Dita Alangkara, Mark Blinch, FIBA
Dita Alangkara, Mark Blinch, FIBA

Weekend Roundup: Team Canada men’s basketball FIBA victory secures ticket to Paris 2024

It was a very productive final summer weekend for our Canadian athletes, culminating with the men’s basketball team qualifying for the Paris 2024 Olympics at the FIBA World Cup. There were also big performances from the women’s 3×3 basketball team, track athlete Marco Arop, paddler Katie Vincent and the Team Canada gymnasts.

Read on to find out all about it.

Basketball: Team Canada men’s team headed to World Cup quarter finals, qualifying for Paris 2024

The Canadian men’s basketball team qualified for Paris 2024 by virtue of an 88-85 victory over Spain on Saturday at the FIBA World Cup.

To get there, the Canadians had topped Group H in the first round with a record of three wins and no losses. This group also included France, Latvia and Lebanon.

This strong start to the tournament enabled Canada to reach the second round, which again took the form of a preliminary round with new groups. This time, Canada had to contend with Brazil, Spain and Latvia.

The Canadian team lost its first game to Brazil by a close score of 69-65.

Everything would come down to the second and final match against Spain, ranked number one in the world. Not only could Canada qualify for the World Cup quarterfinals with a win, but also for Paris 2024.

After trailing by 10 points or more twice during the game, the Canadians mounted a memorable comeback to defeat the Spaniards, 88-85. This victory, combined with the defeats of Brazil, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic earlier in the day, meant that Canada finished as the second-ranked nation in the Americas, automatically qualifying for the Olympics.

This is the first time in 23 years that Canada’s men’s basketball team has clinched a spot in the Olympics.

In the shorter term, Canada once again finished top of its group and now has a date with Slovenia in the quarter-finals on Tuesday morning.

READ: Canada advances to World Cup quarterfinals, qualifies for Olympics with win over Spain

3×3 basketball: fifth victory for Canadian women

On the women’s side, the Canadian 3×3 basketball team scored a fifth triumph in the 2023 season of the FIBA 3×3 Women’s Series.

The Montreal leg saw Katherine Plouffe, Michelle Plouffe, Paige Crozon and Kacie Bosch defeat the U24 American team 21-12 in the final. Michelle Plouffe led her team to victory scoring 11 of those points during the game and was named MVP of the stop.

After victories in Poitiers, Edmonton, Prague and Quebec City earlier in the season, the Canadians have now won for the fifth time in nine competitions.

Canada now ranks third in the world rankings, with just one stage remaining in the 2023 program.

READ: Team Canada takes FIBA Women’s 3×3 Series

Athletics: Arop improves his 800m time, finishes second in Diamond League meet

A week after winning the world title in the 800m, Marco Arop continued in fine form, this time earning a silver medal at the Diamond League meeting in Xiamen, China, on Saturday.

Arop finished just four hundredths of a second behind the winner, Kenya’s Emmanuel Wanyonyi, with a new personal best 1:43.24. He has had an extraordinary season, having finished on the podium in each of the last six 800 m events in which he took part.

READ: Marco Arop sets personal best in 800m, finishes second at Diamond League

Sprint canoe: Vincent wins two new medals

Like Arop, Katie Vincent was not content with just her medals from the ICF Sprint Canoe World Championships.

At the Paris World Cup held the following week at the Stade Nautique de Vaires-sur-Marne, Vincent won silver medals in the women’s C-1 200 m and the women’s C-2 500 m with Sloan MacKenzie.

In the same event, Vincent and MacKenzie were joined on the podium by Sophia Jensen and Julia Lilley Osende, who finished third.

READ MORE: Two silver medals for Katie Vincent at the Sprint Canoe World Cup in Paris

Artistic gymnastics: several Canadian gymnasts reach the podium

Canadian artistic gymnasts put in a fine showing over the weekend, as some of them prepare for the FIG Artistic Gymnastics Championships to be held in Antwerp, Belgium, from September 30 to October 8.

Rose Woo took part in the World Challenge Cup in Mersin, Turkey, where she placed second on both uneven bars and beam.

At the ROM GYM Trophy in Bucharest, Romania, Shallon Olsen won the vault event and Laurie Denommée took second place on floor.

In the men’s events, Team Canada was represented by several of the gymnasts tipped to represent the country at the Worlds. Jayson Rampersad won the pommel horse event, while Zach Clay took second place. William Émard took second place on floor and rings. Félix Dolci took third place on rings and high bar, an event in which René Cournoyer finished second.