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Damian Warner captures 3rd Hypo Meeting decathlon title

Rio Olympics Athletics

Canadian decathlete Damian Warner won the Hypo Meeting for the third time in his career as Day 2 of the event wrapped up in Gotzis, Austria on Sunday.


Wheelchair racer Brent Lakatos breaks world record, again


Canadian wheelchair racer Brent Lakatos broke the world record in the 100-metre event twice in a span of three days at the Daniela Jutzeler para-athletics in Arbon, Switzerland. The Dorval, Que., native also established a new mark in the 800m.


Tom Dumoulin wins 100th Giro d'Italia in dramatic fashion

Italy Giro Cycling

Tom Dumoulin won the 100th Giro d'Italia in dramatic fashion Sunday, reclaiming the overall lead in a final-stage individual time trial.


Canadian men complete golden sweep at diving Grand Prix

DIV Pan Am 20150711

Fran├žois Imbeau-Dulac and Peter Thach Mai made it a Canadian golden sweep in the 3-metre synchro events at the FINA Grand Prix diving event in Madrid on Sunday.


More girls hockey needed

A push to grow girls hockey on Vancouver Island is being criticized by some parents, but one advocate says the controversial move is the only way to save the sport from attrition.

The Vancouver Island Amateur Hockey Association has put forward a resolution that would require all girls play on a female-only team. Any girls who want to play on a co-ed team as well would be allowed to do so and would pay a single registration fee for both teams, said Jim Humphrey, the association's president.

For years, the group has turned away dozens of girls who want to play on female-only teams, but can't because there isn't one available, he said.

"The only way the girl's system is going to grow and to improve is having females help to grow the female game," Humphrey said.

"Female hockey is going to die on Vancouver Island if we don't do something."

But the move has been met with resistance from some parents. A thread on the association's Facebook page features several comments from people who say their daughters would rather quit hockey than play on an all-girls team.

Heather Wong isn't part of the Facebook thread, but her daughter played on both all-female and co-ed teams in Nanaimo.

Wong said she doesn't think the association's proposal is a good idea because it alienates girls who play co-ed hockey.

"They're telling them they have to play girls-only. Well, if they wanted to play girls-only, they'd be playing girls-only," she said.

Canadian human rights tribunals have ruled that girls should be allowed to play on boys teams. The Manitoba Human Rights Commission ordered the Manitoba High School Athletics Association to pay two sisters $3,500 each in 2006 after it found they were discriminated against when they weren't allowed to try out for their school's male hockey team.

"Telling a girl in this day and age that you can't play on a mixed team probably isn't the best thing to do," Wong said.

A better way forward could begin with finding out why some girls don't want to play on all-girl teams, she added

Humphrey said he's "at a loss" as to why the resolution is getting push back.

"We're not trying to take anything away from a girl," he said. "We're trying to give more to the girls who want to play boy hockey, but we're also trying to make sure that the girls who want to play hockey, but don't want to play boy hockey, have a place to play."

The issue is a kind of a "chicken and egg problem," said James Nedila, president of an all-girls league called the Vancouver Angels.

"You want to give more girls a place to play, but you don't have a place to play unless you have more girls," he said.

The Vancouver Angels is the only all-girls hockey association in Vancouver.

Ian Fleetwood is spokesman for a group that's trying to create a similar all-girls hockey association in Victoria.

Girls currently playing on all-female teams have to travel all over Vancouver Island and having an association in Victoria would allow them to play more games locally, he said.

The group would attract both girls who have never played hockey and girls who are playing on mixed teams, Fleetwood said.

"We're not going to force girls to come to it, but we think the improved development model and more local games would attract a lot of girls."

In Vancouver, Nedila said the Angels are constantly competing with the larger groups of boys to get ice time and other resources, so they have to go out of their way to show families the benefits of an all-girls team.

His own daughter is almost 14 and she loves the social aspect of playing with other girls.

"When girls play on a boys team, they're usually on their own, the boys don't really know what to do with them. ... They kind of feel isolated and not really part of the team," Nedila said.

"When you walk into a room full of girls, it's very different, a very different atmosphere. All of the sudden, you have somebody you're going to be able to talk to."

Kerber out at French Open

Angelique Kerber has not been playing at all like someone ranked No. 1 this season, and on Sunday she became the first woman seeded No. 1 to lose in the French Open's first round in the professional era.

Kerber, who ended Serena Williams' stay atop the WTA rankings last year, was gone from Roland Garros by lunchtime on Day 1, putting up little resistance while being beaten 6-2, 6-2 by 40th-ranked Ekaterina Makarova of Russia.

