Split screen image of Ethan Katzberg posing with a Canadian flag, two rugby players hugging, and a basketball player dribbling the ballClaus Andersen/Athletics Canada - Kevin Light/Rugby Canada - FIBA Basketball
Claus Andersen/Athletics Canada - Kevin Light/Rugby Canada - FIBA Basketball

Weekend Roundup: Katzberg crowned world champion, women’s rugby qualifies for Paris 2024

Team Canada had a momentous weekend spanning across multiple sports. Ethan Katzberg had a world championship debut most people could only dream of, Olympic spots were secured in a couple of sports for Paris 2024, and the women’s 3×3 basketball team kept up its recent run of success.

Check out what you might have missed:

Athletics: Katzberg & Dunfee deliver national records to kick start world championships

Competing in his first World Athletics Championships, hammer thrower Ethan Katzberg certainly didn’t look like a debutant. He conquered a tough field to earn the title of world champion in Budapest, Hungary.

READ: Ethan Katzberg captures hammer throw gold at World Athletics Championships

Having never before surpassed the 80-metre mark, he got that out of the way with one throw in qualification, hitting a Canadian record 81.18 metres to rank himself first heading into Sunday’s final.

Facing the five-time defending world champion, the reigning Olympic champion, and a Hungarian hometown hero, 21-year-old Katzberg outthrew them all. With his fifth throw, he launched the hammer 81.25m, rewriting the Canadian record book once again. He is the youngest ever world championship medallist in the men’s hammer throw, never mind being the youngest world champion of the event. This is Canada’s first ever world championship medal in the men’s hammer throw.

His national record performance followed that of Evan Dunfee on Saturday in the men’s 20km race walk. Dunfee finished fourth in 1:18:03, knocking more than a minute off the previous mark held by Inaki Gomez since 2016.

Dunfee has had most of his international success in the 50km race walk, claiming an Olympic bronze in Tokyo after a world championship bronze in 2019. The distance has since been removed from the international program. Dunfee will compete again in the 35km race walk on Thursday.

Another notable performance was by Mohammed Ahmed who ran to sixth place in the men’s 10,000m final with a time of 27:56.43. Ahmed will compete again in the 5000m.

The World Athletics Championships continue until August 27 with plenty more Canadians in action this week.

READ: A few Canadians to watch at the World Athletics Championships

Rugby Sevens: Team Canada women qualify for Paris 2024

The Canadian women’s rugby sevens team clinched victory at the Rugby Americas North Sevens tournament by delivering an impressive 53-0 triumph over Mexico in the final. This commanding win not only showcased their dominance but also solidified their spot for Paris 2024.

READ: Paris here they come, Canadian women’s rugby team qualifies for Olympics

In an earlier match on Sunday, the Canadian women had already demonstrated their prowess, defeating St. Lucia by a score of 41-7 in their semifinal. This game marked the only time during the entire tournament where the Canadians conceded any points.

On the men’s side, the Canadians came up just short of booking their tickets to Paris 2024. They fell 24-14 to Team USA in the final, giving the Americans the Olympic spot. Team Canada will have one last opportunity to qualify for the Olympic men’s tournament at the Final Olympic Repechage Tournament next year.

3×3 Basketball: Gold for Canada in Quebec

At the FIBA 3×3 Women’s Series stop in Quebec City, Team Canada triumphed 21-19 over a USA U24 team in the final to win their third straight tournament. The quartet of Katherine Plouffe, Michelle Plouffe, Paige Crozon, and Jamie Scott (who was subbing for Kacie Bosch) went undefeated in their five games.

READ: Team Canada wins 3×3 Women’s Series event in Quebec City

The Canadians had won the last two tournaments they entered in Edmonton and Prague. In a first, the Plouffe twins were named co-MVPs of the Quebec tournament. Michelle put up 33 points to be the top scorer while Katherine recorded 33 rebounds.

READ: Canadian women’s 3×3 team on basketball, humility and the pathway to Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Sailing: Olympic spot secured in women’s dinghy

After a tough week on the water at the Sailing World Championships in The Hague, Netherlands, Sarah Douglas could at least be satisfied that she qualified an Olympic quota spot for Canada in the ILCA 6 class.

After being penalized in her very first race, it was an uphill climb for Douglas. She went on to finish 24th overall, but that was enough to claim for Canada the last of the 16 Olympic berths up for grab in the women’s dinghy event at the world championships. There is a maximum of one spot per country per sailing event at Paris 2024.

Douglas finished sixth in the event that was known as the Laser Radial at Tokyo 2020. In the year ahead, she’ll look to earn Olympic nomination for herself with results at some key regattas. Canada’s top boat at the world championships was in the 49er FX as Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance placed 13th. That put them just outside the top 10 result needed to secure an Olympic spot in the women’s skiff event.

READ: What you need to know about Olympic sailing

Beach Volleyball: Another quarterfinal appearance for Melissa & Brandie

Melissa Humana-Paredes and Brandie Wilkerson couldn’t make it two wins in a row, but they did reach the quarterfinals at the Beach Pro Tour Elite 16 event in Hamburg, Germany. It is the fourth time the first-year partners have finished tied for fifth on the top tier international circuit. They’ve made it at least as far as the quarterfinals in every tournament they’ve entered in 2023.

Melissa and Brandie finished pool play with a 2-1 record, which put them directly into the quarterfinals. They dropped that match 22-20, 21-10 to German duo Svenja Müller and Cinja Tillman.

Archery: Peters stays strong at Olympic test event

Fresh off his historic silver medal at the World Archery Championships, Eric Peters finished seventh in men’s individual recurve at the Archery World Cup in Paris. The competition doubled as the official Olympic test event for Paris 2024, giving the archers a chance to get comfortable in the venue that will exist on the Esplanade des Invalides.

Peters was eliminated in the quarterfinals by South Korea’s Lee Woo Seok who went on to win the silver medal. It is the second time this year the Canadian made it to the quarterfinals at a World Cup event.