5 Team Canada things to watch this weekend: June 30-July 2
The Canada Day long weekend is a perfect time to tune into some of your favourite Canadian athletes who are in action over the coming days!
Canadian track and field athletes will be in action at Diamond League events in Europe and also at home as a World Continental Tour Silver event takes place in Edmonton. Canada’s top trampolinists are taking part in a World Cup in Portugal.
On Saturday, road cycling fans will turn their attention to Bilbao as the 110th Tour de France kicks off in Basque Country. Building on last year’s success, there will be three Canadians competing for the same professional team over the next 23 days as they battle the world’s best in strategy, fighting spirit, and speed.
Canadian rowers have their own date with history at the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta on the Thames in England. Meanwhile, the Canadian women’s basketball team look to take an important step towards qualification for the next Olympic Games.
Here are five sports in which Canadian athletes will be competing against the world’s best in the coming days.
There are two Diamond League meets taking place this weekend. The prestigious athletics circuit will make a stop in Lausanne, Switzerland on Friday, followed by Stockholm, Sweden on Sunday. On Swiss soil, Alysha Newman will compete in the women’s pole vault while Aaron Brown and Andre De Grasse will start in the men’s 200m.
The 200m has been contested three times this season on the Diamond League and Aaron Brown has two bronze medals to his name. He finished on the podium at both of his meets in Doha (May 5) and Florence (June 2) and is currently third in the overall Diamond League rankings which will eventually determine who will compete in the season finals at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon in September. De Grasse is still looking for his first podium of the season on the circuit, having finished sixth in Doha and fifth in Oslo.
The two Canadian sprinters will hit the track again on Sunday in Sweden for their first Diamond League 100m race of the season. De Grasse showed fine form earlier this week, clocking 10.21 seconds to take third place at the Ostrava Golden Spike on Tuesday, equalling his best time of the year.
Other Canadian athletes will be in action at home when a leg of the World Athletics Continental Tour Silver takes place in Edmonton on Sunday. Among the Canadian athletes to watch are shot putter Sarah Mitton, hammer throwers Camryn Rogers and Jillian Weir, pole vaulter Anicka Newell, 800m specialist Marco Arop, and high jumper Django Lovett.
The town of Santarém, on the banks of the Tagus River in Portugal, will host a leg of the FIG Trampoline World Cup this weekend. Canada’s Gabriella Flynn, Sarah Milette, Rachel Tam and Sophiane Méthot will compete in the women’s individual event, while Keegan Soehn, Nathan Shuh, Jérémy Chartier and Rémy Aubin will represent Canada in the men’s individual event.
At the most recent world championships in Sofia, Bulgaria, Chartier achieved Canada’s best result with a fifth-place finish. Rémy Aubin finished eighth.
The competition will also feature synchronized trampoline, an event not on the Olympic program. Méthot and Milette will form a duo on the women’s side, as will Smith and Tam. In the men’s synchronized event, Aubin will team up with Chartier, while Soehn will perform with Shuh.
Qualifying for both events takes place on Saturday, with the finals on Sunday. The eight best athletes or pairs will qualify for the finals, with a maximum of two athletes per country for the individual finals and only one team per country for the synchronized events.
The Tour de France kicks off on Saturday in Bilbao, in the Spanish part of the Basque Country. The three cyclists who represented Canada in men’s road cycling at Tokyo 2020 (Mike Woods, Hugo Houle and Guillaume Boivin) will be in the lineup for the Israel Premier Tech professional team.
Houle fulfilled a longheld dream in 2022 by winning the 16th stage of the Tour between Carcassonne and Foix. He became only the second Canadian man to ever win a stage of cycling’s most prestigious Grand Tour. Houle also finished third in stage 13.
The first three stages in the Basque country, with their more technical courses, are well suited to Houle, while the mountainous fifth and sixth on Wednesday and Thursday should allow Woods to show off his climbing skills.
Houle will be taking part in the Grande Boucle for the fifth time in his career, while Woods will be taking part for the fourth time. This marks Boivin’s third appearance in the Tour de France.
The 2023 Tour de France will run until July 23, with 21 stages totalling 3404 kilometres. As has been the tradition since 1975, the 21st and final stage of the iconic cycling tour will conclude on the Champs-Élysées in Paris.
Nine Canadian crews are taking part in the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta which runs through Sunday in Henley-on-Thames, England. This year’s edition features the largest number of participants in the history of the famous regatta. The regatta, with its 184-year history, takes place on the waters of the River Thames, starting from the magnificent site of Temple Island, a small island in the middle of this iconic waterway.
In keeping with the tradition of this competition, most Canadian crews will not fly the country’s colors, but those of their respective clubs.
The Henley Royal Regatta is distinguished by its single-elimination system, as is usually the case in tournament-style competitions. Teams compete in duels, with the winners of each stage moving on.
Canadian boats have enjoyed success at this major rowing event over the years, with the men’s eight winning the Grand Challenge Cup in 2008 and the women’s eight capturing the Remenham Challenge Cup in 2015.
The open category heats got underway on Wednesday. The quarterfinals take place on Friday, followed by semifinals on Saturday and the finals on Sunday. Here is the list of Canadian entries and their events.
The Canadian women’s basketball team will begin an important step towards Olympic qualification for Paris 2024 this weekend at the FIBA Women’s AmeriCup 2023, to be held in León, Mexico from July 1 to 9.
This tournament is the most important women’s basketball event in the Americas and pits the 10 best teams in the zone against each other. As the United States has already secured its qualification for the next Olympic Games, the team (excluding Team USA) with the best result at this tournament will earn a spot in the FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualification Tournament to be held in February 2024.
The 10 teams are divided into two groups for the round robin portion of the tournament. In Group B, Canada faces Mexico on Sunday at 10:10 p.m. ET, followed by matches against Puerto Rico (Monday at 10:10 p.m. ET), Colombia (Tuesday at 7:40 p.m. ET), and the Dominican Republic (Wednesday at 4:40 p.m. ET). The top four teams from each group will reach the quarterfinals on Friday, July 7. The semifinals take place on Saturday, July 8, followed by the title and third-place finals on Sunday, July 9.
Canada will be aiming for a fourth Women’s AmeriCup title. The country first won the tournament in 1995, then triumphed back-to-back in 2015 and 2017. Team Canada achieved its best FIBA Women’s World Cup result since 1986 last September when it took fourth place. It is currently ranked fifth in the FIBA Women’s World Ranking.