"Well," Makarova said when informed of the history made by her victory, "that's unbelievable."

Kerber won the Australian Open and U.S. Open, and was the Wimbledon runner-up, in 2016, surging to the heights of tennis. But this year has been much more of a struggle: The German has a 19-13 record, losing 4 of her past 6 matches.

Her strokes were off all match against Makarova, who has reached two major semifinals, but never been past the fourth round in Paris. Makarova even pointed out that she never before had played a singles match in the tournament's main stadium (she was the 2013 French Open women's doubles champion).

Kerber had only four winners and 12 unforced errors in the first set and didn't even earn a break point until the last game, which Makarova won, anyway. Makarova then raced to a 3-0 lead in the second set.

Kerber showed some signs of getting into the match, smacking a cross-court forehand passing winner, leaning forward and yelling as she took a game to get within 3-1. But that was about it. In the last game, Kerber had seven break points but Makarova fought off each one before holding to win.

"It was really tough. She's a No. 1 and she's a great player and I knew that I have to win it; she's not going to miss it," Makarova said. "I was also fighting with my emotion."

In the preceding match on Court Philippe Chatrier, Petra Kvitova was back competing in a tournament, less than six months after a knife attack at her home.

Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champion, had very little trouble in her return, beating 86th-ranked Julia Boserup of the United States 6-3, 6-2 in 74 minutes.

"I think it doesn't really matter how I played, but I won," Kvitova said. "I won already, before."

Indeed, just being there under a cloud-filled sky at Roland Garros was a victory for Kvitova, who needed surgery on her left hand — the one she holds her racket with — after being stabbed by an intruder in the Czech Republic in late December. She was undecided until late last week whether to even try to play in the French Open.

"It's a pleasure to be here. I'm really glad that we made this decision that I'm going to play here," Kvitova told the crowd during an on-court interview.

Then, addressing her guest box, which included her parents and brother, she said: "Thank you for everything you helped me through (in) this difficult time."

In one other early result of significance, 2015 U.S. Open runner-up Roberta Vinci exited the French Open in the first round for the fourth year in a row. The 31st-seeded Vinci, most famous for ending Williams' hopes of a calendar year Grand Slam by beating her in the semifinals at Flushing Meadows in 2015, lost to Rio Olympics gold medallist Monica Puig 6-3, 3-6, 6-2.

On Sunday, several members of Kvitova's entourage wore black T-shirts with white capital letters on the front that read, "Courage. Belief. Pojd." That last word, which is the Czech equivalent of "Come on!" and was spelled on the shirts with a red heart instead of the "o'', is often yelled by Kvitova to celebrate particularly good shots.

There was quite a bit of that against Boserup, who was making her debut in the French Open's main draw and facing a lefty for the first time.

When it was over, Kvitova dropped her racket near the baseline and removed her blue headband. As she walked to the net for a handshake, her eyes welled with tears.


No. 1 seed Angelique Kerber bounced in 1st round of French Open

Italy Tennis Italian Open

Angelique Kerber is the first women's No. 1 seed to lose in the French Open's first round in the Open era. Kerber lost 6-2, 6-2 to the 40th-ranked Ekaterina Makarova of Russia at Roland Garros on Sunday.


Canada scores 4 more medals at Canoe Sprint World Cup

Germany Canoe World Championships

Canadian paddlers had a successful final day of action at this weekend's Canoe Sprint World Cup in Szeged, Hungary. Laurence Vincent-Lapointe scored Canada's only gold of the weekend, picking up the victory in the women's C1 200 metre event.


Ellie Black wins all-around title at Canadian artistic gymnastics championships

Canada Pan Am Games Womens Artistic Gymnastics

A year after finishing second at the Canadian Championships, Ellie Black is back where she wants to be. The Halifax native regained her senior all-around title on Saturday at the 2017 Canadian Championships in Artistic Gymnastics in Montreal.


Whitecaps miss last-second penalty, fall to visiting United


The Vancouver Whitecaps had the majority of the scoring chances but it was D.C. United who had the only goal for a 1-0 Major League Soccer victory Saturday.


5 things to know ahead of Memorial Cup final between Windsor and Erie


It'll be an all-Ontario Hockey League matchup on Sunday in the Memorial Cup final when the Windsor Spitfires play the Erie Otters.


Capitals to host Leafs in outdoor game at Navy: report


Two people with knowledge of the situation say the Washington Capitals and Toronto Maple Leafs will play an outdoor game at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, next season.


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