5 Team Canada sports to watch this weekend: September 1-3
Team Canada fans will have lots of competition to follow over the Labour Day long weekend.
Canadian rowers will take their first strokes at the World Rowing Championships on Sunday. Basketball fans are also in for a treat. Team Canada will play two second-round games at the FIBA World Cup over the weekend, while the Canadian women’s 3×3 basketball team will attempt to claim another FIBA Women’s 3×3 Series title on Canadian soil in Montreal.
Sprint paddlers are familiarizing themselves with the Paris 2024 venue while competing at an ICF World Cup. In artistic gymnastics, a couple of events will be used by Canadians to fine-tune their preparations for the fast-approaching world championships.
Here’s what you don’t want to miss.
Team Canada is sending 10 crews, with a total of 39 athletes, to compete against the world’s best at the World Rowing Championships, taking place September 3-10 in Belgrade, Serbia. Champions will be crowned in 14 Olympic boat classes (seven for men, seven for women). The event will be the first opportunity for Team Canada to qualify boats for Paris 2024.
Canada is sending a strong mix of veterans and rising talents, with nine athletes making their World Championship debuts.
The women’s eight is one crew to watch out for. Team Canada won gold in the event at Tokyo 2020, but with several athletes retiring, it’s a new crew pulling together for this coming Olympic push. They are meshing well, already snagging a silver medal at World Cup III in Lucerne, Switzerland in July. You can check out the full roster of Canadian athletes here.
To qualify Olympic spots, the following placements are needed in the respective events: top five in the eights; top seven in the fours, quad sculls, and lightweight double sculls; top nine in single sculls; and top 11 in pairs and double sculls. Finals that will have Olympic qualification implications will take place next weekend.
Canada has advanced to the second round of the FIBA Basketball World Cup, after finishing first in Group H with wins against France (95-65), Lebanon (128-73) and Latvia (101-75). This accomplishment marks the first time in program history that the Canadians have won their group outright.
Starting the tournament with a big win against France set Canada’s momentum in the right direction. The French had won the last two World Cups and are the reigning Olympic silver medallists. That positive momentum continued as Team Canada set a FIBA record for most team assists after producing 44 of them during their game against Lebanon. The Latvian team, making their World Cup debut and pulling off an upset win to eliminate France, were no match for the Canadians.
In the second round, Canada faces off against Brazil on Friday, followed by Spain on Sunday. Both games tip off at 9:30 a.m. ET on Sportsnet. First round records carry over to the second round. The top two teams from each of the four second round groups will advance to the quarterfinals. The last two teams standing from the Americas region will qualify for Paris 2024.
Team Canada’s women’s 3×3 team will hope to make it a three-peat for home wins this weekend at the FIBA 3×3 Women’s Series stop in Montreal. The team took the top spot on the podium at the two other Canadian stops on the tour earlier this summer in Edmonton and Quebec City.
Canada (this week consisting of Katherine Plouffe, Michelle Plouffe, Paige Crozon and Kacie Bosch) is currently sitting in the number four spot in the overall series standings. Montreal is the last stop before the finals, taking place September 16-17 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
A few days after the conclusion of the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in Germany, Canadian paddlers moved to the Île-de-France region, to the Stade Nautique de Vaires-sur-Marne for an ICF World Cup that runs until Friday. The competition also serves as an official Olympic test event in the run-up to Paris 2024. It’s an opportunity for athletes to familiarize themselves with the facilities where the Olympic canoe/kayak sprint events will be held next summer.
The competition began on Wednesday. On Thursday, in the women’s C-2 500m final, Canada completed a podium double when Katie Vincent and Sloan MacKenzie took silver, while Sophia Jensen and Julia Lilley Osende took bronze.
Vincent and Jensen have reached the semifinals of the women’s C-1 200m, Connor Fitzpatrick has reached the semifinals of the men’s C-1 1000m and Michelle Russell will be in the semifinals of the women’s K-1 500m. Semifinals and finals in those events are scheduled for Friday.
Several Canadian gymnasts are competing this weekend. Rose Woo and Shallon Olsen will be making their return to competition, having not taken part in an international competition since the 2022 Pan American Championships in Brazil.
Woo will be competing at the FIG World Challenge Cup in Mersin, Turkey, where she will be in action on beam and uneven bars.
Olsen is among a group of Canadian athletes in Bucharest, Romania for the ROM GYM Trophy. The two-time Olympian was due to be part of the Canadian team at the most recent Worlds in October 2022, but had to withdraw just a few days before the start of the competition when her mother passed away suddenly. This weekend, she will compete on beam, floor and vault — the apparatus on which she won world championship silver in 2018.
Laurie Denommée will be in action on beam and floor in the Romanian capital. Denommée was a member of the 2022 World Championships team that claimed bronze in the women’s team event to secure a full quota of five athletes for Paris 2024.
Several Team Canada male gymnasts are also taking part in the ROM GYM Trophy. Félix Dolci, René Cournoyer, William Émard, Zach Clay, Jayson Rampersad and Yanni Chronopoulos are in action this weekend. Several of them are likely to represent Canada at the 2023 FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium from September 30 to October 8. There they will attempt to secure the country a full men’s team for Paris 2024.
The men’s qualifiers take place on Friday and the women’s qualifiers on Saturday. The finals are scheduled for Sunday.