By John DeCoste
Wolfville resident David Bambrick has won a bronze medal in his first appearance at the Canada Games.
Bambrick threw the shot put 11.29 metres to claim the third-place spot in the para shot put final for Nova Scotia, less than half a metre behind the second-place finisher, Kevin James Strybosch with Team Ontario. Ken Trudgeon, alson with Team Ontario, claimed the gold with a 14.10 m throw.
Bambrick describes the experience of winning a bronze medal in Para Shot Put as "a wonderful feeling. It's awesome to win a medal for your province. It's definitely the highlight of my track career so far."
On a rainy and challenging day - when, according to coach Steve Wohlmuth, "no one threw a personal best," - Bambrick managed a top throw of 11.29 metres from his four allotted throws, very close to his personal best of 11.33.
All the Nova Scotia competitors "did the best they could under the circumstances," Wohlmuth said. "I'm very proud of all of them, and especially proud of David."
Asked to describe the Canada Games experience, Bambrick said, "it's been just amazing all week. To be able to see all the different athletes together, and to talk with the athletes from other provinces, has been really special."
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Bambrick acknowledged the "great support" he received from his teammates and coaches, not to mention all the long-distance support from home.
"It feels like all Nova Scotia is behind you," he said. Bambrick now moves on to compete in Para discus Friday evening. Asked about his athlete's chances in an event he hasn't been doing for as long as the shot put, Wohlmuth said, "at the end of the day, we'll treat it like any other meet, concentrate on the technical aspects and see what happens."
He added, "we're hoping for a personal best - and you never know, a personal best in that event might be enough to win another medal. It's all about channelling your emotions, and that's what we'll try and do."
Wohlmuth was pleased overall that "all the throwers with connections to our club (Port Williams-based Launchers Athletics) have made it to finals, which is quite an accomplishment for this level."
Bambrick will compete in the para discus at 7 p.m. on Aug. 16.