Weekend Roundup: Medal haul in aquatics, home crowd energy brings wins for beach volleyball and 3×3 basketball
It was a banner weekend for Canadians in multiple sports, with Canadian swimmers adding to their medal haul at the World Aquatics Championships and beach volleyball and 3×3 basketball athletes putting on a show in front of enthusiastic home crowds in Montréal and Edmonton.
Plus, after a long wait, Canada’s Tokyo 2020 4×100 m relay team received their upgraded silver medals at the Canadian Track and Field Championships.
Here’s a look at what you might have missed this weekend:
Swimming: Summer McIntosh successfully defends two world championship titles
Summer McIntosh achieved an impressive double at the World Aquatics 2023 Championships in Fukuoka, Japan. Having been crowned world champion in the 200 m butterfly and 400 m medley in 2022, she repeated the feat, lowering the 400 m medley world record in the process with a time of 4:27.11.
These two world titles bring McIntosh’s career total of World Championship gold medals to four, more than any other Canadian swimmer in history.
The 16-year-old also won two bronze medals in Fukuoka, in the 200 m freestyle and the women’s 4×100 m medley relay with Kylie Masse, Sophie Angus and Maggie Mac Neil. This podium finish earns Canada an Olympic qualification quota for this event at Paris 2024.
McIntosh now has eight career Worlds medals, a haul achieved in just two editions of the Championships.
The bronze medal in the women’s 4×100 m medley relay is Masse’s ninth career World Championship medal, tying Penny Oleksiak‘s record as Canada’s most decorated swimmer of all time at the World Aquatics Championships.
Masse competed in the finals of all backstroke events at these championships, taking fourth in the 100 m and 50 m backstroke, as well as fifth in the 200 m backstroke.
The Canadian swim team won a total of six medals at the 2023 World Aquatic Championships. In addition to McIntosh’s three individual medals and the relay medal, Maggie Mac Neil took silver in the women’s 100 m butterfly, while Joshua Liendo did the same in the men’s 100 m butterfly, setting a Canadian record in the process with a time of 50.35 seconds. The sprint specialist had also qualified for the 50 m freestyle final which, like the men’s 100 m butterfly, took place on Saturday. However, he skipped this final in order to optimize his chances of a podium finish in the butterfly event. A successful gamble.
Other noteworthy performances by Canadian swimmers at the World Aquatics Championships included fourth place for 18-year-old Ilya Kharun in the 200 m butterfly, who also improved the Canadian record for the event with a time of 1:53.82. Ingrid Wilm was fifth in the women’s 100 m backstroke and sixth in the 50 m backstroke.
3×3 Basketball: Canada finishes first at Edmonton women’s series stop
Canada defended home turf, claiming the Edmonton stop of the FIBA 3×3 women’s series for the second-straight year as they defeated China in dramatic come-from-behind fashion in a 16-14 overtime win on Sunday.
In the final, Canada trailed 14-11, but the Plouffe sisters combined for five points to secure the win for Canada. Michelle Plouffe finished the match with 11 points and six rebounds while Katherine Plouffe added five points and eight rebounds. Michelle Plouffe was named MVP of the tournament.
Canada took down Poland, Japan, Chile and the United States on its way to the final. The home team of the Plouffe sisters, Kacie Bosch and Paige Crozon were aided by the enthusiastic home crowd.
Beach Volleyball: Humana-Paredes and Wilkerson secure gold at Elite16 stop in Montréal
Melissa Humana-Paredes and Brandie Wilkerson claimed gold at the Montreal stop of the 2023 FIVB Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Elite 16 on Sunday evening, defeating Betsi Flint and Julia Scoles of the United States in three sets.
The Canadian duo defeated Kristen Nuss and Taryn Kloth of the United States 2-1 in the quarter-finals on Saturday night before facing off against Xue Chen and Xia Xinyi of China in the semi-finals on Sunday morning.
Meeting against the American pair of Flint and Scoles in the final, Humana-Paredes and Wilkerson took the first set 21-15 before Scoles and Flint came back to take the second set. In a close 15-13 battle to claim gold, Wilkerson led the attack with six attack points and a block point as Humana-Paredes added six attack points as well.
Athletics: Olympic silver and national titles
The Canadian Track and Field Championships in Langley, B.C., was the scene of an emotional moment as the men’s 4×100 m relay athletes from the Tokyo 2020 received their silver medals. Initially bronze medallists at the last Olympics, Andre De Grasse, Aaron Brown, Jerome Blake and Brendon Rodney were promoted to silver medallists after the British team was disqualified due to an anti-doping violation by one of its athletes.
The four team-mates faced off in Sunday’s 200 m final as De Grasse claimed the national title in 20.01 seconds, Brown took second place in 20.10 seconds followed in order by Rodney and Blake.
In Friday’s 100 m final, Brown and Rodney took the top two places, while Blake finished fourth behind Bismark Boateng. This was Brown’s sixth career 100 m national title, with a time of 10.08 seconds. Rodney’s semi-final time was 10.00.
Last week’s Diamond League medallist, Marco Arop, won the men’s 800 m with a time of 1:44.64, while in the men’s high jump, Django Lovett took gold with a leap of 2.18 m. Alysha Newman claimed a fifth career Canadian title in the women’s pole vault with a performance of 4.73 m. In the women’s shot put, Sarah Mitton successfully defended her title with a throw of 19.69 m.
Ethan Katzberg (78.63 m) and Camryn Rogers (77.43 m) set Canadian Championship records in the men’s and women’s hammer throw respectively.
Ski Jumping: Loutitt hits podium twice in first summer ski jump competition
There’s no such thing as an off-season in skiing… or almost. Alexandria Loutitt won two bronze medals this weekend at the FIS Ski Jumping Summer Grand Prix in Courchevel, France.
On Saturday, Loutitt took third place with a 112.5 m jump and a 120.5 m jump, earning her a total of 167.1 points and finishing 36.6 points behind the winner.
On Sunday, she jumped 116 m and 125 m for a total of 182.9 points to take third place once again, 48.8 points behind the winner. Abigail Strate finished fourth with a total of 178.8 points.
Golf: Henderson takes home second at Evian Championship
Brooke Henderson finished second at the Amundi Evian Championship, an LGPA Major, in Evian-les-Bains, France, on Sunday. She trailed champion Celine Boutier by six shots.
Henderson finished eight-under after a final-round 70. The 25-year-old of Smiths Falls, Ont. was the defending champion after going 17-under for the tournament in 2022.
Five golfers finished just a single stroke behind Henderson, who shot 276 total for the weekend.
Fencing: Women’s team foil finds success
Canada’s women’s team foil places eighth at the FIE World Fencing Championships, which took place in Milan over the weekend. The team consisted of Yunjia Zhang, Sabrina Fang, Eleanor Harvey and Jessica Guo.
In fencing team events, teams are placed in a direct elimination bracket according to their world ranking. Each team event takes place over two days. At the end of the first day, only the eight unbeaten teams continue on to the second day, at the end of which matches are held for the gold and bronze medals.
Team events for each weapon and gender are included in the Olympic program, but are contested by teams of three athletes instead of four. The countries that obtain the Olympic quotas for Paris 2024 will be determined on the basis of the official FIE senior team ranking, which will take into account the team results from World Cup, World Championship and Continental Championship competitions from April 3, 2023 to April 1, 2024.