Commonwealth Games team preview: Canada
July 1st, 2014 / All
The Commonwealth Games is one of the most prestigious tournaments in all of boxing, and the Canadian team are expected to perform very well in Glasgow.
Seven Canadian boxers have been selected compete in the Games, with each member of the Canadian team looking to compete for medals.
Canada have not won a gold Commonwealth medal since 2002, and will be looking to improve on that in Glasgow.
What: Commonwealth Games
Where: Glasgow, Scotland
When: 23 July – 3 August, 2014
The Tension and the Drama
Canada is one of the most successful countries in women’s boxing, and therefore their expectations for success will be high in Scotland.
Perhaps their best chance for gold is with the 30-year-old Ariane Fortin, who defeated three-time AIBA World Champion Mary Spencer in the selection event for the Canadian squad.
Fortin claimed a silver medal at the Feliks Stamm Memorial Tournament in Warsaw, Poland in April, and travels to Glasgow full of confidence, where she will contest for the gold medal along with England’s AIBA World Champion Savannah Marshall.
Ones to watch in the Commonwealth Games
Pan American Games Champion Mandy Bujold has been a member of the Canadian national squad since 2006, and has competed in many worldwide and continental events during her career.
The Flyweight class (51 kg) boxer is a definite medal contender in her category.
Canada’s most experienced men’s boxer is 27-year-old Custio Clayton, who reached the quarter-final stage at the London 2012 Olympic Games, and competed in the last edition of the Commonwealth Games in India.
The Welterweight class (69 kg) boxer will be hoping his previous big tournament experience will help him live up to his billing as one of the gold medal contenders in his category.
Their Middleweight class (75 kg) hope is Brody Blair, who competed in the last edition of the AIBA World Boxing Championships in Almaty, where he lost to Hungary’s London 2012 Olympic Games quarter-finalist Zoltan Harcsa.
Canada’s Heavyweight class (91 kg) Samir El-Mais is a veteran, and won two international tournaments in 2013.
With his strong recent form and Commonwealth Games experience, he is a fighter who needs to be watched in Glasgow.
Canadian facts in the Commonwealth Games
In addition to the previously mentioned members of Team Canada, the the squad also contains exciting National Champion David Gauthier (60 kg), and AIBA Youth World Championships competitor 19-year-old Artur Biyarslanov (64 kg).
Canada’s history in the event
Canada has an excellent history in the boxing tournaments of the Commonwealth Games, and indeed the very first edition of the Games was held in Hamilton in 1930, where the host country claimed five silver medals in the boxing event.
The 1994 Commonwealth Games was held in Victoria on home soil, where their athletes were able to claim four gold medals in front of packed crowds.
Three-time Olympian Michael Strange won gold in 1994, and successfully defended his title in Kuala Lumpur in 1998.
Canada’s last gold medals were delivered by Jean Pascal and Jason Douglas in Manchester in 2002, and they will be hoping to add their successful medal tally in Glasgow.