Kamloops hits double-digit medal count at B.C. Winter Games

Kamloops’ athletes captured 11 medals at the B.C. Winter Games on the weekend, helping the Thompson-Okanagan zone team to a third-place finish in the medal standings in Penticton.

The Thompson-Okanagan finished the 28th incarnation of the Games with 92 medals — 25 golds, 22 silvers and 45 bronzes.

Matthew Hanks of the Aberdeen Judo Academy was among the gold medallists in Penticton, capturing gold in under-55kg judo action. Meanwhile, Ben Haughton of the Kamloops Judo Club grabbed bronze in the over-73kg category.

In karate, Gabriel Wilkinson was bronze in advanced kumite for boys over-55kg. He nabbed a second bronze medal in the team kumite as part of a four-person group from the Thompson-Okanagan.

Meanwhile, both Cheyanne and Jayme Fennell won bronze in girls’ team kumite.

Hanneli Ladyman was also a gold medallist at the games, finishing atop the podium as part of a team in the mixed 4x2km cross-country skiing relay. She also captured a bronze medal in the juvenile girls’ individual sprint.

Holly Antifay headlined Kamloops’ speedskaters in Penticton, winning a bronze medal in the under-16 girls’ 500m. She won a second bronze medal in the under-16 mixed 3,000m, skating with fellow Kamloops racer Calvin Forbes.

Owen Robertson was a part of a bronze medal duo in boys’ badminton action, pairing up with Kelowna athlete Joel Comfort to finish on the podium.

Finally, Emily and Cassie Ferguson and Emma Lizzee won bronze in team netball action.

Kamloops was represented by 21 athletes in Penticton. Saskia Speed, Elijah Meixner, Martina Antifay, Brynn Applegath, Ben Jacoby, Rio Shatzko, Luc Dallaire, Finn Storie and Chelsea Lloyd also competed for the Thompson-Okanagan finished off the podium in their respective events.

Clayton Dent and Noa Hooton, both of Heffley Creek, also finished short of the podium.

Along with being the first multi-sport Games for many participating athletes, the BC Winter Games can act as a springboard to the next level of competitive sport.

Fifty-seven per cent of Team BC athletes at the 2015 Canada Winter Games were BC Games alumni, while 18 of Canada’s athletes at the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Russia were alumni of the program.

The 2016 BC Summer Games will be held in Abbotsford in July. The 2018 BC Winter Games will be hosted in Kamloops, while Cowichan Valley will take on the Summer Games that year.

The BC Games Society is currently soliciting host bids for the 2020 and 2022 Games.

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