Weekend Roundup: Canada wins first men’s FIBA Basketball World Cup medal
It was a weekend to remember for Team Canada fans, with historic performances in basketball and tennis, Olympic qualification in rowing, and more.
Here’s a quick look back at what happened:
Basketball: Canada beats USA for bronze at FIBA World Cup
Canada made history in Manila, Philippines on Sunday. A 127-118 overtime win against the United States in the bronze medal game at the FIBA Basketball World Cup marked the first time Canada has ever finished on the podium at the men’s global tournament.
Thanks to a historic performance from Dillon Brooks, whose 39 points are the most by a player in a medal-winning game in FIBA World Cup history, Canada took down the world’s most decorated basketball nation – the United States. Canada came into the game with a 1-21 record all-time versus the Americans.
His 39 points also broke a near 70-year record (set in 1954!) for the most points by a Canadian in a single World Cup game.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander finished with 31 points, 12 assists, and a crucial three-pointer in overtime to help Canada seal the win. He was named to the All-Star Five of the competition with an average of 24.5 points, 6.4 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 1.6 steals per game. Brooks was named best defensive player of the FIBA World Cup.
The previous best finish for Canada at a men’s FIBA World Cup was sixth, which they finished in 1978 and 1982. Based on the FIBA rankings heading into the tournament, Canada took down No. 1 Spain, No. 2 United States, and No. 5 France. And, of course, they also qualified for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris due to their efforts, returning Canada to the Olympic men’s basketball tournament for the first time since 2000.
Rowing: Canada qualifies two boats for Paris 2024
At the World Rowing Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, Canada secured Olympic qualification in two events — the women’s eight and the women’s lightweight double sculls.
Canada will get a chance to defend its Olympic gold medal in the women’s eight after locking up a spot for Paris 2024 with fifth-place finish at the worlds on Sunday. Canada has been in third place for the first half of the race before finishing the 2000-metre distance in six minutes and 7.15 seconds. That left them more than two seconds ahead of sixth-place Italy to take the last Olympic spot available via the world championships.
Romania won gold with a time of 6:01.28, followed by the United States claiming silver (6:03.73), and Australia (6:04.17) taking bronze after leading the race early. Great Britain finished fourth.
The Canadian crew was comprised of Sydney Payne, Avalon Wasteneys, Kasia Gruchalla-Wesierski, Morgan Rosts, Cassidy Deane, Kirsten Edwards, Alexis Cronk, Jessica Sevick, and coxswain Kristen Kit. Payne, Wasteneys, Gruchalla-Wesierski and Kit were all in the champion boat at Tokyo 2020.
Canada has also qualified for the women’s lightweight double sculls. Jill Moffatt and Jenny Casson, who finished 12th in the event at Tokyo 2020, ended up placing fourth at the world championships, missing the podium by just over two seconds.
There will be other opportunities for Canadian rowers to qualify for Paris 2024 at a continental qualification regatta in March 2024 as well as the World Rowing Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in May 2024.
Tennis: Dabrowski makes history with U.S. Open women’s doubles crown
Gabriela Dabrowski made history at the U.S. Open, becoming the first Canadian to win a women’s doubles title at a Grand Slam tournament. She did so with her partner, New Zealander Erin Routliffe, as they defeated German duo Laura Siegemund and Vera Zvonareva in straight sets (7-6 [11-9], 6-3) in the final.
It is the third major title of Dabrowski’s career, having won the 2017 French Open and 2018 Australian Open in mixed doubles. She had previously reached a women’s doubles final at Wimbledon in 2019.
The Ottawa native is now ranked ninth in the WTA doubles ranking. Should she remain in the top 10 through June 10, 2024, that will secure her a spot in the women’s doubles tournament at Paris 2024.
Athletics: De Grasse, Mitton on Diamond League podiums
At the last Diamond League meet ahead of the Finals, Andre De Grasse ran a sub-20 second 200m for the first time this season to finish third in Brussels, Belgium. His time of 19.89 seconds was the quickest he had run the event since he won Olympic gold in 19.62 seconds at Tokyo 2020. He narrowly edged out Aaron Brown, who was fourth in 19.98 seconds, just 0.03 off his personal best. With 24 points from the series, Brown is the top qualifier in the men’s 200m for the Diamond League Finals this coming weekend in Eugene, Oregon. De Grasse is also qualified with 20 points.
Sarah Mitton followed up her world championship silver with a Diamond League silver in the women’s shot put in Brussels. She hit 19.76 metres, one of her best throws of the season. She has qualified for the Finals after ranking third in the season standings.
Road Cycling: Woods finishes in top third of Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal
Mike Woods placed 15th at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal, finishing 55 seconds behind winner Adam Yates of Great Britain, who finished the 221.4km road race in 5 hours, 54 minutes and 2 seconds.
France’s Pavel Sivakov and Spain’s Alex Aranburu Deba rounded out the podium of the UCI World Tour event.
Artistic Gymnastics: Stewart and Rousseau represent at World Challenge Cup
As part of her tune-up for the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships at the end of the month, Ava Stewart reached the finals for balance beam and floor exercise at the FIG World Challenge Cup in Szombathely, Hungary. She finished seventh and sixth, respectively, on the two apparatus. Teammate Audrey Rousseau was also among the top eight on floor as well as uneven bars.