SINGAPORE — Canada is on the board at the Youth Olympic Games after winning five medals in a span of 45 minutes Monday.
Swimmer Rachel Nicol of Lethbridge and wrestler Dori Yeats of Montreal each won gold while swimmer Jeremy Bagshaw of Victoria, fencer Alexandre Lyssov of Richmond Hill, Ont., and taekwondo athlete Melanie Phan of Port Coquitlam, B.C., all captured bronze medals.
Canada was shut out of the medals on its first day of competition Sunday.
Nicol finished first in the women’s 50-metre breaststroke in a personal best time of 32.06 seconds. Martina Carraro of Italy was second in 32.44 and Ana de Pino Rodrigues of Portugal was third in 32.49.
“It feels great to get the gold,” said Nicol 17, whose father Chris was a member of the Scottish swimming team. “I wasn’t sure what kind of results to expect here but after doing so well in the prelims and semis I was feeling more pressure. But it was a tough year of training and it really paid off in the end.”
The Youth Olympics are for athletes 14-18. Some 3,000 athletes are competing in the same sports program that is set for the 2012 London Games. Canada has sent a 60-member team to the event.
In the men’s 200 freestyle, Andrey Ushakov of Russia took the gold in 1:49.81. Cristian Quintero of Venezuela was second in 1:49.98 and Bagshaw, who carried the Canadian flag at Saturday’s opening ceremony, beat out compatriot Chad Bobrosky of Calgary for the bronze in 1:50.67.
Bobrosky collected his third fourth place finish in two days in 1:50.86.
“It was a really exciting race,” said Bagshaw, a Singapore native who was cheered on by several family members. “I went out very fast in the first 50 metres and paid for it in the end. But my strategy was to stay as close to the leaders as possible. With the medal, the flag-bearer duties and my family here these have been special Games for me.”
Canada was fourth in the women’s 4×100 medley relay with Nicol, Lindsay Delmar of Calgary, Lauren Earp of Toronto and Tera Van Beilen of Oakville, Ont., missing the bronze by 0.08 seconds. Delmar was also seventh in the women’s 200 butterfly.
Yeats defeated Jinju Moon of South Korea 4-0 to take gold in the women’s 70-kilogram category. Yeats cruised through the competition, giving up just one point in four bouts. The championship match lasted just 40 seconds.
“It sounds good,” she said of the title of Youth Olympic champion. “I’m very proud to be Canadian right now. Now I’m just going to keep training, train harder and keep trying to win.”
Lyssov was trailing South Korean opponent Byeong Hun Na by several points in the second period of the bronze medal match epee match before coming back and earning a 15-13 win.
“I just wanted that medal so much, the first Olympic fencing medal for Canada,” Lyssov said.
Phan took the bronze in the 49-kilogram category.
“I’m very happy with my result,” she said. “But I know I can do better.”