Alex Broadway/ - FIBA - AP Photo/Thibault Camus
Alex Broadway/ - FIBA - AP Photo/Thibault Camus

Weekend Roundup: First final of Andreescu’s return, another podium for Team Canada 3×3

Team Canada athletes had an exceptional weekend, making their mark on podiums across Europe.

The Canadian women’s 3×3 basketball team secured silver in France, enhancing their global standing ahead of Paris 2024. In the Netherlands, Bianca Andreescu battled her way to the final in just her second tournament of the year. In Italy, Isabella Holmgren dominated the women’s U23 cross-country race at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, showcasing her skill in challenging conditions.

Read about the highlights that set the stage ahead of Paris 2024:

3×3 Basketball: Canadian women capture silver in France

With an Olympic spot already clinched and roster named, Canada continues to find international success, finishing second at the FIBA 3×3 Women’s Series stop in Clermont-Ferrand, France.

READ: Canada grabs 3×3 Women’s Series silver in France

Paige Crozon and Katherine Plouffe, two Olympic-bound athletes, led the team alongside Cassandra Brown and Mackenzie Smith. The foursome advanced perfectly through the group stage, beating China’s U24 national team and Austria. In the playoff round, they got past Puerto Rico in the quarterfinals in overtime before defeating the Netherlands in the semifinals. But the group fell short in the final clash against the host team France, falling 21-12.

This is Canada’s second podium performance of the FIBA 3×3 Women’s Series season after the Olympic-bound quartet won the opener in Springfield, Massachusetts in late April.

Set to tip off their Olympic tournament on July 30, Crozon and Plouffe will be joined by Michelle Plouffe and Kacie Bosch as they make Canada’s Olympic debut in the sport that joined the program at Tokyo 2020. 

Tennis: Andreescu reaches final in Wimbledon warmup

In just her second tournament since returning from a nine-month injury layoff, Bianca Andreescu finished as the runner-up at the Libema Open on Sunday in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands. She dropped the final in three sets (4-6, 6-3, 7-5) to second seed Liudmila Samsonova.

READ: Andreescu falls in Libema Open final

It was almost a match of two halves. On her 24th birthday, Andreescu started strong with two breaks early as she went on to take the first set 6-4. However, the Canadian seemed to feel some pain in her left thigh which forced her to take a time-out while trailing 3-0 in the second set. She came back to win two consecutive games, but Samsonova was now the dominant player on the court and took the second set 6-3.

The third and last set was an unpredictable one. At first, it seemed as if Samsonova was going to run away easily with the trophy, but Andreescu fought back to tie it 5-5. However, an untimely break allowed Samsonova to serve for the match, an opportunity she did not miss.

Andreescu returned to competition at Roland-Garros just a few weeks ago after being sidelined by a back injury. Her route to the final included a quarterfinal victory over four-time Grand Slam champion and former world number one Naomi Osaka.

In another grass court tournament, the Rothesay Open in Nottingham, England, Gabriela Dabrowski won the women’s doubles with partner Erin Routliffe of New Zealand.

Mountain Bike: Isabella Holmgren rides to first place in Val di Sole

Isabella Holmgren dominated the women’s under-23 cross-country race at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup on Sunday in Val di Sole, Italy. Leading from start to finish, her win came on challenging course conditions after heavy overnight rain, making the technical sections of roots and rocks treacherous.

Holmgren thrived under these hard conditions and led by over a minute by the end of the second lap. The Canadian finished the race in one hour 14 minutes and 54 seconds, 1:26 ahead of French rider Olivia Onesti. Three weeks ago, Holmgren won the women’s U23 race at the UCI World Cup stop in Nové Město na Moravě, Czechia. That result put her in position to claim Canada’s lone Olympic spot in women’s mountain bike. Team Canada’s cycling team for Paris 2024 will be revealed next week.

Canoe/Kayak Slalom: Betteridge sixth in kayak cross

Lois Betteridge reached the semifinals of the women’s kayak cross event at the ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup in Krakow, Poland. She missed out on advancing to the four-woman final by one spot as she finished third in her semifinal heat. Her time ranked her sixth overall.

This was the third and final World Cup of the year for slalom paddlers. Betteridge will now prepare to represent Team Canada alongside Alex Baldoni in canoe/kayak slalom at Paris 2024. She will compete in all three women’s slalom events — C-1, K-1, and kayak cross.

Golf: Conners ties for ninth at U.S. Open

At the third men’s major of the year, Corey Conners did just what he needed to secure his spot on his second Olympic team. Conners finished tied for ninth at the U.S Open as he ended up at even par for the tournament. It is his second top-10 of the year, following his solo sixth-place at the RBC Canadian Open earlier this month.

With that performance, Conners jumped nine spots in the Official World Golf Ranking to number 37, one spot ahead of Adam Hadwin, to claim Canada’s second men’s spot for Paris 2024. Nick Taylor, who missed the cut at Pinehurst No. 2, qualifies for his first Olympic appearance with his world ranking of No. 35.