5 Team Canada things to watch this weekend: June 23-25
Summer has officially arrived and so has a weekend full of action for Team Canada athletes.
It’s a holiday weekend in Quebec for Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day and fans in Montreal have a chance to cheer on Canadian triathletes competing at home in a World Triathlon Championship Series event. On the other side of the world, several Canadian judokas, including Christa Deguchi who was crowned world champion last month, will compete in a Grand Slam event in Mongolia.
Canada’s top 3×3 basketball team will look to repeat last season’s success as they embark on the FIBA 3×3 Women’s series in Orléans, France. Fresh off a couple of fourth place finishes, Molly Simpson leads Canada’s BMX racers into two rounds of World Cup racing in the Netherlands. Meanwhile, Canadian street skateboarders look to amass some valuable ranking points towards Olympic qualification in Rome.
Here are five sports you’ll want to keep a close eye on:
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia is where Canada’s top judokas will be in action at an IJF Grand Slam event. After securing her second career world title in early May, Christa Deguchi looks to add to her tally of six career Grand Slam gold medals. But she has tough competition in the women’s 57kg category in the form of fellow Canadian Jessica Klimkait, who herself has five career Grand Slam titles and has reached the podium in 13 straight tournaments, including a bronze at this year’s world championships. They’ll take to the tatami on Friday, as will Deguchi’s sister Kelly who competes in the 52kg event.
Saturday will see Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard, 2022 World silver medallist currently ranked second in the world, in action in the women’s 63kg event. She owns three Grand Slam gold medals in her career. François Gauthier-Drapeau will compete in the men’s 81kg event. Another 2022 World silver medallist, Kyle Reyes, will be in the men’s 100kg event on Sunday, along with Louis Kreiber-Gagnon in the men’s 90kg event.
The World Triathlon Championship Series — the top tier competition circuit in the sport — makes a stop in Montreal this weekend. The women’s and men’s individual races will take place on Saturday in Old Montreal. They’re being held in sprint format — half the distance of an Olympic-length race — starting with a 750-metre swim followed by 20km of cycling before finishing with a 5km run. Sunday features the mixed relay event in which two women and two men form a team. They’ll each swim 300 metres, cycle 7km, and run 2km.
Tyler Mislawchuk, who won silver at last week’s World Cup in Huatulco, Mexico, will take part in the men’s race alongside Charles Paquet and Martin Sobey. Dominika Jamnicky and Emy Legault are entered in the women’s race. Canada’s quartet for the relay will be announced closer to the day.
The FIBA 3×3 Women’s Series is in Orléans, France this weekend. After skipping the first five stops of the series, the Canadian quartet of Kacie Bosch, Paige Crozon, Katherine Plouffe, and Michelle Plouffe make their return to the circuit. They took top honours at last year’s FIBA 3×3 Women’s Series Final.
The Canadians are the top seeds in this tournament and look to move on from the disappointment of their quarterfinal loss to France at the FIBA 3×3 World Cup earlier this month. The French team competing this week in Orléans includes only two of those players that defeated Canada.
Canada’s preliminary round pool includes Italy and Neftchi, one of two teams from Azerbaijan. After Friday’s round robin, the top two teams in each of the four pools will advance to the quarterfinals on Saturday. That will be followed by the semifinals and final later in the day.
Rounds 3 and 4 of the UCI BMX Racing World Cup will take place on Saturday and Sunday in Papendal, the Netherlands. The only Canadian in the women’s event will be 20-year-old Molly Simpson.
Ranked seventh in the world, she won her first career World Cup medal in October 2021 and then took bronze in the U23 division at last year’s world championships. She finished fourth in the elite division in both World Cup rounds held in Sakarya, Turkey at the start of June.
Three Canadians — Riley Lavorato, Riley Meyer-Clement, and Ryan Tougas — will compete in the men’s elite division.
Qualification for Paris 2024 is underway and this weekend sees some of Canada’s top street skateboarders chasing ranking points at the World Skateboarding Tour event in Rome.
Two Canadians have moved on from the qualification round. Micky Papa and Cordano Russell placed 13th and 14th, respectively, in men’s qualifying on Thursday to be among the top 27 who will compete in the quarterfinals on Friday. The semifinals are scheduled for Saturday with the finals on Sunday.