5 Team Canada sports to watch this weekend: August 4-6
Canadian athletes are up against the best in the world this weekend, with the World Cycling, Sport Climbing and Archery Championships taking place. Scottish soil plays host to the inaugural UCI World Championships, bringing together 13 World Championships from different cycling disciplines in a single event, including the Olympic disciplines of track cycling, road cycling, BMX and mountain biking. Sport climbing athletes will compete in Bern, Switzerland, while archery athletes are in Berlin. The German city also plays host to the World Cup Diving Super Final, in which the Canadian diving team will take part just a few weeks after the World Aquatics Championships.
Here are five sports to watch this weekend.
Track cycling action at the UCI World Championships continues until August 9.
Tokyo 2020 medallists Kelsey Mitchell, gold medallist in the women’s individual sprint, and Lauriane Genest, bronze medallist in the women’s keirin, both take part in the keirin on Sunday and the individual sprint on Wednesday. On Thursday, in the first session of finals, they teamed up with Sarah Orban in the team sprint, where they finished eighth in the women’s event. Orban will also take part in the individual sprint.
Seventh in the individual pursuit on Thursday, Maggie Coles-Lyster is one to watch in the women’s omnium on Wednesday, an event in which she finished fourth last year. Meanwhile, she’ll take part in the scratch race on Friday and the Madison on Monday. Coles-Lyster will also team up with Ariane Bonhomme, Erin Attwell and Sarah Van Dam for the team pursuit on Saturday.
In the endurance events, Dylan Bibic attempted to defend the scratch race World Champion title he won in October 2022 on Thursday. At the Olympic Games, the scratch race is one of four races in the omnium, a one-day combined event that also includes the elimination, tempo and points races. Bibic will also take part in the men’s omnium on Sunday, the elimination race on Monday and the Madison on Tuesday, in addition to teaming up with Mathias Guillemette, Michael Foley and Derek Gee for the team pursuit. Now a professional road cyclist, Gee, who competed at Tokyo 2020 in track cycling, could take part in the final of this event on Saturday, while he is also in contention for the men’s road race on Sunday.
In the road cycling events of the UCI Championships, the men’s road race will take place on Sunday, while the women’s race will be held at the very end of the World Championships on Sunday, August 13.
A few weeks after concluding the Tour de France, Olympians Hugo Houle and Guillaume Boivin will be on the starting line for the men’s race, as will Derek Gee, who made a name for himself in his first season on the professional circuit by racking up four second-place stage finishes at the Giro d’Italia last May. He was also awarded the Prix de la combativité at the end of the 21 stages.
The other Canadians who will be on their bikes for the road race are: Pierre-André Côté, Charles-Étienne Chrétien, Ben Perry and Nickolas Zukowsky.
This race will have an impact on qualification quotas for Paris 2024, as the top two National Olympic Committees in this race who do not qualify under the UCI Road Cycling World Ranking by Nations on October 17, 2023 will each earn a quota spot.
The other road cycling events will take place later next week. The women’s and men’s time trials are scheduled for Thursday and Friday respectively. On Sunday, the women’s road race will see Sarah Van Dam and Maggie Coles-Lyster back in action, as they swap the velodrome track for the road.
The IFSC Climbing World Championships are taking place in Bern, Switzerland, and Olympic qualification quota places are at stake, with three places available for each gender in the combined bouldering and difficulty events, and two places per gender in the speed event.
Veteran Canadian team member Sean McColl has made history in his sport, becoming the first male athlete to compete in nine World Championships. Sport climbing made its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020, where Canada was represented by McColl and Alannah Yip, who is making her fourth World Championship appearance.
Canada’s Yip, Babette Roy, Becca Frangos and Indiana Chapman will be competing in the women’s boulder and lead events, while Madison Richard will be in the bouldering event only. Erica Velev will be competing in the women’s speed event.
On the men’s side, in addition to McColl, Canada has two brother duos who will combine participation in the boulder and lead events: Guy and Kindar McNamee and Oscar and Victor Baudrand. Dylan Le, Ethan Pitcher and Michael Finn-Henry will be the Canadians in action in the speed event.
The World Archery Championships are taking place in Berlin, Germany, until August 6.
In recurve events, the bow used for Olympic events, Eric Peters reached the quarter-finals of the men’s tournament and is assured of a top-eight finish. He will compete next on Sunday. Crispin Duenas reached the third round to finish 17th and Devaang Gupta finished 33rd after being eliminated in the second round.
In the women’s tournament, Kristine Esebua was eliminated in the third round to take 17th place, Virginie Chénier finished 57th after a first-round elimination and Stephanie Barrett finished 114th after qualifying.
In the men’s team event, Canada was eliminated in the first round to take 17th place, while on the women’s side, the country took 25th place.
Qualification quota spots for Paris 2024 will be awarded to the top three countries in the men’s and women’s team events, as well as to the countries of each of the top three unqualified athletes of each gender in the team competition, with a maximum of one quota spot per country for each gender.
Team Canada is diving right into another competition after a successful showing at the World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka, Japan. Divers are competing at the World Aquatics Diving World Cup 2023 Super Final, taking place in Berlin, Germany from August 4-6.
On Friday, Caeli McKay and Kate Miller will dive in the women’s 10m synchro. McKay is coming off of a bronze medal performance in the 10m platform in Fukuoka, her first career world championship medal.
On Sunday, Vallee and Ware will compete in the women’s 3m springboard. Nathan Zsombor-Murray will represent Canada in the men’s 10m platform. To round out the meet Miller, Zsombor-Murray, Hattie and Ware will dive in the mixed 3m and 10m team event.
Pamela Ware and Mia Vallee will compete in the women’s 3m synchro. Ware won her second career world championship bronze medal in the women’s 3m springboard in Fukuoka.
Saturday will feature Bryden Hattie in the men’s 3m springboard, as well as McKay and Celina Toth in the women’s 10m platform.
Getting ready for Monday
The main draw matches get underway on Monday at the Canadian Open Tennis Championships, with the WTA 1000 women’s tournament in Montreal and the ATP Masters 1000 men’s tournament in Toronto.
In la belle province, tennis fans will be able to watch Canadians Bianca Andreescu, winner of the tournament in 2019, Leylah Fernandez, Rebecca Marino, Katherine Sebov, Eugenie Bouchard and Carol Zhao, as well as Gabriela Dabrowski in the doubles tournament. The latter won the Canadian Open in 2021 with her tennis partner at the time, Brazilian Luisa Stefani.
In Toronto, members of the victorious Davis Cup team Félix Auger-Aliassime, Vasek Pospisil, Alexis Galarneau and Gabriel Diallo will take the court. The other member of the champion quintet, Denis Shapovalov, has withdrawn due to a knee injury. Milos Raonic, back in action this season, is also expected to take part in the event.