LONDON, ENGLAND -- Derek Drouin was fine with flying under the radar, but he says he'll be just fine too now that he's cast himself into prominence by winning a bronze medal in the high jump at the 2012 London Olympics.
Drouin, 22, from the small town of Corunna, Ont., near Sarnia, came into these Games as a relative unknown, a student at Indiana University who had never jumped at a world championship before and nearly didn't make it onto the national team after tearing three knee ligaments in 2011.
But, the 2.29-metre jump that earned him a bronze medal at the Olympic Stadium Tuesday was actually short of his personal best of 2.33, set at an indoor meet before his injury.
In a strange finish, Drouin shared the bronze medal with Great Britain's Robert Grabarz and Qatar's Mutaz Essa Barshim, who managed the same height before making any faults. Three others were successful at that height as well, including Canada's Michael Mason, but they did so on second or third attempts.
Russia's Ivan Ukhov won gold by clearing 2.38, while American Erik Kynard took the silver at 2.33.
"I thought a medal was a realistic possibility," said Drouin, who becomes the first Canadian to earn a medal in the high jump since Greg Joy won silver at the 1976 Games in Montreal. "I had to sit there and wait for Jamie Nieto of the U.S.A. to miss his jump to confirm the bronze medal. That was really hard. It was great to celebrate on the track with the Canadian flag signed by my community ... Their support has been amazing. I can't wait to get my medal (Wednesday) night."
Canada now has 11 medals, including seven bronze, through Day 11.
It was another busy day in track-and-field, which also saw two Ontario athletes reach the final of the women's 100m hurdles, but neither medal. Markham's Phylicia George finished sixth and London's Jessica Zelinka seventh. Pickering's Nikkita Holder had come up short in the semifinals earlier in the day.
Toronto's Sheila Reid failed to advance in the 5000m, while Scarborough's Crystal Emmanuel didn't make it beyond the 200m semifinals.
There was bitter disappointment at Hyde Park Tuesday, as Kingston's Simon Whitfield, Canada's flag-bearer for the opening ceremonies and two-time Olympic medallist, fell just as he was beginning the cycling portion of the triathlon, and had to withdraw. Two other Canadians were also competing, including Oakville's Kyle Jones, who placed 25th.
The Olympics came to an end for the women's basketball team in resounding fashion, losing 91-48 to the United States in the quarter-finals, the farthest Canada has ever reached however.
In cycling Toronto's Joseph Veloce finished fourth in his second race in the men's keirin event, and ended up 13th overall.
Wednesday starts with a bang for Ontario athletes, as Oakville's Adam Van Koeverden takes to the water in search of a fourth Olympic medal in kayaking, in the K1 100m final at 4:30 a.m. ET. Burlington's Mark Oldershaw follows in the canoe, racing the same distance.
In athletics, Perth's Sultana Frizell begins hammer throw qualification, Eganville's Melissa Bishop runs round one of the 800m, Toronto's Aaron Brown has 200m semifinals and London's Damian Warner has the first five events of the decathlon.
Schomberg's Eric Lamaze and Perth's Ian Millar, two of the biggest names in the world of equestrian, finish up the jumping competition at Greenwich Park.
Brian McNair is in London covering the Olympics for the Metroland Media Group