Canadian cyclist kept her cool

QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 5:20 PM ET

On a long, hot day in Delhi, cyclist Tara Whitten found a novel way to keep her cool.

The 30-year-old Edmontonian won the gold medal in the final road event at the Commonwealth Games, the 29-kilometre individual time trial.

With the temperature reaching 40C Wednesday, Whitten stuffed the back of her jersey with ice to keep cool amid the heat. It worked, as she completed her time trial in a winning time of 38 minutes, 59.3 seconds.

She averaged 44.628 km/h but struggled over the final 10 km.

"I wondered about energy and the heat," Whitten said. "All riders worked hard with ice towels, ice vests and ice chairs to keep our core temperatures down."

New Zealand's Linda Villumsen was 4.85 seconds behind Whitten to take the silver medal. Julia Shaw of England got bronze.

"I knew this course would suit me well," Whitten said. "I'm not so good on technical courses, so straight and fast is ideal for me. I just put my head down and went."

Earlier in the Games, Whitten won bronze medals on the track in the points race, individual pursuit and team sprint with Calgarian Monique Sullivan.

Entering the final day of competition, Canada sat fourth with 75 medals -- 26 gold, 17 silver and 32 bronze.

THUMBS UP FROM WHEELCHAIR RACER

Josh Cassidy of Guelph, Ont., Canada's top male wheelchair racer, made the trip to Delhi worthwhile, winning a bronze medal in the 1500m race.

Cassidy was expected to make the podium and wasn't far from winning gold.

"It was my intention to get away early, which I did," he said.

"My concern was not to burn out at the finish. I was holding out well as we hit the final straight, but the Australian, Kurt Fearnley, made a phenomenal sprint finish and he came past me pulling fellow Aussie Richard Coleman with him."

Fearnley's time was 3:19.86. Coleman had a time of 3:20.90, just 0.24 seconds ahead of Cassidy's 3:21.14.

Cassidy had good things to say about the Games site.

"The accommodation was better than Beijing, the food was great and the facilities were excellent," Cassidy said. "This is to the credit of the organizers -- they suffered major problems with the monsoon affecting the program and this wasn't really profiled in the media buildup to the Games. So, overall, I think they did a great job."

POSITIVE DRUG TEST

A third Commonwealth Games athlete has tested positive for a banned substance.

A female racewalker from the host country is accused of taking a steroid, but it won't affect the medal standings.

Officials announced Wednesday that Rani Yadav of India tested positive for norandrosterone, an anabolic steroid banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency. She was suspended pending a hearing.

Yadav was sixth in the women's 20km walk on Saturday.

Two Nigerian sprinters earlier tested positive for a stimulant. Women's 100-metre gold medallist Oludamola Osayomi and sixth-place 110m men's hurdler Samuel Okon allegedly took methylhexaneamine. Their punishment has not been announced.

"To have three doping cases out of 1,300 tests is not a bad record," Commonwealth Games Federation president Mike Fennell said. "All involved in sports would like to have a zero factor when it comes to doping matters, but we have to live with reality."

Delhi 2010 Organizing Committee secretary general Lalit Bhanot said education and testing of Indian athletes year-round was increased in the lead-up to the Games.

"We have tried our level best, but it is definitely a difficult situation," Bhanot said. "It is unfortunate that an Indian athlete is involved, even though we took precautions."

DIVING FOR MEDALS

The future of Canadian diving appears to be in secure hands with Jennifer Abel of Laval, Que.

Abel, 19, earned her third Games medal Wednesday, taking the silver in women's three-metre springboard.

Sharleen Stratton of Australia won the gold medal with 376.00 points. Abel followed at 338.55 and Jaele Patrick of Australia was third at 326.16.

Abel, an Olympian in 2008, also won gold this week on one-metre and three-metre synchro with Emilie Heymans of St-Lambert, Que.

"I did a great performance, I couldn't ask for much more," Abel said. "I made a mistake on the fourth dive, but I was able to turn the page and finish strong. This was my first Commonwealth Games and I didn't expect to win so many medals. It shows I'm on the right track for the Olympics."

Pamela Ware of Montreal was seventh and Heymans, the world championship silver medallist last year, ninth. Both Ware and Heymans were hit by the injury bug this season.

-- with files from Bob Mackin


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