Canada’s Lou Marsh award candidates include Olympic champions

Sidney Crosby
1 Comment

Several Sochi Olympic champions are being considered for the Lou Marsh Trophy, awarded to Canada’s Athlete of the Year.

The award is named after the former Toronto Star sports editor and columnist. The Lou Marsh Trophy will be voted on by Canadian sports journalists on Dec. 10.

On Monday, the newspaper highlighted 14 of the athletes being considered:

Alex Bilodeau, Freestyle Skiing — Sochi Olympic moguls champion
Eugenie Bouchard, Tennis — Wimbledon finalist; Australian Open, French Open semifinalist
Jon Cornish, Football — CFL’s Most Outstanding Canadian player; 2013 Lou Marsh winner
Sidney Crosby, Hockey — NHL MVP, leading point scorer; Sochi Olympic champion
Drew Doughty, Hockey — Stanley Cup winner; Sochi Olympic champion
Justine Dufour-Lapointe, Freestyle skiing — Sochi Olympic moguls champion
Kaillie Humphries, Bobsled — Sochi Olympic champion
Mikael Kingsbury, Freestyle Skiing — Sochi Olympic silver medalist
Justin Morneau, Baseball — National League batting champion
Catharine Pendrel, Cycling — World mountain bike champion
Marie-Philip Poulin, Hockey — Sochi Olympic champion, scoring both Canada goals in the final
Milos Raonic, Tennis — Wimbledon semifinalist; ranked No. 8
Marielle Thompson, Freestyle Skiing — Sochi Olympic ski cross champion
Emma-Jayne Wilson, Horse Racing — More than 1,200 wins since 2004

Hockey is Canada’s sport, but Crosby is the only hockey player to win the Lou Marsh Trophy since Mario Lemieux in 1993. Crosby won in 2007 and 2009 (but baseball player Joey Votto won in 2010, the year Crosby scored Canada’s golden goal to win the Vancouver Olympics).

Bouchard and Raonic made Canadian tennis history this season, but neither broke through to win a Grand Slam. And it’s arguable neither has peaked yet.

From 1984 through 2008, every Lou Marsh winner in an Olympic year was an Olympic or Paralympic champion. That helps the cases for several of the listed athletes.

But, arguably the most dominant Canadian at the Sochi Olympics is not on the newspaper’s list of 14.

That’s curler Jennifer Jones, who skipped the first women’s rink to go undefeated through an Olympics, winning all 11 matches en route to the Canadian women’s first gold since 2002.

Jones’ shots for the tournament were graded at an 86 percent success rate, seven percentage points better than the next best skip. The difference between the second-best skip and the ninth-best skip was four percentage points. That gives an indication of Jones’ domination.

A curler has never won the Lou Marsh Trophy.

Carolina Kostner defends herself against possible 4-year-ban

Brigid Kosgei, world record holder, to miss London Marathon

Brigid Kosgei
Getty
0 Comments

World record holder Brigid Kosgei withdrew before Sunday’s London Marathon due to a right hamstring injury that has bothered her for the last month.

“My training has been up and down and not the way I would like to prepare to be in top condition,” was posted on Kosgei’s social media. “We’ve decided it’s best I withdraw from this year’s race and get further treatment on my injuries in order to enter 2023 stronger than ever.”

Kosgei, a 28-year-old Kenyan mother of twins, shattered the world record by 81 seconds at the 2019 Chicago Marathon. She clocked 2:14:04 to smash Brit Paula Radcliffe‘s record from 2003.

Since, Kosgei won the 2020 London Marathon, took silver at the Tokyo Olympics, placed fourth at the 2021 London Marathon and won this past March’s Tokyo Marathon in what was then the third-fastest time in history (2:16:02).

Ethiopian Tigist Assefa moved into the top three by winning the Berlin Marathon last Sunday in 2:15:37.

The London Marathon women’s field includes Kenyan Joyciline Jepkosgei, a winner in New York City (2019) and London (2021), and Yalemzerf Yehualaw, who was the Ethiopian record holder until Assefa won in Berlin.

The men’s field is headlined by Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele, the second-fastest male marathoner in history, and Brit Mo Farah, a four-time Olympic champion on the track.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Dmitriy Balandin, surprise Olympic swimming champion, retires

Dmitriy Balandin
Getty
0 Comments

Dmitriy Balandin, the Kazakh swimmer who pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the 2016 Rio Olympics, retired at age 27.

“Today I would like to announce the end of my sports career,” Balandin said last week, according to Kazakhstan’s Olympic Committee. “I am still inspired. A new phase of my life begins. I have a lot of cool projects in my head that will soon be implemented.”

Balandin reportedly has coaching aspirations.

In 2016, he won the Olympic men’s 200m breaststroke out of lane eight as the last qualifier into the final. He edged American Josh Prenot by seven hundredths of a second and became Kazakhstan’s first Olympic swimming medalist.

He followed that up with 11th- and 17th-place finishes in the breaststrokes in Tokyo last year.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!