Weekend Roundup: Douglas sails to gold as part of a medal-packed weekend for Team Canada
Sarah Douglas had a week to remember in the south of France, Aaron Brown sprinted to the podium in his Diamond League tune-up, and Ryan Decenzo showed off his skateboard style in Chicago.
They were among the many Team Canada athletes who earned some hardware for their hard work this past weekend. Keep reading to catch up on what you may have missed.
Sailing: Douglas claims gold at French Olympic Week
Olympian Sarah Douglas won gold in the ICLA 6 class at the French Olympic Week sailing competition on Saturday. Douglas finished with 74 points to defeat Tokyo 2020 Olympic champion and 2022 World champion Anne-Marie Rindom of Denmark by one point. This is Douglas’ second major international victory in the last year, following her win at the Trofeo Princesa Sofia, a World Cup event, in April 2022.
Heading into Saturday’s Medal Race, Douglas could finish no lower than second after some outstanding performances during the 10-race opening series that started last Monday. She led after the first two races (in which she placed first and second), momentarily dropped into second place after the third race, but then regained top spot and never looked back.
“I’m super happy to come away with the win in Hyères,” said Douglas. “I came to France with specific goals in mind and I’m happy that I was able to achieve them. To step on the podium is the cherry on top!”
“I was a bit nervous going into the medal race. Anne-Marie (Rindom) is an incredible sailor with all the experience in the world, so I knew she had been in this kind of situation before. It was new for me, but I kept with the plan, kept cool and kept pushing until the very end to walk away with the gold medal.”
Athletics: Brown finishes second in 200m in Botswana
Aaron Brown was in flying form in the men’s 200m at the Botswana Golden Grand Prix on Saturday. A time of 20 seconds flat secured him second place ahead of his Canadian teammates in the 4x100m relay. Brendon Rodney finished fifth (20.28), Jerome Blake was sixth (20.39) and Olympic champion Andre De Grasse ended up in seventh (20.41).
Brown also raced in the 100m, in which he placed fourth in 10.06 seconds. This World Athletics Continental Tour Gold event served as a warmup for the Diamond League season which will open May 5 in Doha, Qatar.
Skateboarding: Decenzo second in SLS Championship Tour
On Saturday night, Ryan Decenzo secured second place at the SLS Championship Tour in Chicago. In an intense men’s street final, the 36-year-old was narrowly edged out by Brazilian Kelvin Hoefler, who won Olympic silver at Tokyo 2020. This was the first of three SLS events leading up to the Super Crown Final later in the year. Decenzo is the top-ranked Canadian man in the street world rankings towards Olympic qualification for Paris 2024.
Curling: Team Canada fourth at mixed doubles worlds
Jennifer Jones and Brent Laing fell 6-2 to Norway in the bronze medal game of the 2023 World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship in Gangneung, South Korea. They went 8-1 in round robin play to earn a bye to the semifinal, but they lost 6-2 to the American team that would go on to win the gold medal. In both games, stolen points played a big part in the scores.
“We had a couple chances; I had a runback in the first end to maybe score multiple points,” said Jones after the bronze medal game. “We just didn’t quite make the big shots when we had to. But I’m really proud of our week. We just weren’t as sharp as we needed to be in the playoffs.”
Badminton: 7 medals at Pan Am Championships
Canada won gold in all five events as well as two silver medals at the Pan American Badminton Championships in Kingston, Jamaica. Michelle Li and Brian Yang topped the women’s and men’s singles podiums, respectively. Li successfully defended her title from 2022 as she earned her sixth career gold at the Pan Am Championships. Yang regained the title he won in 2021 after finishing second last year.
Josephine Wu and Catherine Choi teamed up to win gold in women’s doubles. In men’s doubles, Adam Dong and Nyl Yakura defeated their fellow Canadians Kevin Lee and Ty Lindeman in the final. It was also an all-Canadian showdown in the mixed doubles final as Joshua Hurlburt-Yu and Rachel Honderich defeated Lindeman and Wu. Those results bode well for the Santiago 2023 Pan Am Games this fall.
Canoe/Kayak Slalom: Lots of silver for Team Canada in Brazil
This weekend also saw Canadian success at the Pan American Canoe Slalom Championships in Três Coroas, Brazil. The event served as a qualifier for the Santiago 2023 Pan Am Games.
Florence Maheu was a double medallist, taking silver in both the women’s K-1 and women’s kayak cross, a discipline that will make its Olympic debut at Paris 2024. Lois Betteridge won silver in the women’s C-1 while Alex Baldoni earned his own silver in the men’s C-1.
Equestrian: Tiffany Foster places fourth at FEI Jumping Nations Cup
Tiffany Foster and her horse Hamilton had a successful few days at the FEI Jumping Nations Cup of Mexico. They finished fourth in the Grand Prix on Sunday after recording zero faults in both the final round and the jump-off. Their time of 41.82 seconds in the jump-off placed them behind three other faultless horse-rider combinations.
On Friday, they had been part of Canada’s third place finish in the team event, alongside Sara Tindale (Kino), Erynn Ballard (Gakhir), and Mario Deslauriers (Bardolina 2). The next stop of the FEI Jumping Nations Cup will be in mid-May in California before it comes to Vancouver-Langley, B.C. in early June.