'Toba team finishes 6th

ADAM WAZNY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:48 AM ET

The second week of the 2007 Canada Winter Games ended just as the first week did for Manitoba -- with hockey making an encore performance.

After the boys team netted silver in their first final appearance last week, the girls dropped the gold medal game 6-3 to Ontario yesterday. Not bad, considering this province has never finished higher than third in the event.

"They came in confident and worked hard, I think they have really surprised a lot of provinces here," Manitoba's chef de mission Ted Bigelow said. "The boys told me they were going to win at least a silver, probably about four months ago. The kids, the parents, the coaches -- they weren't surprised at all.

"I think other provinces were certainly shocked with what we did with hockey."

While Manitoba's hockey squads garnered much of the attention, they weren't the only provincial teams that made an impact in the Yukon capital. Bigelow said the future is bright in this province, noting the experience younger athletes received will translate into success down the road.

"Our fencing team and our judo team have been great, and some of these kids will be with us the next time," Bigelow said.

Manitoba finished in sixth overall with 35 medals (four gold, 12 silver, 19 bronze), the same number it picked up at the 2003 winter games. While all Manitobans who picked up hardware deserve mention, outstanding performances include:

- The archery athletes picked up five medals, with Selkirk's Doris Jones striking gold in the individual compound and the team compound (along with Candace McIntosh). Adam Berry shot his way to a silver and bronze in the male events.

- Judo had a strong showing with seven medals. Alyssa Caughy won gold (over-78 kg category). Silver medals went to Cynthia Kelpin (57-63 kg) and Michael Leger (81-90 kg), while Maxim Kharitonov (73-81 kg), Anson Pops (90-100 kg), and Matty Zabrasky (over 100 kg) scored bronze. The male team picked up bronze as well.

- Fencer Gillian Turnbull won Manitoba's other gold in the female epee. Max Stearns and the men's team won silver in the sabre events.

- Speed skaters mounted the podium six times, with Winnipeg's Shayla Heidinger winning silver (long track 1,000-m) and two bronze (LT 100-m and LT team pursuit). Kyle Gendron, 18, earned third place finishes in the LT 3,000-m and the LT 5,000-m.

Quebec led all provinces with 122 medals, including 52 gold. Ontario (112 medals) and Alberta (79) rounded out the top-three finishers.


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