CKC/paddlephotography - Athletics Canada/Kenny Zhong - Wrestling Canada/Justin Hoch
CKC/paddlephotography - Athletics Canada/Kenny Zhong - Wrestling Canada/Justin Hoch

Weekend Roundup: Two national records in track & field, three World Cup medals in canoe sprint

A busy weekend saw two new entries in the Canadian athletics record book as Sarah Mitton and Christopher Morales Williams became the world leaders in the women’s shot put and the men’s 400m.

Meanwhile, Katie Vincent and Sophia Jensen raced to a 1-2 finish at the first canoe sprint World Cup of the season and Linda Morais became the sixth Canadian wrestler to qualify for Paris 2024.

But that certainly wasn’t all that happened. Read on to learn more about what you might have missed:

Athletics: National records, world-leading marks for Mitton and Morales Williams

Sarah Mitton and Christopher Morales Williams each broke a national record over the weekend to set the world-leading marks in their specialty events.

On Saturday, Morales Williams won the men’s 400m at the SEC Championships in a time of 44.05 seconds. That smashed the previous Canadian record of 44.44 seconds that had been held by Tyler Christopher since 2005. The 19-year-old now has the fastest time in the world this season. It comes a few months after he ran the fastest indoor 400m ever at the SEC Indoor Championships in February, but his time of 44.49 seconds could not be officially ratified as a world record.

It was also on Saturday, at a meet in Fleetwood, Pennsylvania, that Mitton threw 20.68m in the women’s shot put. That erased her previous Canadian record of 20.33m, which she had set at the 2022 Canadian Championships. Mitton threw 37cm further than any other female shot putter this season.

Back at home, Evan Dunfee and Olivia Lundman were crowned Canadian champions in the men’s and women’s 10,000m race walk, respectively. They’re set to compete at Paris 2024 in the inaugural Olympic marathon race walk mixed relay.

Wrestling: Linda Morais qualifies for Paris 2024

Never say never. At 30 years old, Linda Morais will compete in her first Olympic Games after an incredible run in the women’s 68kg event at the World Olympic Qualifier in Istanbul, Turkiye.

READ: Linda Morais qualifies for Paris 2024

Morais was eliminated from the main draw when she dropped her quarterfinal to China’s Zhou Feng by a score of 12-0. But when Feng won her last match to earn a spot at Paris 2024, Morais was put into the repechage bracket, giving her one last shot at Olympic qualification.

Morais won her first repechage bout 10-0 over Ha Ohyoung of South Korea and then won a bronze medal bout 14-4 against Mimi Hristova of Bulgaria. Up against the other third-place finisher, Romania’s Alexandra Anghel, for the last Olympic berth in the weight class, Morais scored an early four-point takedown and saw it through for the 4-3 victory.

Paris 2024 Team Canada Qualification Tracker

Morais is set to be the sixth member of the Canadian wrestling team at Paris 2024 after five athletes secured their Olympic spots at the Pan Am Qualifier in late February.

Canoe/Kayak Sprint: Three medals for Canada at World Cup opener

Katie Vincent reached the podium twice at the first ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup of the 2024 season in Szeged, Hungary.

On Sunday, she stood on the top step after racing to victory in the women’s C-1 200m, just ahead of teammate Sophia Jensen, who took the silver for a 1-2 finish for Canada. Vincent covered the distance in 45.54 seconds, with Jensen just 0.62 behind. It wasn’t clear until the last 10 metres which one of them would get the gold medal.

The day before, Vincent and Sloan MacKenzie took home silver in the women’s C-2 500m. The pair finished in 1:53.12, 1.63 seconds back of the reigning world champions, Xu Shixiao and Sun Mengya of China. Spain’s Antia Jacome and Maria Corbera rounded out the podium in third place. At last year’s world championships, Vincent and MacKenzie had finished third while the Spaniards placed second.

READ: Vincent and Jensen score a double at Canoe Sprint World Cup

Just 0.23 off the podium in Szeged were Jensen and Julia Lilley Osende, who placed fourth. There was also an impressive fourth-place finish for Michelle Russell in the women’s K-1 500m.

Judo: Another Grand Slam gold for Deguchi

On Friday, Christa Deguchi won gold at the IJF Grand Slam in Astana, Kazakhstan. She defeated Brazil’s Rafaela Silva in the final of the women’s 57kg event, just a few weeks after the 2016 Olympic champion handed Deguchi a loss in the final of the Pan American Championships.

It was the 11th career Grand Slam title for Deguchi, who remains the world number one in the women’s 57kg weight class, just ahead of fellow Canadian Jessica Klimkait, who did not compete this past weekend. The week ahead is a key one for determining which of them will get Canada’s lone Olympic spot in the event for Paris 2024. The IJF World Championships start on Sunday in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Triathlon: Career-first top-5 finish for Paquet

Charles Paquet earned a career-best finish on the World Triathlon Championship Series as he placed fifth in Yokohama, Japan on Saturday. The 26-year-old clocked in with a time of 1:42:30, putting him just 10 seconds back of a podium position.

Paquet came out of the 1.5km swim in 24th place. By the end of the 40km bike leg, he had moved himself up to 12th place. During the 10km run, he stuck with a small group that was fighting for the podium.

The result bumped Paquet up 31 spots in the World Triathlon Rankings to number 23, five spots back of the top-ranked Canadian Tyler Mislawchuk, who was unfortunately taken out of the Yokohama race by another athlete just two kilometres into the bike leg.

The World Triathlon Individual Olympic Qualification Ranking on May 27 will be used to allocate 26 spots per gender for Paris 2024.

Ice Hockey: Canada opens with two wins at men’s worlds

Team Canada is 2-0 to start the preliminary round at the IIHF World Championship in Prague, Czechia. They began with a 4-2 win over Great Britain on Saturday, followed by a 5-1 defeat of Denmark on Sunday.

READ: Canada takes down Great Britain and Denmark to open IIHF World Championship

In his world championship debut, highly touted 18-year-old Connor Bedard scored twice against Great Britain and then added two more goals against Denmark.

Canada will resume its round robin action in Group A on Tuesday against Austria.