Weekend Roundup: Key win for women’s soccer, world silver for Phil Wizard
It was an important weekend on the path to Paris 2024 for Team Canada athletes.
Canada’s women’s soccer team is one step closer to Olympic qualification after an important win. Marathoner Malindi Elmore smashed the Olympic entry standard in Berlin. There was a silver lining for Phil Wizard’s near miss at the Breaking World Championships and the Canadian women’s volleyball team can hold their heads high after two strong weeks in China.
Here’s what happened this weekend:
Breaking: Phil Wizard claims silver at World Breaking Championships
Philip Kim, aka B-boy Phil Wizard, took second place at the 2023 WDSF World Breaking Championships on Sunday in Leuven, Belgium.
The Canadian, who came in as the world number one and defending champion, was up against American B-boy Victor, whose real name is Victor Montalvo, in the final. Facing the man ranked fifth in the world, Phil Wizard saw the world title slip away from him, beaten in a close duel which ended 2-1 in favour of the American. With the win, B-boy Victor claimed the Olympic spot that was available via the world championships. B-boy Shigekix, the stage name of the Japanese Nakari Shigeyuki, took third place.
Phil Wizard will soon have another opportunity to obtain Olympic qualification with a win at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games. There will also be seven spots allocated per gender via the Olympic Qualifier Series which will take place between March and June 2024.
Soccer: Canada defeats Jamaica to open last-chance Olympic qualifier
Team Canada is one step closer to an Olympic return. On a hot and humid Friday night in Kingston, Jamaica, the Canadian women’s soccer team secured a 2-0 victory in the first of a two-game series that will decide which nation qualifies for Paris 2024.
Canada had the upper hand for most of the match. Nichelle Prince opened the scoring in the 18th minute after converting a cross from Ashley Lawrence with a powerful header. Making her 100th international appearance, Adriana Leon buried her 30th career goal to seal the 2-0 victory in stoppage time.
The push to defend Olympic gold continues on Tuesday night, as Canada and Jamaica play again in Toronto.
Triathlon: Mislawchuk earns career best result
Tyler Mislawchuk raced to the best Olympic-distance World Triathlon Championship result of his career on Saturday. He finished eighth at the World Triathlon Championship Final in Pontevedra, Spain. The Canadian completed the 1.5km swim, 40km bike leg, and 10km run in a total time of 1:43:09.
“I am really quite pleased with the race today. It is probably the most proud I am of a race this year,” said Mislawchuk, who was ninth earlier this summer in the first ever elimination format race at the World Triathlon Sprint and Relay Championships. “To end up eighth in the deepest race of the year is really exciting. I’m stoked. Hopefully it will now move me close to a top-10 in the World Ranking. That was the goal at the beginning of the year.”
The competition was the culmination of the World Triathlon Championship Series, capping off a season during which athletes collected valuable ranking points towards Olympic qualification. The Olympic Qualification Ranking will close at the end of May 2024, which is when individual quota spots will be allocated.
Volleyball: Canada misses Olympic qualification by one spot
Canada finished third at the FIVB Road to Paris Qualifier in Ningbo, China, narrowly missing out on Olympic qualification. Only the top two teams from each of the three eight-team pools secured their tickets to Paris 2024. Serbia and Dominican Republic were the two squads to qualify out of Pool A.
Canada finished with a 5-2 record and 14 points, putting them one point behind Serbia who were also 5-2. Throughout the two-week tournament, Canada claimed victories against Netherlands, China, Ukraine, Mexico and Czechia. Their only losses came against the teams ranked ahead of them in the standings.
The Olympic tournament will feature 12 teams. Türkiye, Brazil, United States and Poland are also in via the just-completed Olympic Qualification Tournaments, along with host nation France. The five remaining spots will be filled via the World Ranking at the end of the preliminary phase of the Volleyball Nations League next June. Canada can still vie for one of those spots.
Canoe/Kayak Slalom: Maheu and Baldoni reach kayak cross quarters
Both Alex Baldoni and Florence Maheu made the quarterfinals of their respective kayak cross events at the 2023 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships in Lee Valley, United Kingdom. Baldoni finished 12th overall in the men’s event while Maheu was 16th in the women’s event. Kayak cross is an exciting discipline within canoe/kayak slalom that will make its Olympic debut at Paris 2024. Both paddlers will represent Canada next month at the Santiago 2023 Pan Am Games.
Athletics: Elmore achieves Olympic qualifying standard at Berlin Marathon
Canadian marathoner and Tokyo 2020 Olympian Malindi Elmore has achieved the Olympic entry standard in the marathon ahead of next summer’s Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
The 43-year-old clocked a personal best of 2 hours 23 minutes and 30 seconds on Sunday, going well under the Olympic standard of 2:26:50. She finished 13th in the women’s rankings while placing first in her 40-44 age group. Elmore is the first Canadian woman to achieve the Olympic standard in the marathon for the upcoming Games. A country can enter up to three athletes in each individual athletics event.
Should she compete in Paris, it will have been 20 years since Elmore made her Olympic debut on the track at Athens 2004 where she competed as a middle distance runner.