Jessica O’Connell of Calgary, Alberta won a silver medal for Canada in the women’s 5000m at the 2017 Universiade in Taipei, Taiwan on Sunday. This would be considered the most significant international accomplishment for O’Connell, who has attended the University of Calgary and West Virginia University.
O’Connell posted a second place time of 15 minutes, 50.96 seconds. Hanna Klein of Germany won the gold medal with a time of 15:45.28. Jessica Judd of Great Britain won the bronze medal with a time of 15:51.19.
O’Connell reached the podium by 4.61 seconds over Louise Small of Great Britain, who finished in fourth place with a time of 15:55.55. For O’Connell, her time of 15:50.96 was 0.24 seconds faster than her time at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro where she struggled in heat one and was unable to qualify for the final.
The silver medal for O’Connell was one of two silver medals won by Team Canada at the 2017 Universiade on Sunday. The other came in mixed diving as Tyler Henschel of Edmonton, Alberta and Celina Toth of St. Thomas, Ontario placed second in mixed team diving. Ukraine’s Oleksandr Gorshkovozov and Anastasiia Nedobiga won the gold medal and Lars Ruediger and Kieu Trang Duong of Germany won the bronze medal.
Team Canada has now won 13 medals at the 2017 Universiade–four gold medals, five silver medals and four bronze medals. They are in 17th place in the medal standings.