Hesjedal the week before.

Several cycling commentators are predicting Hesjedal to be elevated from support rider to more of an attacking role with the Garmin-Transitions team.

“It takes time to make an impact in pro cycling and things are going well in that regard,” said the 29-year-old Hesjedal.

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Kamloops’ Reed captures 800m silver

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Great way to close out the season! Reed was also third in the last Golden League event of the season a week ago in Brussels.

gary reed face on

SEPTEMBER 12, 2009

British Columbian Gary Reed’s silver-medal finish in the 800-metre race led Canadians at the IAAF World Athletics Final meet in Thessaloniki, Greece Saturday.

Racing before a crowd of 27500, Reed was lying in seventh place with 200 metres to go when he put in his final kick that pushed him past South African Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, the world champion at that distance.

Reed finished in second behind Kenya’s David Lekuta, who claimed gold with a 1:44.85 time.

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Cochrane glides to 1500m silver

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Ryan Cochrane of Victoria, B.C., earned his second medal of the world swimming championships on Sunday with a second-place finish in the men’s 1,500-metre freestyle event.

Cochrane was in and out of the lead during his 14 minute, 41.38 second swim before finally finishing second behind Oussama Mellouli of Tunisia, who finished in 14:37.28.

China’s Sun Yang took the bronze.

“It was unexpected by how, well, frankly how easy it was in the first half. That always feels good,” said Cochrane, who won bronze in the 1,500 at the Beijing Olympics.

“In Beijing last year it was a pretty hard final to make, so I knew it was going to hurt going into the finals and it did,” Cochrane said.

The pain was worth it as Cochrane, who also won bronze in the 800 on Wednesday, secured a third swimming medal for the national team and the country’s ninth medal overall at the event.

Vancouver’s Annamay Pierse earned silver in the women’s 200-metre breaststroke on Friday. Canada also won three diving medals, two in synchronized swimming and a silver in women’s water polo.