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Canadian Olympic delegation expects top 16 in Beijing
08:46, August 07, 2008

The Canadian Olympic delegation is expecting to be among the top 16 on medal tally in Beijing, said Sylvie Bernier, Chef de Mission, after the flag-raising ceremony in the Olympic Village here on Wednesday.

"We won't count how many medals we get, we are expecting to be top 16 overall in the medal-count with every delegation," said Bernier.

"Adam van Koeverden, our flag-bearer in the opening ceremony, is our great athlete in Kayak," said Bernier. "The athletes all trained very hard last year and I hope they will have their best performances in Beijing."

"We also have good cyclists, especially in cross-country and mountain-biking. We won a medal in Athens and we are expecting them to do well again."

The delegation has about 620 members, including 332 athletes. Canada first participated at the Olympic Summer Games in 1900 in Paris, and have sent athletes to every edition since then except the boycotted 1980 Moscow Games.

Canada's best Olympic performances have mostly come in athletics and water sports such as rowing, swimming and canoe/kayak. Canada's last athletics gold medal came in 1996 when Donovan Bailey took the men's 100m sprint in a then world record time of 9.84 seconds. Bailey then led the Canadian team to gold in the men's 4x100m relay.

Canada hosted the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, but failed to win a gold medal. It became the only host nation of a summer Games that failed to get a single gold medal.

Mark Rowswell, who is known better by the Chinese people in the name of "Da Shan", also appeared in the ceremony.

"We will be happy if we get dozens of medals, including two or three golds," said Rowswell. "I will do my best to help the Canada delegation, for example, in cultural communication." Enditem


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