Weekend Roundup: Canada on top of the world in athletics, canoe sprint, and basketball
It was a banner weekend all around for Team Canada athletes — from the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, to the FIBA World Cup in Jakarta, Indonesia, to the Canoe Sprint World Championships in Duisburg, Germany.
Here’s what happened:
Athletics: Canada has historic day at World Athletics Championships
It was a banner weekend for Team Canada at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary. On Saturday, four medals were added to the tally, which brought Canada up to six overall for the meet. That includes four athletes who earned the title of world champion over the last week.
On Thursday, Camryn Rogers became Canada’s first world champion in the women’s hammer throw. It was a clean sweep for Canada in the hammer throw, as Rogers joined Ethan Katzberg who won the men’s event the previous Sunday.
On the penultimate day of the championships, Canadians were winning medals almost each time fans refreshed their social media feeds. The historic evening started with Marco Arop, who became Canada’s first ever world champion in the 800m. He made his kick around the 600-metre mark to leave Kenya’s Emmanuel Wanyonyi behind, while Great Britain’s Ben Pattison finished third. Arop had won bronze last year.
Next up was Sarah Mitton earning Canada’s first ever world championship medal in women’s shot put. Her season-best final throw of 20.08m was good enough to earn her silver. She steps on the podium for the first time at the worlds after finishing fourth last year on a tiebreaker.
In the decathlon, Pierce LePage and Damian Warner delivered a gold-silver finish for Canada. Heading into the final event, LePage held the lead while Warner was in third. But in that gruelling 1500m to cap two days of competition, Warner finished far enough ahead of Grenada’s Lindon Victor to switch their spots on the podium. Lepage cruised to a 100-point margin of victory, earning 8909 points to Warner’s 8804.
LePage is Canada’s first ever world champion in the decathlon, improving on his silver from last year. Warner, who was Canada’s first Olympic decathlon gold medallist in Tokyo 2020, now has two silver and two bronze medals from the world championships in his trophy case.
There were also a few notable non-medal results at the worlds. The women’s 4x400m relay team (Zoe Sherar, Aiyanna Stiverne, Kyra Constantine, Grace Konrad) finished fourth, 1.38 seconds off the podium. Evan Dunfee recorded fourth-place finishes in both the men’s 20km and 35km race walks. Andre De Grasse placed sixth in the men’s 200m. Mohammed Ahmed finished sixth in the men’s 10,000m and seventh in the men’s 5000m. Jean-Simon Desgagnés was eighth in the men’s 3000m steeplechase. It all helped Canada finish sixth overall in the placing table with 70 points — the country’s best score ever.
Basketball: Canada is on fire at FIBA World Cup
Team Canada is off to a strong start at the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Jakarta, Indonesia. After a dominant 30-point win over France (95-65) in their first game of the tournament on Friday, Team Canada moved to defeat Lebanon in a record-setting second game on Sunday. Canada recorded 44 assists, a FIBA World Cup record for most team assists in a game, as they earned the 128-73 victory.
Nine Canadian players ended the game in double digits for points, as they shot a remarkable 71.4 per cent from the field and hit 18 of their 30 three-point attempts.
Team Canada’s next game is at 9:30 a.m. ET on Tuesday against Latvia. Both teams are 2-0 and guaranteed to move onto the second round.
Canoe/Kayak: So many Canadian medals and Olympic quota spots
It was a big weekend for Paris 2024 qualification during the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in Duisburg, Germany.
The biggest Canadian star was Katie Vincent. She teamed with Sloan MacKenzie to win bronze in the women’s C-2 500m. Along with the world championship medal came an Olympic quota spot in the event for Team Canada.
Vincent also won three gold medals in events that are not on the Olympic program – women’s C-1 500m, women’s C-1 5000m, and mixed C-2 500m in which she partnered with Connor Fitzpatrick.
Canada won three other medals at the worlds, all in non-Olympic events. Jacy Grant grabbed silver in the women’s C-1 1000m. There was a bronze in the women’s C-4 500m, and Madeline Schmidt earned silver in the women’s K-1 5000m.
Even without medals, Canada secured Olympic qualification in a few other events. Sophia Jensen’s sixth-place finish in the women’s C-1 200m was enough for a quota spot, as was Michelle Russell’s sixth-place finish in the women’s K-1 500m. Both the men’s and women’s K-4 500m crews also earned quota spots with their 10th-place finishes. The athletes who will be in all those boats at Paris 2024 will be determined next year.