5 Team Canada sports to watch this weekend: October 6-8
There’s plenty for Team Canada fans to watch over the Thanksgiving weekend as the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships and Men’s Olympic Volleyball Qualifying Tournament come to a close
Meanwhile, the Beach Volleyball World Championships kick off and Canada’s top long track speed skaters will race at the national championships to earn their spots on this season’s World Cup squad.
Here’s what you don’t want to miss:
The excitement continues at the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships, taking place in Antwerp Belgium. It has already been a banner meet for Team Canada, with the men’s team securing their qualification for Paris 2024 after a brilliant fourth-place performance in the qualifying round. The team of Zachary Clay, René Cournoyer, Félix Dolci, William Émard, and Jayson Rampersad went on to finish seventh in the team final on Tuesday.
For the first time in 20 years, Canada will have full Olympic squads in both men’s and women’s artistic gymnastics. The women secured their Olympic qualification at last year’s world championships, when they won the bronze medal in the team event.
There is still more gymnastics to come this weekend though! Team Canada veteran and three-time Olympian Ellie Black will compete in the women’s all-around final on Friday and the uneven bars final on Saturday. She won all-around silver at the 2017 Worlds and finished fifth last year. She placed fifth in qualification for the all-around in Antwerp — the same city in which she made her world championship debut a decade ago.
On the men’s side, Félix Dolci will compete in two apparatus finals, with the floor exercise final taking place on Saturday and the horizontal bar final taking place on Sunday. He placed fifth and eighth, respectively, on those apparatuses during qualification.
You can stream the competition at CBC Sports.
Canada has three teams in action this weekend at the Beach Volleyball World Championships, taking place in Tlaxcala, Mexico until October 14.
Competition will start for the Canadians on Friday with Sam Schachter and Daniel Dearing taking on a Brazilian duo.
The Canadian women begin play on Saturday, with Sarah Pavan and Molly McBain playing a Swiss team and Melissa Humana-Paredes and Brandie Wilkerson taking on a Moroccan tandem. Humana-Paredes and Wilkerson are seeded first in Pool D, which also includes teams from Czechia and Paraguay.
In an interview with Olympic.ca this summer, Wilkerson expressed her belief that winning the world title is within her team’s grasp. The duo are still in the first year of their partnership, but have enjoyed great success, including an Elite 16 win in Montreal this summer.
There is some added incentive for the worlds, as the gold medal-winning teams will secure Olympic quota spots for Paris 2024. Humana-Paredes and Wilkerson will also compete at the Pan American Games later this month in Santiago, Chile.
Team Canada continues their pursuit of Paris 2024 qualification at the Men’s Olympic Volleyball Qualifying Tournament. In Pool C action in Xi’an, China, Canada sat in second place with a record of three wins and one loss, with three matches remaining in the round robin.
Three Olympic qualifying tournaments are being held simultaneously in three different cities. The top two teams in each tournament will earn their pass to Paris 2024.
Facing the Netherlands in their first match, Canada pulled off a five-set win, before securing a convincing 3-1 upset victory over Argentina.
The Canadians’ only defeat came against Poland, still unbeaten in the tournament. However, Canada gave the world’s top-ranked team a tough time, as the match ended in a tie-break. The Canadians then bounced back to win their clash with China in three straight sets. Stephen Maar, Arthur Szwarc, and Eric Loeppky have consistently been among Canada’s top scorers in the first four games.
Canada faces Bulgaria on Thursday at 10 p.m. ET, Belgium on Friday at 10 p.m. ET and concludes the tournament against Mexico on Sunday at 4 a.m. ET.
You can stream the tournament at CBC Sports.
The final four BMX Racing World Cup races of the season take place in Santiago del Estero, Argentina over the next two weekends.
Canada’s Molly Simpson is currently sixth in the overall women’s World Cup standings, with two fourth-place finishes, two fifth-place finishes and an eighth-place finish on the circuit in 2023. At age 20, she will be the country’s sole representative in the elite women’s events.
Ryan Tougas is the only Canadian entry in the men’s elite events. Both cyclists will be representing Team Canada at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games in Chile later this month, as will Teigen Pascual and Curtis Krey, who are competing in the U23 women’s and men’s categories, respectively, this weekend.
Two titles are at stake in each category over the weekend, with a final on Saturday and another on Sunday.
Long Track Speed Skating
As hard as it may be to believe, winter sports are here! Last weekend featured the 2023 Canadian Short Track Speed Skating Championships, so this weekend it’s the long trackers’ turn to test themselves before heading out on their World Cup circuit next month.
Blondin is coming off competing at the short track nationals for the first time since she made the switch to long track 13 years ago. She has decided to challenge herself, with an eye on racing in both speed skating disciplines at the 2026 Olympic Winter Games.
The meet can be streamed at CBC Sports.