Sport Short: Big News for Canadian Women's Soccer

Canadian Soccer Fans: Rejoice!: The Canadian Soccer Association has scored a major victory in being awarded the 2012 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualification Tournament. Head coach Carolina Morace said that playing host will give the Canadian women’s squad the best opportunity to qualify for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The qualifying tournament, whose location in Canada is still to be determined, will likely feature eight teams. It will take place in the first three months of 2012. At the 2008 CONCACAF women’s Olympic qualifier, Canada finished second to the eventual Olympic champion United States in penalty-shot sudden death. Canada drew the powerful U.S. team again in Beijing, but lost by one goal in extra time in the quarter-final. Canada is currently ranked 10th in the world.

In other soccer news, Montreal will join Major League Soccer in 2012 as the third Canadian club. Toronto FC joined in 2007 and the Vancouver Whitecaps will join next year.

Van Koeverden Nabs Two Medals: Adam van Koeverden (Oakville, Ont.), Canada’s 2008 Olympic flag bearer, won two medals over the weekend at a canoe-kayak World Cup. In Vichy, France on Sunday he collected silver in K-1 500 metres, just 0.3 seconds behind the winner. The day before, van Koeverden won bronze in the K-1 1,000 metres. He was the only Canadian paddler at this event. He will train in Sweden for two weeks before racing the second World Cup in Szeged, Hungary.

Canada 5, Italy 1: The Canadian men’s hockey team opened the 2010 World Championships with a 5-1 win over Italy on Saturday. The team’s captain is long-time international veteran Ryan Smyth. Goals on Saturday came from Corey Perry, Rene Bourque, Kris Russell, Matt Duchene and Steven Stamkos. In net was Chris Mason.

Big Day for Connaughton: Jared Connaughton, 2008 Olympian from Charlottetown, turned in his most impressive international result Saturday. He blazed down the track to finish second in the 200 metres at the Osaka Grand Prix. Teammate Perdita Felicien (Pickering, Ont.) was third in the 100-metre hurdles.

Divers in Florida: At the U.S. Grand Prix in Fort Lauderdale, Riley McCormick (Victoria) was eighth in the 10-metre platform event. In synchro action, Montreal sisters Pamela and Carol-Ann Ware finished fourth in 10-metre before finishing 10th in 3-metre. Carol-Ann Ware added another fourth place in the 10-metre platform.

Gymnastics Action in Slovenia, France: Montreal’s Coralie Leblond-Chartrand had an excellent first career World Cup appearance, reaching three apparatus finals in Maribor, Slovenia. She finished sixth on vault, fourth on beam and sixth on floor. Edmonton’s Miranda Meyer was 10th on beam, 12th on floor and 14th on vault in the qualifying round. Over in Corbeil-Essones, France, two Canadians competed against the world’s best rhythmic gymnasts. Mariam Chamilova’s (Maple, Ont.) top finish was 22nd on rope while Vancouver’s Nerissa Mo was 25th on ribbon.