Thomas Skrlj/COC, FIBA, Rowing Canada
Thomas Skrlj/COC, FIBA, Rowing Canada

5 Team Canada sports to watch this weekend: May 17-19

It’s a huge weekend for Team Canada athletes and fans, with Paris 2024 qualifications on the line in a host of different sports.

At home in Toronto, Canadian swimmers are racing for their spots on Team Canada at the Olympic Swimming Trials. Overseas, the Canadian 3×3 basketball teams have one last chance to lock up Olympic qualification in Debrecen, Hungary. It is also the last opportunity for Canada to qualify more rowing crews for Paris at the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne, Switzerland.

The sports of skateboarding, sport climbing, breaking, and BMX freestyle have combined forces for an unforgettable Olympic Qualifier Series, the first stop of which is underway in Shanghai, China. Meanwhile, the World Judo Championships kick off on Sunday, with athletes looking to improve their world rankings before the Olympic qualification window closes at the end of June.

Here’s what you don’t want to miss:


The Olympic and Paralympic Swimming Trials, presented by Bell, got underway on Monday at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre.

After three evenings of finals, world champions Summer McIntosh, Maggie Mac Neil and Kylie Masse are among those who have booked their places at Paris 2024, as did world championship medallists Ingrid Wilm and Mary-Sophie Harvey. In the men’s events, Tristan Jankovics, Blake Tierney and Javier Acevedo have qualified for the Olympic team. Several others are in an excellent position to be named as relay swimmers.

On Thursday, McIntosh will race in the final of the 400m IM, in which she is the world record holder and two-time world champion. The fourth day of competition will also feature the first final for Joshua Liendo, who will again have his eyes on breaking the national record in the 100m freestyle. Swimmers in that event also want to put themselves into consideration for the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay team. In the women’s 200m backstroke, reigning Olympic silver medallist Masse and Wilm will be among the swimmers in action.

The women’s 100m freestyle will take place on Friday. That is a packed field that includes McIntosh, Harvey, Mac Neil, as well as Penny Oleksiak, Taylor Ruck, Katerine Savard, and Rebecca Smith. They’ll be aiming to qualify for the individual event or a place on the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay. In the women’s 200m breaststroke, Sydney Pickrem — a two-time world medallist — and Kelsey Wog will be among the candidates for qualification, while in the men’s 200m butterfly, Ilya Kharun, fourth in the event at the 2023 World Aquatics Championships, will also be trying to secure his ticket to Paris 2024.

McIntosh is expected to be back in the pool on Saturday for the women’s 200m butterfly, another event in which she won back-to-back world titles in 2022 and 2023. In the men’s 200m IM, another world champion, Finlay Knox, will be looking to secure his Olympic qualification, while the trials winner of the 400m, Jankovics, will look to add another event to his Olympic program. Liendo and Yuri Kisil are among the swimmers who could go under the Olympic Qualifying Time in the men’s 50m freestyle.

On Sunday, the women’s 50m freestyle will be another opportunity for Ruck to qualify for Paris 2024. In the men’s 100m butterfly, 2023 World silver medallist Liendo should be in the mix, along with Kharun and Knox. McIntosh, Pickrem and Harvey will be among the swimmers to watch in the women’s 200m IM. Pickrem won silver in the event at the World Aquatics Championships this past February.

The qualifying heats start at 9:30 a.m. ET every day, with the finals kicking off at 6 p.m. every evening. The competition to determine the swimmers who will represent Canada at Paris 2024 culminates with the official announcement of the Olympic swimming team on Sunday evening.

3×3 Basketball

Team Canada’s women’s 3×3 team has one more shot to snag their spot at Paris 2024, as the final FIBA 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament takes place this weekend in Debrecen, Hungary.

The team of Paige Crozon, Kacie Bosch, Katherine Plouffe, Michelle Plouffe, and alternate Cassandra Brown are in Pool B. They opened up with a 21-11 win over Chile, followed by a 19-16 win against Lithuania. They’ll finish the round robin against Czechia on Saturday.

The decorated Canadian quartet narrowly missed qualifying at the last universality tournament in Utsunomiya, Japan, in early May, falling to Team Australia 19-16 in the final.

In Utsunomiya, only one qualification spot was up for grabs. In Debrecen, 16 teams will battle it out for the final three Olympic spots.

