Weekend Roundup: Four medals for Katie Vincent at Canoe Sprint World Cup opener
It was another incredible week(end) for Team Canada.
Katie Vincent battled through cold and wind to collect four medals at the first stop of the ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup in Szeged, Hungary. In Doha, Qatar, Christa Deguchi’s second career world title led Canada to be among the top nations at the World Judo Championships. And down in Atlanta, Summer McIntosh looked strong in her first competitive outing since her record-breaking week at the Canadian Trials.
Here’s a quick look back at what else you might have missed.
Canoe/Kayak Sprint: Katie Vincent conquers World Cup opener
As part of her quadruple medal haul in Szeged, Hungary, Katie Vincent reached the podium in both women’s canoe sprint events that are part of Olympic program. She started off on Friday with a silver medal in the women’s C-1 200m. On Saturday, she teamed up with Sloan MacKenzie to win bronze in the women’s C-2 500m.
Vincent topped the podium twice on Sunday, capturing gold in the non-Olympic C-1 500m and C-1 5000m events.
“I’m feeling pretty positive and confident, but there’s still some things we need to work on, as there always is, but I think we are building towards a stronger and better result later in the year, and this is a really positive stepping stone on our way,” said Vincent.
Canada has some depth in women’s canoe events. Sophia Jensen placed eighth in the C-1 200m and then teamed with Julia Osende for a fifth-place finish in the C-2 500m. In other Olympic program events, Connor Fitzpatrick reached the A final in the C-1 1000m, placing eighth. Michelle Russell raced to seventh in the final of the women’s K-1 500m.
Judo: Deguchi captures second world title
Christa Deguchi delivered the Canadian highlight of the week at the World Judo Championships in Doha, Qatar when she captured her second career world title in the women’s 57kg event. She shared the podium with bronze medallist teammate Jessica Klimkait.
Several other Canadian judokas made their way into medal matches but had to be satisfied with achieving career-best results. That group included Arthur Margelidon (73kg), François Gauthier-Drapeau (81kg) and Shady El Nahas (100kg) who all finished tied for fifth in their respective weight classes. El Nahas was unable to compete in his bronze medal bout after suffering a rib injury in his semifinal loss to the eventual world champion. He previously finished just off the podium at the 2021 World Championships.
Swimming: McIntosh and Liendo return to race mode
Summer McIntosh competed at the Atlanta Classic this weekend with a strategic plan. She focused on some individual events in which she doesn’t usually compete, but are key to her success in the individual medleys. Her packed schedule was also good preparation for the many events she’ll swim in at the World Aquatics Championships this summer.
Among McIntosh’s highlights were personal best times in the 50m freestyle (25.78), 100m backstroke (1:00.25), and 100m butterfly (57.86), as well as her second fastest time ever in the 200m backstroke (2:07.34).
Also competing in Atlanta was Joshua Liendo. He defeated American Caeleb Dressel (one of his training mates at the University of Florida) to win the 100m freestyle and 100m butterfly, two events in which Dressel is the reigning Olympic champion.
Across the Atlantic in Canet-en-Roussillon, France, Ingrid Wilm won 50m backstroke silver and 100m backstroke bronze at the first stop of the Mare Nostrum Swim Tour. More Canadians are expected to join that small circuit for its races this coming week in Barcelona and Monaco.
Athletics: Early season consistency for Brown
Aaron Brown earned his first 200m victory of the season on Saturday in Nairobi, Kenya. He finished first at the Kip Keino Classic, a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold event, in 20.12 seconds, his second-fastest time so far this year. He has reached the podium in all three of his 200m races in 2023.
Ethan Katzberg won the silver medal in the men’s hammer throw with a best effort of 76.38 metres. The 21-year-old owns the second-best distance in the world so far this year, having launched the hammer a personal best 78.41 metres earlier this month in Kamloops.
Rugby Sevens: Season best performance by Canadian men
The Canadian men’s team stunned at the World Rugby Sevens Series stop in Toulouse, France as they made it all the way to the bronze medal game. Though they lost 28-12 to the home team to finish fourth overall, it was by far their best finish of the 2022-23 Sevens Series. Team Canada advanced to the semifinals thanks to a 12-10 upset victory over Australia in the quarterfinals.
It was the last stop of the season on the women’s Sevens Series. Team Canada won the Fair Play Award for the second straight year as World Rugby match officials recognized how well they showcased the values of integrity, passion, solidarity, discipline, and respect.
Road Cycling: First Grand Tour stage podium for Gee
One week into his first career Grand Tour, Derek Gee sprinted his way onto a stage podium at the Giro d’Italia. The neo pro (meaning he is in his first season as a professional road cyclist) with Team Israel-Premier Tech finished second in Saturday’s eighth stage from Terni to Fossombrone which covered 207km.
“This is the best moment of my career! I came here thinking about just surviving so this is incredible,” said Gee.
The Giro will continue for two more weeks, concluding in Rome on May 28. It is the first of the Grand Tours, to be followed this summer by the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España.
Hockey: Team Canada starts strongly at men’s worlds
On Friday, Team Canada started the IIHF World Championship with a bang, defeating co-host Latvia 6-0 in their opening game of the tournament. Samuel Montembeault made 23 saves for the shutout.
They followed up on Sunday with a 5-2 win over Slovenia. Canada fought back after a slow start that saw them trailing 1-0 after the first period. Defenceman MacKenzie Weegar has been one of the team’s top scorers, recording two goals and four assists in the first two games.
Canada’s third game on Monday was a tighter affair. After Canada took a 1-0 lead early in the first period, Slovakia tied it up less than 10 minutes later. The 1-1 tie stood through the rest of regulation and a five minute overtime period. In the shootout, the two teams were tied 2-2 after the first five rounds. It took until the eighth round and a goal by Jack Quinn to break the deadlock. Montembeault stopped the next Slovakian shot to keep Canada undefeated.
Canada’s next game will be Wednesday afternoon (1:20 p.m. ET) against Kazakhstan. That will be followed by three more round robin matches before the playoff round begins.