Split screen image of Sarah Douglas steering her sailboat, artistic swimmers performing a lift in the water, two divers in pike positionVincent Curutchet/World Sailing - Antoine Saito
Vincent Curutchet/World Sailing - Antoine Saito

Weekend Roundup: Team Canada divers close to world championship podiums, Douglas successful in Olympic venue test

The World Aquatics Championships are underway in Fukuoka, Japan and the first weekend of competition saw multiple near-podium performances by Team Canada divers while the artistic swimming team showed off their acrobatic skills.

Sarah Douglas had a strong finish to her week at the official Olympic Test Event for sailing in Marseille and Sarah Mitton delivered her best shot put performance of the year just as the competition calendar is about to become intense.

Here’s a quick look back at what else you might have missed:

Diving: Performances to be proud of in Japan 🇯🇵

Though no medals were won by Canadian divers this weekend, their performances show great promise, both for events still to come at the World Aquatics Championships and for future competitions.

The closest to the podium was Pamela Ware, who finished fourth in the women’s 1m springboard on Saturday. After just squeaking into the final as the 12th and final qualifier, she came within 0.65 of the bronze medal with her total score of 284.40 points. Ware had been in third place from the second round of diving through the fourth round before being barely pushed off the podium by Mexico’s Aranza Vazquez Montano in the fifth and final round.

  • Pamela Ware and Mia Vallee stretch to touch their toes during a dive
  • Pamela Ware and Mia Vallee prepare for their next dive atop the 10m platform
  • Pamela Ware performs a twisting dive
  • Pamela Ware waves at the TV camera
  • Caeli McKay and Kate Miller start their dive off the 10m platform
  • Nathan Zsombor-Murray and Kate Miller in pike position as they dive

On Monday, Ware teamed up with Mia Vallée for a fifth-place finish in the women’s 3m synchro event. This was another close finish as they were just 1.77 points away from the bronze medal with their total score of 284.22. A podium result would have qualified Canada Olympic quota spots in the event for Paris 2024, but there will be other opportunities for that down the road. Both women will compete in the individual 3m event later this week.

Kate Miller and Caeli McKay had hopes of qualifying Olympic quota spots in the women’s 10m synchro event after placing fourth in the preliminary round. In the final, they were in sixth place after the first three rounds of diving before dropping down to eighth overall.

In the non-Olympic mixed 10m synchro event, Miller and Nathan Zsombor-Murray finished fifth just a week after learning they would be competing together at the worlds. The diving competition continues at the world championships through this coming Saturday.

Artistic Swimming: Sweet sixth place

It was also a good first few days in Fukuoka for Canadian artistic swimmers. On Monday, Canada placed sixth in the acrobatic final with 205.4900 points. They had the fourth-highest difficulty score in the final, but just needed to be a little more precise with their execution against the top teams in the world. The acrobatic routine will be part of the Olympic team event for the first time at Paris 2024.

Audrey Lamothe placed sixth in the final of the women’s technical solo event. She also qualified for the free solo final on Wednesday with her eight place finish in the preliminary round. Solo artistic swimming is not included on the Olympic program.

Sailing: Good test of Olympic venue

Sarah Douglas finished fifth in the ILCA 6 event at the official Paris 2024 Test Event for sailing in Marseille. Just about a year before the venue will host Olympic competition, Douglas and everyone else got the great chance to experience the conditions they will have to deal with during Paris 2024.

Douglas had an up and down week. Sitting in 17th place after the first day of racing, she went on to record six top-10 finishes during the opening series of races, including one third and two fifth-place results, gradually moving her up the standings. She finished fifth in the medal race that featured only the top-10 boats from the opening series.

“We learned a lot about the venue and how it can keep you on your toes on the water,” said Douglas. “The heat will be a significant factor for Paris 2024, so it was good to be able to run through our cooling strategies here. There are still some kinks for me, the Canadian team and the organizing authority to sort out, but that’s the point of a test event.”

Douglas and the rest of the Canadian team will now take some time to rest and recover before the World Sailing Championships in mid-August.

That time off will be important to the 49erFX crew of Ali ten Hove and Mariah Millen. They were in eighth place before the last opening series race, putting them in a good position to qualify for the medal race. But a knee injury sustained by Millen forced them to forfeit and dropped them to 12th overall.

Athletics: Mitton season heats up

Sarah Mitton threw a season best 19.83m in the women’s shot put at the Harry Jerome Track Classic in Langley, B.C. on Friday. That effort ranks her fourth in the world for the year. It’s the furthest she has tossed since reaching 20.15m last August at the NACAC Championships in the Bahamas.

Meanwhile, Camryn Rogers hit 76.12m in the women’s hammer throw. She has topped the 76-metre mark in all nine of her meets so far this season.

Triathlon: Career best for Mislawchuk at world championships

Tyler Mislawchuk finished ninth at World Triathlon Sprint Championships in Hamburg, Germany. In the first ever world championship race held in super sprint format, Mislawchuk was ninth in his qualifying heat, advancing him directly to the three-stage final.

He won the first final round, finishing the 300m swim, 7.5km bike leg, and 1.75km running leg in 19:43 as the field dropped from 30 down to 20. In the second final round, Mislawchuk was seventh in 19:42. Racing among the top 10 in the third final round, he finished the route in 19:47. The ninth-place finish is his best ever in a world championship race.

Wrestling: Three women’s podiums in Hungary 🇭🇺

It was a three-podium weekend for Canadian women wrestlers at the Polyák Imre & Varga János Memorial in Budapest, Hungary.

Diana Weicker (53kg) and Hannah Taylor (57kg) both won bronze medals in their Olympic program events. The only Canadian to wrestle in a gold medal match was Karla Godinez Gonzalez in the non-Olympic 55kg event. She was defeated on points by American Jacarra Winchester and came away with the silver.

In other Olympic program events, Justina Di Stasio was fifth in 76kg and Olivia Di Bacco was fifth in 68kg.