READ: Team Canada’s women’s 3×3 team makes push for Paris while prioritizing passion

Team Canada boasts a stellar record as back-to-back FIBA 3×3 Women’s Series champions, 2022 AmeriCup champions and 2022 World Cup silver medallists. The team enters the tournament seeded second in the FIBA 3×3 OQT standings.

The Canadian men’s team of Jerome Desrosiers, Bikramjit Gill, Alex Johnson, and Kamar McKnight are in Pool C. After opening with an 18-14 win over Spain, they dropped their second match 21-18 to Egypt. They’ll face France in their last round robin game on Saturday.


The World Rowing Final Olympic Qualification Regatta is taking place this weekend in Lucerne, Switzerland. Two Canadian boats — the men’s eight and the women’s quadruple sculls — will be competing to secure their path to Paris 2024. There are two Olympic spots available in each event.

READ: A tale of two eights: Team Canada rowers on staying in sync, Olympic legacy, and fun

The men’s eight crew includes Jakub Buczek, Joel Cullen, Ryan Clegg, Terek Been, Curtis Ames, Gavin Stone, Will Crothers, John Walkey and coxswain Laura Court. The women’s quad sculls consists of Shannon Kennedy, Marilou Duvernay Tardif, Carling Zeeman and Katie Clark.

Team Canada has already qualified boats for Paris in the women’s eight and lightweight double sculls events.

Olympic Qualifier Series

The Olympic Qualifier Series is underway in Shanghai, China. The event combines the sports of skateboarding, sport climbing, breaking, and BMX freestyle, making for an entertaining weekend! The event is one of two, with qualifications being awarded after the second event in Budapest in June.

In skateboarding, 14-year-old Santiago 2023 Pan Am Games champion Fay De Fazio Ebert has advanced to the semifinals of the women’s park event. Samantha Secours will represent Canada in the women’s street event. On the men’s side, Matt Berger and Ryan Decenzo have advanced to the street semifinals, while Micky Papa, and Cordano Russell were eliminated in the prelims.

Team Canada’s first two Olympians in sport climbing from the sport’s Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020, Sean McColl and Alannah Yip, will begin the process of trying to qualify for their second Games. Yip, who climbed to a bronze medal at Santiago 2023, will compete in the women’s boulder and lead combined event. McColl will compete in the men’s boulder and lead event, alongside Oscar Baudrand.

In breaking, Tiffany Leung, aka B-Girl Tiff, and Emma Misak, aka B-Girl Emma, will battle towards Paris qualification. Team Canada has already qualified one breaker for Paris 2024, Philip Kim (B-Boy Phil Wizard) who qualified on his way to winning the Pan Am Games gold medal. Leung finished fourth at Santiago 2023.


The IJF World Championships kick off on Sunday in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates and run until May 24. Eleven Canadian judokas will be looking to amass points towards their IJF World Ranking before the Olympic qualification period closes on June 23.

Monday’s competition in the women’s 57kg category will be crucial for Christa Deguchi and Jessica Klimkait. The two Canadians are currently ranked first and second, respectively, in the world, but only one of them will be able to take part in the Olympic tournament in this weight category. Whoever finishes higher will get two points towards Judo Canada’s selection criteria, which will also consider who is higher in the world rankings at the close of the qualification window, as well as the results from the 2022 and 2023 World Championships.

Deguchi will be aiming to defend the world title she won last year. It was her second career world title. In 2019, she became the first Canadian woman to be crowned world judo champion. For her part, Klimkait won the world championships in 2021, securing her qualification for Tokyo 2020, where she won a bronze medal. She also won bronze at the 2023 World Championships.

Another bronze medallist at the last Olympic Games, Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard is currently ranked first in the world in the women’s 63kg category, for which competition takes place on Tuesday. She finished on the second step of the podium at the 2022 World Championships.

On Thursday, Shady Elnahas and Kyle Reyes will both compete in the men’s under-100kg category. Elnahas finished fifth at the 2023 World Championships, a position he also achieved at the 2021 World Championships and at Tokyo 2020 a few months later. Reyes, meanwhile, was silver medallist at the 2022 World Championships and took seventh place at last year’s worlds.

Deguchi’s sister Kelly (52kg) will be the first Canadian to take to the tatami on Sunday, while Ana Laura Portuondo Isasi (+78 kg) will have to wait until Thursday before taking to the stage.

On the men’s side, Julien Frascadore (66kg) will be in action on Monday, as will Arthur Margelidon (73kg), while François Gauthier-Drapeau (81kg) and Louis Krieber Gagnon (90kg) will take part in their respective tournaments on Tuesday and Wednesday.