5 Team Canada sports to watch this weekend: September 22-24
It’s a busy weekend for Team Canada athletes and fans. The Canadian women’s soccer team will begin their two-game dual with Jamaica for a spot at Paris 2024. Team Canada’s breakers are off to Belgium for the world championships, an opportunity for Olympic qualification.
Canada’s top triathletes are in action at the World Triathlon Championship Final in Pontevedra, Spain, while Canada’s women’s volleyball team continues competing in Ningbo, China as they attempt to qualify for the Olympic volleyball tournament for the first time since Atlanta 1996.
Here’s what you don’t want to miss this weekend:
Over the next few days, the reigning Olympic champions in women’s soccer look to lock up their chance to defend their gold medal in a two-game series against Jamaica.
The teams will play on Friday night at 8:00 p.m ET in Kingston, Jamaica and then again on Tuesday, September 26 at 7:00 p.m. ET in Toronto. The team that scores the most combined goals between the two games will secure their ticket to Paris 2024.
Canada enters the series having defeated Jamaica in all nine previous matchups. However, Canada is coming off of a disappointing FIFA Women’s World Cup performance in which they did not advance from the group stage after going in ranked seventh. Jamaica, on the other hand, exceeded expectations at the World Cup, going in ranked 43rd and advancing to the round of 16 after fighting for draws against big competitors France and Brazil.
Team Canada’s squad for the Olympic qualifying showdown includes 14 players who won Olympic gold at Tokyo 2020.
Momentum is building behind the sport of breaking, set to make its Olympic debut at Paris 2024. Competition at the 2023 WDSF World Breaking Championships in Leuven, Belgium takes place on Saturday and Sunday.
Breakers from 62 countries will battle for the title of world champion and a coveted qualification spot for Paris 2024. Each country can send two b-boys and two b-girls to the worlds.
Canada will be represented by Philip Kim (B-boy Phil Wizard) and Samuel Cyr (B-boy Mass) on the men’s side. On the women’s side, Tiffany Leung (B-girl Tiff) and Emma Misak (B-girl Emma) will represent Team Canada.
Canada’s best hopes rest with Phil Wizard, the reigning world champion, to forge Canada’s path to Paris in this new sport. Kim, Leung and Misak will all represent Canada at Santiago 2023.
The World Triathlon Championship Final is taking place in Pontevedra, Spain this weekend. Team Canada is represented on the men’s side by Tyler Mislawchuk, Charles Paquet and Brock Hoel, while on the women’s side Dominika Jamnicky will wear the maple leaf.
Mislawchuk has had a strong season, finishing 13th at the Olympic Test Event in Paris in August, ninth at the World Triathlon Sprint and Relay Championships in Hamburg, Germany in July, and 15th at the World Triathlon Series event at home in Montreal in June.
Jamnicky was 29th at the Paris Test Event and is also set to compete at the upcoming Pan Am Games in Santiago, Chile.
The competition is the culmination of the World Triathlon Series, capping off the season during which athletes collected valuable ranking points towards Olympic qualification.
The Canadian women’s volleyball team continues its journey at the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Ningbo, China, which ends on Sunday. The Canadians are attempting to qualify for the women’s Olympic volleyball tournament for the first time since Atlanta 1996.
Canada has a 2-2 record in the tournament so far. Currently ranked 11th in the world, the Canadians posted wins over the Netherlands, ranked ninth, and China, ranked sixth. This latter match was hard-fought, going to five sets.
The two defeats came against the Dominican Republic and Serbia, respectively ranked 10th and third in the world.
Canada is scheduled to play three more matches in this tournament: against Ukraine on Friday, Mexico on Saturday, and the Czech Republic on Sunday, countries ranked respectively 20th, 24th and 16th in the world.
Three Olympic qualifying tournaments are being held simultaneously in three different countries. The top two teams from each tournament, played in a round-robin format, will qualify for the Olympics.
The ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships kicked off on Tuesday in Lee Valley, England and run until Sunday. Seven Canadian athletes are in action, attempting to seize a first opportunity to secure the country Olympic quota spots for Paris 2024.
Three women are flying the Canadian flag: Tokyo 2020 Olympian Florence Maheu, Lois Betteridge and Léa Baldoni. The three Canadians took part in qualifying for the women’s kayak event on Thursday, but weren’t able to secure spots in the semifinal. On Wednesday, Betteridge was the only Canadian to take part in the women’s canoe event, where she also saw her run come to an end in qualifying.
On the men’s side, Alex Baldoni, Trevor Boyd and Maël Rivard competed in the K-1, with Boyd advancing to Saturday’s semifinal. On Wednesday, Baldoni and Daniel Parry took part in the canoe slalom event, but saw their journey come to an end in the qualifying round.
These world championships are the first opportunity to qualify for Paris 2024. As a country can only qualify one athlete in each event, the top 15 countries in the women’s and men’s K-1 events and the top 12 countries in each C-1 event will earn an Olympic qualification quota spot.
Canadian paddlers will have another opportunity to qualify for Paris 2024 at the continental qualifiers in Rio de Janeiro at a later date.
On Sunday, the seven Canadians in Lee Valley will compete in kayak cross, a new discipline that will make its Olympic debut in Paris next summer.