NEWS

Canadians off to fast start through Day 4 at Pan Am Games

07/15/2015 06:29 EDT | Updated 07/15/2016 05:59 EDT
It's still early, but Canada is off to a historic start at the Pan Am Games.

Through four days of competition the host nation has more than doubled four-day medal totals from the 2011 Pan Ams in Guadalajara, Mexico as well as the 1999 Games in Winnipeg, the last time the multi-sport event was held in Canada.

At the conclusion of Day 4 in Toronto on Tuesday, Canada had accumulated a Games-leading 25 gold medals and 64 overall. 

It's unprecedented early success that also comes from some good fortune in the Games schedule, which was front-loaded with events Canada typically does well in.

In 2011, Canada opened the Games with six gold, seven silver, and 17 bronze medals for a total of 30 in the first four days. The Canadians finished the Guadalajara Games with 119 medals.

Host with the most

Performing at a higher level on home soil is nothing new for Canada.

During the 1999 Pan Ams in Winnipeg, Canada had its highest medal total ever of 196. The 64 gold medals is also the highest Canada has produced through a single Games, 47 being the previous high four years earlier in Mar del Plata, Argentina.

Even the four-day medal count from Winnipeg doesn't compare to the hot start Canada has had to this year's competition. In 1999, Canada earned seven gold, six silver and 11 bronze by the conclusion of Day 4.

Canada is hoping to improve on a disappointing fifth-place ranking at the 2011 Pan Ams. Ranked third on the all-time medal list, Canada has never finished better than its second place finish in 1967 — and the team has set a goal of at least tying that result in Toronto.

With 12 days of competition remaining, there are plenty of events for Canada to add to its medal haul. But the Americans, currently second in the gold medal count, are also facing some serious podium opportunities in swimming and track and field.

Canada scored the bulk of its early medals in canoe-kayak, rowing, artistic gymnastics and diving. By the end of Day 5, those events will all be over and Canada is expected to face tougher challenges in the team sports. That said, Canada is anticipating several podium finishes in swimming and track and field, but so are the Americans.

Other gold medal opportunities still exist in badminton with Canada represented in three finals on Day 6, including an all-Canadian gold-medal final between Michelle Li and Rachel Honderich in women's singles.

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