Weekend Roundup: Team Canada keeps up winning ways
Canadian speed skaters and figure skaters shared the spotlight this weekend with many podiums across the globe.
Olympic medallists Ivanie Blondin, Laurent Dubreuil, and Isabelle Weidemann started the long track World Cup season on a high note, Marjorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha showed why they’re rising stars in ice dance, and there was a double digit medal haul at the short track Four Continents Championships.
Off the ice, Canada locked up a spot at the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup with an emphatic win in Edmonton.
Here’s a look at the details of those great accomplishments and a few other things you might have missed:
Long Track Speed Skating: 6 medals in Norway 👏
Canadian speed skaters were in good form at the first long track ISU World Cup of the season in Stavanger, Norway. They finished the weekend with a total of six medals.
Ivanie Blondin won two gold medals, the first alongside Isabelle Weidemann and Valérie Maltais in the women’s team pursuit on Saturday. The reigning Olympic champions in the event finished almost half a second ahead of the runners-up from the Netherlands. Blondin followed up on Sunday with a victory in the mass start, winning the sprint to the finish.
Laurent Dubreuil was also a double medallist, winning silver in both the 500m and 1000m. In addition to the team pursuit gold, Weidemann also earned bronze in the women’s 3000m on Friday. That was Canada’s second medal of the weekend, following Connor Howe‘s silver in the men’s 1500m. Howe also finished fifth in the men’s team pursuit alongside Tyson Langelaar and Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu.
Canadian speed skaters will travel to Heerenveen, Netherlands for the second ISU World Cup taking place November 18-20.
Figure Skating: Bronze 🥉 at the MK John Wilson Trophy
Ice dancers Marjorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha climbed the podium for the second time this season on the ISU Grand Prix series. On Sunday, the Canadian duo claimed the bronze medal at the MK John Wilson Trophy in Sheffield, England. They finished with an overall score of 198.95 points, less than four points off their international best set earlier this season in an ISU Challenger Series event.
The fifth stop of the series is the NHK Trophy taking place November 18-20 in Sapporo, Japan.
Basketball: Ticket booked for the FIBA 🏀 World Cup
Team Canada got the job done! The Canadian Senior Men’s National Team secured their place in the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup with a 94-56 win over Venezuela at the Edmonton Expo Centre on Thursday. They followed up with a 112-71 victory over Panama on Sunday night.
Canada remains the only undefeated team in the FIBA Americas zone. The Canadians are 10-0 and sit first in Group E with two games left in the World Cup qualifying process. Those will be played in late February.
Short Track Speed Skating: Hardware haul 🏅 in Salt Lake City
Team Canada brought home ten medals from the ISU Four Continents Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Among the highlights: Courtney Sarault claimed gold in the women’s 1500m and women’s 1000m, sharing the podium with bronze medallist teammate Claudia Gagnon in the latter.
Three-time Olympic medallist Steven Dubois skated to gold in the men’s 500m and bronze in the men’s 1500m. Pascal Dion also earned two individual medals, taking silver in the men’s 1000m (in which William Dandjinou won bronze) and bronze in the men’s 500m.
There was also a silver medal in the women’s 3000m relay and a bronze medal in the mixed relay.
Tennis: Making memories 🥰 at the Billie Jean Cup Finals
Team Canada’s run at the Billie Jean King Cup came to an end on Friday in Glasgow with a group stage loss to Switzerland. Both Bianca Andreescu and Leylah Fernandez were defeated in their respective singles matches, giving the Swiss an insurmountable lead in the best-of-three tie. Canada did win the doubles to finish on a winning note as Fernandez teamed up with Gabriela Dabrowski for a 6-2, 6-1 win. The tie ended 2-1 in favour of Switzerland.
On Thursday, Canada had opened group play with a 3-0 win over Italy as Andreescu and Fernandez swept the singles matches and then Fernandez and Dabrowski got a straight sets win in doubles. Canada will host Belgium in the Billie Jean King Cup Qualifiers ties in mid-April 2023.
Track Cycling: Two Canadian medals in Spain
At the first stop of the UCI Track Champions League in Mallorca, Matthias Guillemette won the men’s elimination race while Kelsey Mitchell took the silver medal in the women’s keirin. Maggie Coles-Lyster and Sarah Van Dam just missed the podium in the women’s elimination race, placing fourth and fifth, respectively. Van Dam was also fourth in the women’s scratch race.
There are four more rounds in the UCI Track Champions League taking place over the next three weekends in Berlin, Paris, and London.
Bobsleigh: World Cup warmup in Whistler
Canadian bobsledders got their first taste of international racing this season at the North American Cup opener in Whistler. Cynthia Appiah and Bianca Ribi each won two monobob medals, including one gold for Appiah. Ribi won both two-woman races with brakewoman Niamh Haughey while Appiah was second in both with Leah Walkeden.
Taylor Austin piloted his four-man sled to gold and bronze after winning two bronze medals in two-man with two different brakemen.
There is another North American Cup stop in Park City, Utah this weekend before the World Cup circuit kicks off in Whistler on November 24.