Canada finally broke its medal drought in Olympic softball Tuesday, battling occasional rain to win the bronze against Mexico in a 3-2 nailbiter in Tokyo.
It’s the first ever Olympic medal for Canada in the sport, which was dropped from the Olympics after the 2008 Games in Beijing. The sport isn’t set to return for future Olympics, making this Canada’s last shot for the podium.
Canada came out of the gate strong Tuesday, scoring two runs in the bottom of the second inning. Mexico quickly answered with a single run at the top of the third before tying it up in the fifth.
Kelsey Harshman later hit a sacrificial pop fly in that same inning, going out while allowing Janet Leung to score the game-winning run.
In 2008, Canada came agonizingly close to advancing to the medal rounds — only to fall to Australia, who advanced to the bronze medal game.
In Tokyo, Canada had already shown Mexico it meant business in the Games opener last week, shutting them out in a 4-0 smackdown.
Canada also made it tough for the top-ranked United States team the day after defeating Mexico, but ultimately fell 1-0. The U.S. will play Japan for the gold medal Tuesday night.
Japan were the ones who blocked Canada from advancing to play for gold, dragging Monday’s game into an overtime eighth inning before scoring a winning run for a 2-1 score.
Canada got its revenge on Australia for that 2008 loss with a 7-1 win on Saturday. It entered Tuesday’s bronze medal game riding high on a 8-1 defeat of Italy on Monday.
More to come…
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