Weekend Roundup: A number of firsts for Team Canada
There were a lot of first-time victories and podiums this weekend for Team Canada’s athletes. Let’s take a look at what happened:
Triathlete Alexis Lepage reached his first career Triathlon World Cup podium over the weekend with a time of 27:55.
The World Cup was a two-day event in Chengdu, China, combining a 500m swim with a 10km bike ride and a 2.5 km run.
It was a photo finish for Lepage, with American Ben Kanute won the silver medal by less than a second. Australia’s Matthew Hauser crossed the finish line first in 27:42.
Jennifer Abel triumphed on the 3m springboard on Sunday in Kazan, Russia. She won her first-ever Diving World Series gold medal.
The Quebec native made five great dives to earn first place. She had a total of 330.60 points, far ahead of the silver and bronze medalists, Chinese divers Shan Lin (303.60) and Yani Chang (302.20).
On Saturday, Vincent Riendeau and Caeli McKay dived to bronze 10m mixed synchro event. They had a total of 312.42 points.
At the first ever World Cup of Curling Grand Final in Beijing, China, Canada won three medals: two gold and one silver.
The men, led by Kevin Koe, won gold late Saturday night with a 5-3 victory over China.
On Sunday, mixed doubles duo Laura Walker and Kirk Muyres fell 8-3 to the strong Norwegian duo of Kristin Skaslien and Magnus Nedregotten.
A few hours later, Team Jennifer Jones rounded off the weekend by grabbing gold in women’s event over Switzerland with a score of 9-6.
There was one more thing for Canada to celebrate: Skip Matt Dunstone was named to the Grand Final All-Stars team.
Canada’s 4x400m mixed relay team set a new Canadian record at the IAAF World Relays.
On Saturday, Austin Cole, Aiyanna-Brigit Stiverne, Zoe Sherar and Philip Osei ran a time of 3:16.78, beating the previous record of 3:23.60.
The next day, the team won the silver medal, running a time of 3:18.15. The U.S. won the gold with 3:16.43, while Kenya finished behind the Canadians with 3:19.43.
The only other Canadian team to reach a final was the women’s 4x400m team of Sage Watson, Madeline Price, Maya Stephens and Alicia Brown. They finished just off the podium in fourth place with a time of 3:28.21.
Olympic gold medallist Penny Oleksiak swam in the second leg of the FINA Champions Swim Series.
She won a total of three medals, bronze in the 50m and 100m butterfly, and gold in the mixed 4x100m freestyle relay.
The winning team consisted of Oleksiak, Justin Ress, Siobhan-Marie O’Connor and Jeremy Desplanches.
Oleksiak also competed in the 100m freestyle race and finished fourth.
After losing their first game at the IIHF World Championship on Friday, Team Canada recovered with a 8-0 win over Great Britain. Anthony Mantha played a big role in this victory with two goals and three assists.
Gaby Dabrowski participated in the final of the Madrid Open doubles tournament with her partner, Yifan Xu. They lost 6-3, 6-1 to Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strýcová.
Dabrowksi and Xu have a history of success. In June 2018, they won the women’s doubles title at the Eastbourne tournament in the United Kingdom.
The duo will be competing together again in the Italian Open this week.
Canada’s women’s rugby sevens team played host this weekend for this stop of the World Series in Langford, BC. The team had the opportunity to qualify for Tokyo 2020, but were eliminated in the quarter-finals by the United States.
They will have to wait until the next tournament (June 15-16) for the chance to qualify for the Olympics.