Canada enjoyed its most successful day at the 19th Commonwealth Games on Wednesday -- winning a silver and four bronze medals to bring its overall medal count to 12.
Cyclist Tara Whitten led the way with two bronze medals on Day 3 in Delhi. The Edmonton native secured her first medal of the Games with a third-place finish in the 25-km points race and later added another bronze by teaming up with Calgary's Monique Sullivan in the team sprint.
The Canadian Greco-Wrestling team also added a pair of medals as Jack Bond won silver and Promise Mwenga earned the bronze. Canada's other medal came in the pool as Julia Wilkinson won the bronze in the women's 100-metre backstroke.
Whitten was the story of the day for Canada, though. The 30-year-old, who began competitive cycling just three years ago, finished third in a pair of races that were only 15 minutes apart. She started the day off with a bronze in the 25-km points race, which is a battle of endurance where riders sprint every kilometre with points awarded to the top four riders to cross the finish line.
Whitten overcame a false start to earn 36 points in the velodrome. Australia's Megan Dunn won the gold with 45 points while Lauren Ellis of New Zealand took silver with 40.
Whitten then teamed up with Sullivan to defeat a team from host India for bronze in the team sprint final. Australia's Kaarle McCulloch and Anna Meares won gold while Scotland's Jenny Davis and Charline Joiner took silver.
"First of all, I want to congratulate Tara," Sullivan said following the medal presentations. "Two races in two hours is difficult, let alone when the the team event was only 15 minutes after the 25km points race."
Wrestlers earn a pair of medals
The Canadian Greco-Wrestlers continued their early success in Delhi. Bond advanced to the final in the 66-kg division with victories over Sri Lanka's Roshan Indik Liyannage and Brett Hawthorne of Wales. Once there he matched up against England's Myroslav Dykun. Bond started off strong but got pinned and was forced to settle for the bronze.
It was an unfortunate end to an otherwise impressive run.
"I came to win gold, so I was disappointed with the last match," Bond said.
Mwenga made an improbable run to the bronze medal match in the 55-kg division. He struggled early in the tournament -- falling behind in his first two matches before pulling out victories to earn a shot at the bronze against Nigeria's Sunday Sanni. Mwenga once again fell behind early in the match but managed to score a crucial three points by lifting Sanni off the floor and carrying him from the ring to secure the victory.
"I made a mistake in the first round and had to keep pushing forward. Once I had the momentum I never let it go," Mwenga said.
The Canadian team sent three Greco-Roman wrestlers to Delhi and now all three have won a medal. Eric Feunekes of Fredericton won bronze on Tuesday in the 96-kg division.
Wilkinson of Stratford, Ont., had a surprise bronze medal for Canada on an otherwise disappointing day for the swim team.
Wilkinson was third in the women's 100-metre backstroke at Dr. S.P.M. Aquatics Complex.
Australian Emily Seebohm won gold with a Commonwealth record of 59.79 seconds, eclipsing world record holder Gemma Spofforth of England by 0.23.
Wilkinson had little time to savour her medal and the Indian sash. She rejoined her teammates immediately after the podium ceremony to swim the second leg of the women's 4 x 200 m freestyle relay.
Canada finished fourth, behind champion Australia, New Zealand and England.Wilkinson said Canada should've had bronze.
"Us getting beaten by those two teams - a big part of that is on me," Wilkinson said.
Canada's men's 4 x 200 m freestyle relay quartet also finished fourth. Victoria's Ryan Cochrane, who won 400-metre freestyle gold on Monday, couldn't lift the team onto the podium on the final leg after Richmond, B.C.'s Brian Johns briefly held second place on the penultimate leg.
"All of us could've been better, that's where we are right now," said Cochrane, the 2008 Beijing 1,500 m freestyle bronze medallist.
"We're definitely moving forward, there were a couple of little mistakes. overall we had decent swims, it didn't add up to a medal but we're pretty friggin close."
Earlier, women's 200 m breaststroke world record holder Annamay Pierse of Edmonton finished a shocking fifth to rival and Commonwealth record holder Leisel Jones of Australia. Pierse, who trains in Vancouver at the University of British Columbia, led the first half of the race until Jones turned it into an Australian sweep.
"It was awful, that's pretty much all I have to say. It was terrible," Pierse said. "It was awful, the whole thing, from the beginning."
Despite Wednesday's overall success it also marks the first day Canada did not earn a gold medal.