AP Photo/Ryan Sun - Miha Matavz/FIS - AP Photo/Bernat Armangue
AP Photo/Ryan Sun - Miha Matavz/FIS - AP Photo/Bernat Armangue

Weekend Roundup: Mitton becomes indoor world champion; Grondin gets back-to-back podiums in Spain

What an action-packed weekend it was for Team Canada athletes!

Sarah Mitton broke her own national record — twice! — en route to winning shot put gold at the World Athletics Indoor Championships. Eliot Grondin maintained his impressive form on the snowboard cross World Cup circuit, clinching consecutive second-place finishes.

Five Canadian wrestlers secured their spots at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games and the Canadian women’s soccer team powered their way through to the semifinals at the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup.

Here’s a recap of the remarkable results you might have missed: 

Athletics: Mitton wins shot put world title with Canadian record throw

Sarah Mitton will head to Paris 2024 as a world champion! The 27-year-old broke the Canadian women’s indoor shot put record twice as she claimed gold at the World Athletics Indoor Championships on Friday in Glasgow, Scotland. It was a historic moment as Mitton became Canada’s first ever world champion in shot put.

READ: Sarah Mitton claims shot put gold at world indoor championships

“I still think it’s settling in, but I am so excited. I’ve been in second and third [place] a lot and I’m excited to come out on top and start my year off strong heading into Paris,” Mitton told CBC Sports.

Mitton threw 20.20m on her fourth attempt, which broke the national record 20.08m she had set just 10 days earlier and put her into the lead. As she has often done, she delivered an even better final throw, hitting 20.22m on her sixth attempt.

Snowboard Cross: Grondin’s podium streak continues in Sierra Nevada

Eliot Grondin had another tremendous weekend on the FIS Snowboard Cross World Cup circuit, finishing as the runner-up in back-to-back races in Sierra Nevada, Spain. He has now reached the podium in all seven World Cup races this season, increasing his career total to 16 World Cup podiums.

READ: Eliot Grondin battles to back-to-back World Cup snowboard cross silvers in Spain

In the second big final of the weekend on Sunday, the Canadian was leading into the second bend and went helmet-to-helmet with France’s Merlin Surget through the middle section before the French rider edged ahead at the final turn. All four finalists crossed the line within a third of a second of each other.

“Today was super-tight racing, quite a bit different from yesterday because we could actually see the track properly,” Grondin joked.

Grondin’s success this season has given him a 301-point lead in the overall World Cup standings for men’s snowboard cross. He is seeking the first Crystal Globe of his career with just five races remaining. The season will conclude March 22-24 on home snow in Mont Ste-Anne, Quebec.

Wrestling: Five Canadians secure Olympic spots

Five Canadian wrestlers earned their tickets to Paris 2024 at the Pan American Olympic Qualifier in Acapulco, Mexico.

On Thursday, Justina Di Stasio (76kg), Ana Godinez Gonzalez (62kg), and Hannah Taylor (57kg) finished top two in their respective weight classes. They were followed on Friday by two members of the men’s freestyle team, Alex Moore (86kg) and Amar Dhesi (125kg). All five had been victorious at the national trials in December to take the first step towards their Olympic qualification.

READ: Wrestlers earn Olympic tickets for Paris 2024

Only Dhesi has previous Olympic experience, having made his debut at Tokyo 2020. For Di Stasio, competing at the Olympic Games has been the one thing missing from her illustrious resumé, which includes gold medals at the world championships, Pan Am Games, and Commonwealth Games.

Badminton: Li wins her way to the podium in Germany

Michelle Li finished third at the German Open, a BWF World Tour Super 300 event. She came just short of advancing to the final, dropping her semifinal to Denmark’s Mia Blichfeldt in three sets (13-21, 21-18, 10-21). It is her best result since the fall of 2022 when she was a finalist at the Canada Open.

Li is still working her way back to top form after suffering a knee injury at last summer’s world championships that required surgery. She only returned to the court in January.

Golf: Henderson ties for third at Women’s World Championship

Brooke Henderson shot a final round 68 (-4) to finish nine-under par at the HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore. She was among four golfers that tied for third, four strokes back of the winner, Hannah Green of Australia.

It is Henderson’s second straight top-10 finish, following a tie for ninth last week at the LPGA Thailand. She also finished third at Tournament of Champions to open the 2024 season in mid-January.

Rugby: Canadian women finish just off podium in Los Angeles

For the second straight week, the Canadian women’s rugby team played in a third-place match on the SVNS Series. This time, a medal was just out of their grasp as they dropped a 21-7 decision to the United States, who had the home field advantage in Los Angeles.

This was the third time in the 2023-24 season that the Canadian women had played in a bronze medal match. They finished fourth at the season opener in Dubai before stepping onto the podium last week at home in Vancouver. They are ranked fifth in the season standings, two points back of the fourth-place Americans.

Soccer: Canada reaches semifinals at Concacaf W Gold Cup

Canada’s women’s national team is through to the Concacaf W Gold Cup semifinals. They needed extra time in Saturday’s quarterfinal to secure a 1-0 win over Costa Rica and move into the final four.

Evelyne Viens, who had come into the game in the 76th minute, netted the goal that ended the deadlock in the 104th minute. Goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan, who had basically been a spectator for most of the match, made a game-saving stop in the 90th minute, kicking out her right foot to deny Alexa Herrerra in Costa Rica’s first shot on net.

Canada will face the United States on Wednesday night in San Diego. The other semifinal will feature Brazil and Mexico. The final is scheduled for Sunday.

Diving: Canadian close to World Cup podium in Montreal

Canadian divers took to the pool in Montreal for the first stop on the World Aquatics Diving World Cup. They posted top-five finishes in six events.  

Continuing to build their chemistry, Caeli McKay and Kate Miller finished fourth in the women’s 10m synchro, with their score of 287.91 leaving them about 10 points off the podium. The duo were coming off punching their ticket to Paris 2024 at the World Aquatics Championships just a few weeks ago. McKay went on to finish fourth in the women’s 10m platform final. Her score of 383.10 left her just 1.6 points back of the bronze medal.

After a very tough world championships, Pamela Ware posted a fifth-place finish in the women’s 3m springboard final. In another tight competition, she was 4.65 points out of a podium position. Aimee Wilson and Margo Erlam were the Canadian participants in the women’s 3m synchro and finished fourth.

On the men’s side, Montreal native Nathan Zsombor-Murray finished fourth in the 10m platform. He had been in the podium mix through the first four rounds, but the 20-year-old made a slight mistake on his penultimate dive, which ended up taking him out of contention. Rylan Wiens was sixth in that final. The next day they teamed up for a fifth-place finish in the men’s 10m synchro. They had been in second place heading into the last two of six rounds. Zsombor-Murray and Wiens are already qualified in the event for Paris 2024.