5 Team Canada sports to watch this weekend: November 10-12
The Santiago Pan Am Games may have come to a close, but that doesn’t mean the end of opportunities to watch Team Canada in action! This weekend features major competitions for Canadian athletes on the ice, on the court, and in the gym.
The Canadian trampoline athletes are taking part in the World Championships, trying to secure Olympic qualification for the country, while the women’s basketball team is also taking steps towards Paris 2024. On the ice, there’s a figure skating Grand Prix and a long track speed skating World Cup to keep an eye on, and on the snow, Canadian skiers are taking part in World Cups.
The FIG Trampoline World Championships are taking place this weekend, November 9 -12, in Birmingham, England. In addition to the world champion titles, up to 16 qualification quota places for Paris 2024 are up for grabs. In the individual women’s and men’s trampoline events, a minimum of four and a maximum of eight athletes will earn a quota place for their country.
Jérémy Chartier came fifth in the individual event at the World Championships last year. Competing in his third World Championships, the 21-year-old reached the final of the event for the first time in his career. Rémi Aubin also took part in the final at the most recent World Championships, finishing eighth.
Sarah Milette achieved Canada’s best result in the women’s individual event with a tenth-place finish, narrowly missing out on the final reserved for the top eight qualifiers.
These World Championships will mark a return to Birmingham for Soehn, who made his World Championships debut there in 2011. Recently, along with Aubin, he won the silver medal in the men’s synchronised trampoline event at the Pan American Games in Santiago 2023.
The qualifying rounds start on Thursday, with all the finals taking place on Sunday.
Canada is sending a strong contingent of seven athletes to the ISU Grand Prix Cup of China, taking place November 10-12 in Chongqing, China.
Ice dancing pair Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier, four-time Skate Canada International winners, will be seeking to continue their winning streak. Fellow Team Canada ice dancing pair Marjorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha will also be shooting for the podium after a breakout year in 2022-2023.
In pairs, Deanna Stellato-Dudek and Maxime Deschamps will take the ice for Canada. The pair recently won the 2023 Autumn Classic International and the 2023 Skate Canada International.
Madeline Schizas, also a back-to-back Canadian Champion, will compete in the women’s individual category.
Competition begins on Friday with all disciplines performing their short program/rhythm dance. On Saturday, athletes will perform their free program/free dance.
Team Canada’s women’s basketball team will compete at the FIBA Women’s Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament this weekend, taking place in Medellin, Colombia.
The top two teams of the tournament will qualify for one of the four Olympic Qualifying Tournaments, set to take place in February. At that time, 16 nations will face off for just 10 Olympic slots, with the USA and France already qualified.
Canada is currently ranked fifth within the FIBA world rankings for women. The team finished fourth at the World Cup last fall–Canada’s best finish since 1986, when the team finished third. The team is also coming off of a bronze medal performance at the FIBA Women’s AmeriCup in July, where they defeated Puerto Rico to take the final podium slot.
Team Canada kicks off the tournament against Venezuela on Thursday, followed by Colombia on Friday and Puerto Rico on Sunday. All games will stream live on the FIBA YouTube channel.
The first ISU Long Track Speed Skating World Cup will be held November 10-12 in Obihiro, Japan. Canada will be represented by 18 skaters, all regulars who took part in the circuit in 2022-2023.
Among them is Laurent Dubreuil, who finished first in the men’s 500m World Cup overall standings last season. He will begin the defense of his title by taking part in two 500m events in Obihiro, the first on Friday and the second on Sunday. The sprint specialist is also one to watch on Friday in the 1,000m, an event in which he won Olympic silver in 2022 and in which he finished second overall at the end of last season.
Ivanie Blondin, the reigning World Cup champion and winner of the women’s mass start, will be in action in this event on Friday, as will Valérie Maltais, who finished sixth overall last year. They will join forces with Isabelle Weidemann on Saturday for the women’s team pursuit event, in which the trio of skaters, Olympic champions in the event at Beijing 2022, finished first overall at the end of the previous World Cup season.
Individually, Weidemann finished second in the overall World Cup rankings in the women’s 3000m and 5000m events, in which she won bronze and silver respectively in Beijing 2022. This weekend, it’s the women’s 3000m distance that will be contested; the event takes place on Sunday.
The rising star of the Canadian team, Connor Howe, is one to watch on Saturday in the men’s 1500m, a distance in which he finished second overall last year. Not to be overlooked is experienced long-distance specialist Ted-Jan Bloemen, who will take part in the 5,000m on Sunday.
As was the case last season, the Canadians should be regulars on the podium in the men’s and women’s team sprint events, an event that is not on the Olympic programme. The brand-new mixed relay event could also be full of surprises.
The Canadian speed skaters begin a tour of four World Cups that will take them to Beijing, China on November 17-19, Stavanger, Norway on December 1-3 , and Tomaszów Mazowiecki, Poland on December 8-10.
Stages of the men’s and women’s FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup circuit will take place on Saturday and Sunday. Two men’s downhill events will take place in Zermatt-Cervinia, a course leading from Switzerland to Italy with the Matterhorn in the background. On the women’s side, two slalom events will take place in Levi, Finland.
Among the skiers to keep an eye on in the downhill are Jack Crawford, fifth in the overall World Cup standings in this event last year, thanks in part to his three podium finishes, and Cameron Alexander, bronze medallist in the downhill at the 2023 World Championships. Broderick Thompson and Jeffrey Read should also be in the starting line-up.
In Finland, Laurence St-Germain, the reigning world champion in the slalom, an event in which she had three top-five finishes on the World Cup last year, will be aiming for her first podium on the circuit, as will Ali Nullmeyer, who achieved her first top-five result in 2022.
Team Canada is headed to the semi-finals of the Billie Jean King Cup for the first time since 1988! The Canadians have had a strong start to the tournament, taking place in Seville, Spain, with big performances against Spain and Poland.
Canada is represented by Leylah Fernandez, Marina Stakusic, Gaby Dabrowski, Rebecca Marino and Eugenie Bouchard. Eighteen-year-old Stakusic (no. 258) set the tone for the team with a decisive win on Wednesday over Rebeka Masarova (no. 65), the highest rank win of her career.
Fernandez followed with a singles win on Wednesday after a gruelling nearly three-hour match against Sara Sorribes Tormo, while Dabrowski and Bouchard finished out with a doubles victory against Sorribes Tormo and Masarova to claim the tie over Spain.
On Thursday, Stakusic and Fernandez emerged victorious in their singles matches again, this time against Polish opponents Magdalena Frech and Magda Linette, assuring the Canadians will progress to Saturdays semi-final.
You can stream the tournament on CBC.