Laylor, Beauchemin-Pinard, Liendo add to Canada’s gold tally at Commonwealth Games

BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom –

Maya Laylor’s strategy en route to the top of the Commonwealth Games podium was to be just a bit better than everyone else.

It paid off as the 27-year-old from Toronto captured gold in the 76-kilogram class of women’s weightlifting at the Commonwealth Games on Tuesday.

Her opening lift of 123 kilograms in the clean and jerk was enough to secure gold. She then lifted 128 kilograms for a total of 228 kilograms, both Commonwealth Games records, and 12 kg better than Nigeria’s silver medallist Taiwo Liadi.

“The snatch is a hit or miss, everyone would say so,” Laylor said. “I didn’t have it quite there yet in the snatch, but kept focused for the clean and jerk. I opened at 123, that was a strong lift, and then 128, went for the Commonwealth record, did that . . . I gave it my all today.”

Josh Liendo continued the Canadian swim team’s parade to the medal podium, winning the 100-metre butterfly.

The 19-year-old from Toronto won bronze in the same event at the recent world championships, marking Canada’s first individual world swimming medal for a Canadian man since Ryan Cochrane’s bronze in 2015.

Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard added to Canada’s gold-medal tally by winning the 63-kilogram judo final.

“It’s something to put on my CV, something more,” Beauchemin-Pinard said. “It’s the first time I’ve participated in the Commonwealth Games, and the opening ceremony was so nice to do, so much people and meeting all the (people from other) sports, that was really nice too.”

The 28-year-old from Montreal, who won bronze in the event at last summer’s Tokyo Olympics, beat England’s Gemma Howell in the gold-medal bout.

Francois Gauthier Drapeau of Alma, Que., captured silver in the men’s 81 kg judo final on Tuesday, while Mohab El Nahas, a 26-year-old from Montreal, defeated Asa Weithers of Barbados by ippon to take bronze in the men’s 81 kg.

Canada’s men’s 3×3 basketball team of Alex Johnson, Jordan Jenson Whyte, Bikramjit Gill and Adam Paige beat Scotland 13-12 to win bronze. The 3×3 game is making its Commonwealth debut.

“Glad to be a part of it,” Gill said. “Hopefully we’re taking steps in the right direction, and this will help put us more on the forefront.”

Canada’s Emma Spence captured her third gymnastics bronze medal of the Games, in the women’s balance beam.

The 19-year-old from Cambridge, Ont., also won bronze in the women’s team and all-around finals.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 2, 2022.

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