Sports

Team NT records best Westerns in two decades


Team NT is celebrating its best performance at a Western Canada Summer Games in two decades.

The territory's athletes won one gold medal and five bronze medals at the Games in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, over the past two weeks – the team's best performance since 1999.

Swimmer Leo Konge contributed half of the medal tally, earning a gold medal and two bronze medals across three butterfly distances.

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In wrestling, Cameron Courtoreille beat Manitoba's Tom Haight to bronze in the male 100-kg category.

At the track, the NWT boys' medley relay team took bronze in a four-team final after Sasketchewan was disqualified under rule 170.7, which governs early or late baton handovers.

Ofira Duru and Monika Kunderlik finished third in the three-team women's doubles tennis tournament to take bronze.

Beyond the medal table, Katie Hart broke three NWT records to place fifth in the javelin contest. Referee Nick Rivet, from Yellowknife, became the first NWT representative to officiate on the soccer field at this level.

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Four years ago, the NWT had returned from Westerns with no medals. Importantly, British Columbia – which led the medal table with 280 podium finishes in 2015 – did not participate this year.

Alfred Moses, the minister whose department oversees the team's preparations, said 167 athletes had taken part. Moses said the results were "a great example of the good that can come" from investing in the territory's sports organizations.

Kam Lake MLA Kieron Testart, recognizing the team's achievements, said Konge had "literally set a gold standard" with his dedication and results.

In 1999, the NWT won one gold, one silver, and one bronze medal, which – under most interpretations of a sports medal table, which prioritize gold and then silver medals over total number of medals won – is considered a better performance than 2019's six-medal tally.

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