Weekend Roundup: Loutitt, Mackay and Maltais, Blondin & Weidemann win at worlds
A lot of Team Canada’s athletes were competing in world championships over the last week, including freestyle skiing, snowboarding, nordic skiing and long track speed skating.
Alexandria Loutitt continued her incredible run by becoming the first Canadian to be crowned world champion in ski jumping. Brendan Mackay won the world title in ski halfpipe as Valérie Maltais, Ivanie Blondin and Isabelle Weidemann capped their dominance in the women’s team pursuit this season by winning gold in the event at the long track speed skating championships.
Here are the most recent performances by Team Canada athletes.
Ski Jumping: 19-year-old Loutitt makes history
Alexandria Loutitt is now the answer to the trivia question: who is Canada’s first world champion in ski jumping? Just a month after winning the world junior title, the 19-year-old laid claim to the women’s large hill gold medal at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Planica, Slovenia. It is Canada’s first medal of any colour in ski jumping at the worlds. Loutitt earned the victory by more than 10 points.
Freestyle Skiing: Mackay crowned world champion in men’s halfpipe, two podiums for Oldham
Brendan Mackay topped the podium in the men’s ski halfpipe at the FIS Freeski World Championships in Bakuriani, Georgia. Rachael Karker won bronze in the women’s ski halfpipe. Megan Oldham reached the podium twice, adding a bronze medal in ski big air to the silver in ski slopestyle won earlier at these same worlds.
Mackay, 25, stepped up when it mattered most with a two-point triumph en route to winning the gold. After leading through the first two runs, he found himself sitting in silver before his third and final. With pressure mounting, Mackay delivered his best run yet to earn a score of 97.25 points, enough to secure the gold medal. This season, the Calgary native has won three World Cup silver medals.
Fellow Canadian, Simon d’Artois narrowly missed the podium, finishing in fourth with a score of 92.00.
On the women’s side, Rachael Karker captured the bronze medal in the women’s ski halfpipe with a score of 92.25. Amy Fraser finished in fifth and Dillan Glennie in eighth.
Megan Oldham won her second straight world championship medal in ski slopestyle, taking silver in women’s ski slopestyle. She came through with a clutch second run that put her on the second step of the podium, just two tenths away from winning the gold. She reached the podium again in ski big air ski, winning the bronze medal. She finished with 174 points, one point shy of the silver medal.
Max Moffatt placed fourth in men’s ski slopestyle, narrowly missing the podium by just 1.53 points.
Noah Porter MacLennan was eighth and Tear Harle finished tenth in men’s ski big air.
Snowboard: Elizabeth Hosking makes history with world championship silver
Elizabeth Hosking became the first Canadian woman to ever win a world championship medal in snowboard halfpipe when she claimed silver on Friday. The 21-year-old continued her breakout season that already includes her first two World Cup podiums. She is Canada’s first world championship medallist (male or female) in snowboard halfpipe since 2009.
Laurie Blouin and Nicolas Laframboise were both fourth in their respective snowboard big air event. Blouin missed the podium by five points with a score of 148.25. Third after the first run, Laframboise scored a total of 142 points to finish in fourth.
Long track: Team pursuit gold caps big weekend at world championships
Ivanie Blondin, Valérie Maltais and Isabelle Weidemann are world champions in the women’s team pursuit. They won gold at the ISU World Speed Skating Championships in Heerenveen, Netherlands after the Dutch were disqualified for an equipment issue.
Laurent Dubreuil also won a silver medal in the men’s 500m. It is his third career world championship medal in the distance after the gold he won in 2021 and the bronze he earned back in 2015.
Ivanie Blondin continued her success, earning the silver medal in the women’s mass start. The 32-year-old was crowned world champion in 2020 and 2016. She also won silver at worlds in 2021, 2019 and 2015.
Ted-Jan Bloemen took home bronze in the 10,000m world championship race at the age of 36.
It’s the third World Championship distance skating medal of Bloemen’s career—he collected silvers in 2016 and 2020.
Graeme Fish finished fifth in the same race.
Blondin placed fourth in the women’s 1500m, missing the podium by 0.32 seconds, and in the women’s 5,000m, Isabelle Weidemann also finished fourth.
Canada opened the worlds by winning the gold medals in both the women’s and men’s sprint events. Brooklyn McDougall, Carolina Hiller, and Blondin won the women’s world title by 0.29 of a second over the United States. Christopher Fiola, Dubreuil, and Gélinas-Beaulieu claimed the men’s world title by 0.41 of a second over the Dutch home favourites.
Valérie Maltais was the top Canadian in the women’s 3000m, placing fifth for her career best individual result at the long track world championships.
Alpine Skiing: Jack Crawford captures silver in Aspen
Jack Crawford collected his third downhill World Cup medal of the season, capturing silver at the FIS Alpine World Cup in Aspen, USA. He finished 0.61 seconds behind winner Aleksander Aamodt Kilde of Norway.
In December, Crawford won bronze in Beaver Creek, Colorado and silver in Bormio, Italy.
In Sunday’s men’s Super G, Riley Seger finished 10th. It’s the best World Cup result of the season for the 25-year-old.
Snowboard Cross: Mixed team finishes fifth
Liam Moffatt was the top Canadian in the men’s snowboard cross, finishing third in the small final for seventh place overall. McManiman achieved the same placement in the women’s event.
Cross-Country Skiing: Best men’s relay finish since 2009
The quartet of Xavier McKeever, Antoine Cyr, Graham Ritchie, and Olivier Léveillé finished fifth in the men’s 4x10km relay at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Planica, Slovenia. They missed the podium by just under 23 seconds for Canada’s best result in the men’s relay at the worlds since 2009.
Aerials: Miha Fontaine reaches super final
Miha Fontaine finished sixth in the men’s aerials at the Aerials World Cup in Engadin, Switzerland.
He was sitting in second after the qualifications with 118.14 points for his back Full double Full-Full. He went on to place fifth in the first final with 112.39 points for the same jump. That was enough to make the top six and reach the super final.
In the super final, he executed a back double full-full-full, making a small mistake, which earned him 89.14 points and bumped him down to sixth place.
It was a second World Cup super final this season for the 19-year-old who finished fifth at the World Cup in Le Relais, Quebec in January.
Swimming: Summer McIntosh keeps breaking records
Each race presents an opportunity for Summer McIntosh to break records.
The 16-year-old swimmer set three senior Canadian records and three junior world records at the Pro Swim Series meet in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
She won the women’s 200m butterfly in a time of 2:05.05, which was 0.15 faster than her gold medal win at the 2022 World Aquatics Championships.
She did it again in the 200m freestyle, this time beating American star Katie Ledecky to win the gold medal in 1:54.13, lowering the Canadian record from 2018 and bettering her own junior world record by 66 hundredths, a record she set in swimming the first leg of the 4x200m freestyle relay at the worlds last summer.
McIntosh then completed her hat trick in the 200m individual medley winning gold with a time of 2:08.08 to shave 0.62 seconds from her world junior record set last season and better the Canadian record of 2:08.61 from 2019.
Ilya Kharun broke the Canadian record in the men’s 200m butterfly, clocking 1:54.49 to take 1.78 seconds off the previous mark from 2018.
Athletics: Canadian and North American records for Levins
Cameron Levins lowered his Canadian record on Sunday at the 2023 Tokyo Marathon where he finished fifth.
The 33-year-old ran the distance in 2:05:36 to lower his Canadian record of 2:07:09. This national mark is also faster than the automatic qualification standard for the Paris 2024 Olympics (2:08:10).