Weekend Roundup: Men’s volleyball punches ticket to Tokyo 2020
From a Tokyo 2020 qualification, to a first time World Cup victory, Team Canada had an exciting weekend.
We’ve pulled together everything you need to know about the exciting, cool, fun, news-making weekend that was.
Most Exciting Moment
At home in Vancouver, the men’s volleyball team secured Olympic qualification for Tokyo 2020 after a dominant victory over Puerto Rico. Canada defeated Puerto Rico 25-21, 25-15, 25-15.
Earlier in the weekend, the Canadian men took the first game in three straight sets to defeat Mexico. In their second match they rallied back from two sets down to beat Cuba 3-2. Canada was the only undefeated team at the four-country tournament.
First Golden Finish
Mark Hendrickson captured his first-ever World Cup podium finish and victory with gold in the men’s slopestyle event on Saturday at the FIS World Cup in Font Romeu, France.
Hendrickson had an outstanding first run to help him claim the top prize, scoring 86.30 points.
Coolest Shot 😱
At the first-ever ATP Cup in Australia, Canada’s journey ended in the quarterfinals. After an intense match between Denis Shapovalov and Novak Djokovic, Adil Shamasdin and Peter Polanksy played the doubles match, with Shamasdin showing off some slick shots.
So Many Sweet Silvers 🥈
Canadian speed skaters captured eight medals over the weekend at the inaugural ISU Four Continents Short Track Championships in Montréal, Québec.
Steven Dubois won three individual silver medals, in the 1500m, 500m and 1000m events. He stood on the second step of the podium for the final time in the men’s 5000m team relay, alongside Cedrik Blais, Charles Hamelin and Pascal Dion.
On the women’s side, Alyson Charles and Courtney Lee Sarault captured silver and bronze respectively in the women’s 500m. In the 1000m final, Sarault posted a time of 1 minute and 33.014 seconds to take home her second medal of the weekend with silver.
The women’s 3000m relay event, consisting of Charles, Claudia Gagnon, Sarault and Danae Blais finished with silver and a time of 4 minutes and 12.028 seconds.
Canadian fan favourite, Kim Boutin pulled out prior to this weekend’s competition due to a knee injury, but could be seen cheering her teammates on during the championships.
Over on the bobsleigh track, bobsledders, Christine de Bruin and Kristen Bujnowski reached the second step of the podium on Saturday at the IBSF World Cup in La Plagne, France.
Their two runs had a combined time of 2:01.64 to capture the silver, just 0.21 of a second behind the gold medal time.
Women’s Hockey News Makers
The PWHPA’s Dream Gap Tour made a stop in the GTA over the weekend, featuring Olympians such as Marie-Philip Poulin, Natalie Spooner, Sarah Nurse, and many more. Unfortunately the outdoor skills competition was cancelled due to weather, but there were still plenty of games for fans to enjoy.
Saddest News 💔
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Hi everyone, just wanted to give you a little update on my knee rehab after I got injured at the WTA finals in Shenzhen. My rehab is going well, I feel better and stronger every day but after discussing it with my team and following the recommendation of the doctors, the Australian Open is unfortunately too soon in my rehab process and I sadly will not be able to play in it this year. It was a very tough decision to make as I love to play in Melbourne but I have to respect the recuperation plan for my knee and body. I can’t wait to come back to Aus next year xx What’s coming is better than what is gone 🙏🏽 Bianca
Unfortunately, US Open champion and Canada’s female athlete of the year Bianca Andreescu announced over the weekend that she would be withdrawing from the Australian Open to continue rehabbing her knee. Canada still has plenty of players to watch for, including rising stars Shapovalov and Auger-Aliassime.
National Pride in the Next Gen
Over in Switzerland, the first weekend of Lausanne 2020 saw some cool performances from Canada’s figure skaters and mixed curling team.
On Monday morning, the curling team qualified for the playoffs after claiming their fourth straight victory. The team, consisting of Opening Ceremony flag bearer Lauren Rajala, Emily Deschenes, Jaedon Neuert and Nathan Young, had a huge comeback victory against Russia on Friday.
In figure skating, Brooke McIntosh and Brandon Toste placed 4th overall in the pairs figure skating event. The duo had a season’s best score of 96.77 in the free skate. In the men’s singles event, Aleksa Rakic scored a season’s best 134.27 points in the free skate. His total score of 205.23 earned him a 4th place finish.
As the official Lausanne 2020 broadcaster in Canada, CBC/Radio-Canada will provide daily coverage of the Games via the free CBC Gem streaming service as well as cbcsports.ca, radio-canada.ca/sports and the CBC Sports and Radio-Canada Sports apps. News stories, including previews, daily recaps and highlight packages, will also be available on CBC Kids News and MAJ.