Mark Pearson closed out his third Summer Olympic Games in style on Friday.
The 34-year-old from Tsawwassen scored his team-leading third goal of the tournament as Canada battled back to salvage a 3-3 tie with South Africa to conclude play with a 0-4-1 record. The Canadians rallied from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits to earn the point.
The journey to Tokyo was a significant one for Pearson who ruptured his Achilles tendon back in 2019 then had an extra year of recovery time due to COVID-19 postponing the Summer Games in 2020. Although the underdog Canadians didn’t get the results they were hoping for, Pearson showed he is back in world class form, highlighted by a spectacular goal in a loss to Belgium.
“We’re obviously disappointed, but I’m still incredibly proud of our group and some of the moments we did have in this tournament,” said Pearson, who was joined on the Canadian roster by Tsawwassen first-time Olympian Brendan Guraliuk. “There are some great young guys coming through the system — Jamie [Wallace] scored, you saw Fin [Boothroyd] score today — and we’re all hoping the team can keep that positive momentum going forward to the (2023) World Cup.”
In the pool, Tsawwassen’s Markus Thormeyer will close out his second Olympics as a member of the 4x100 medley relay team that will compete in the final at 7:36 p.m. (PDT) tonight. Canada scraped into the last eight by placing fifth in its qualifying heat. Earlier, the 23-year-old just missed out on a medal, placing fourth in the 4x100 freestyle relay.
Staying in the water, North Delta’s Gurpreet Sohi and Hayley McKelvey are back in action tonight in women’s water polo as Canada concludes preliminary play against the Netherlands at 11:30 p.m (PDT). Regardless of the result, the Canadians (1-2) are already assured a berth in Tuesday’s quarter-finals.