Weekend Roundup: Team Canada books two more tickets to Tokyo 2020
Team Canada made its mark around the world this weekend.
From Tokyo 2020 qualifications to double podiums and historic wins, it’s safe to say that this weekend was an eventful one for Canadian athletes. 👍
Take off ✈️ to Tokyo
Team Canada booked two tickets to Tokyo 2020 over the weekend in women’s soccer and women’s basketball.
On Friday night, Canada defeated Costa Rica 1-0 at the Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament to secure their spot in Tokyo this summer. This marks the fourth consecutive Olympic Games that Canada will field a women’s soccer team. They came home from the last two with bronze medals.
Canada’s women’s basketball team followed suit, punching their ticket to Tokyo as well. After beating Belgium in their opening game of the FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualification Tournament, Team Canada needed a win against Sweden to qualify. On Saturday, they rose to the occasion, posting a dominant 80-50 victory. Beating Japan in their final game on Sunday, they finished the tournament with a perfect 3-0 record.
Milestone Moments 📚
Nick Taylor became the first Canadian to ever win the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, shooting a 2-under-par 70 on Sunday to claim a wire-to-wire four-stroke victory on the green. Not only was this his second-ever PGA Tour victory (just the seventh Canadian man with multiple PGA Tour wins), but it secured his spot at Augusta National for the Masters this April. That’ll put four Canadians in the Masters field, equaling the record.
We’ve Got a Need For Speed 😎
On the other side of the world, Steven Dubois skated to his first career gold medal at the ISU Short Track World Cup in Dresden, Germany on Sunday clocking in at 40.530 to win the 500m.
Kim Boutin was also victorious in Dresden, reaching the top spot of the podium in the women’s 500m with a time of 42.328. With this victory Boutin is five-for-five for this season. Teammate Courtney Lee Sarault also stood on the short track podium this weekend, taking silver in the women’s 1000m with a time of 1:55.143.
Seeing 👀 Double
On the long track, Ivanie Blondin completed the ladies 1500m in a Canadian record time of 1:51.767 to capture silver at the ISU Speed Skating World Cup in Calgary, Alberta. This is Blondin’s first time holding a national record, as she surpassed the previous mark held by Cindy Klassen since 2005.
Blondin wasn’t the only Canadian on the podium in Calgary. On the men’s side, Ted-Jan Bloemen and Graeme Fish completed a double podium for Canada, capturing silver and bronze in the men’s 1000m. They were edged out by the Netherland’s Patrick Roest (6:07.404), who beat Bloeman by just 0.02 seconds.
Staying Sharpe on the Slopes 🏂
For this third consecutive week, Cassie Sharpe and Rachael Karker stood beside each other on the podium. This week, they took their talents to the Dew Tour at Copper Mountain, where they claimed women’s ski superpipe gold and silver. Sharpe was crowned the superpipe champion after putting up a score of 85.00 points, while Karker followed closely behind with a score of 83.00 for second place.
Canadian freeskier Noah Bowman also competed on the Dew Tour, where he won the men’s ski superpipe event with a score of 95:00 on his third and final run.
The 👑 Strikes Again
Mikaël Kingsbury and Justine-Dufour Lapointe each reached the top of the podium in dual moguls on Saturday night at Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah. Kingsbury skied to his 61st gold medal after a showdown with Frenchman Ben Cavet in the finals. Dufour-Lapointe also captured gold after putting up a score of 83.98 against American Hannah Soar. This was the second medal of the weekend for both Kingsbury and Dufour-Lapointe, who claimed silver and bronze respectively in the moguls.
Top Secret (Canadian) Weapon? 🍁🤔
Canadian tennis star Vasek Pospisil reached the Open Sud de France finals this weekend, where he was spotted recharging with some maple syrup during his match against Gael Monfils. That’s about as Canadian as it gets, folks.
Ice Dancing 🕺💃 to the Podium
Canada won two medals at the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in Seoul this weekend. Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier were first on the podium taking silver in ice dance, while Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro followed with a bronze in Saturday’s pairs competition. Next up will be the world championships in mid-March on home ice in Montreal.
Shining Bright in Paris 🇫🇷🥋
Two medals were won by Team Canada over the weekend at the Paris Grand Slam. Christa Deguchi claimed gold in -57kg final earning her fourth Grand Slam Title. Antoine Valois-Fortier will be coming back from Paris with a bronze after defeating the reigning world champion in the -81kg match up.
Helping Mother 🌍
Before sweeping the competition in the FIBA Olympic qualifiers, Team Canada helped locals in an effort to clean up dunes near Ostend, Belgium. They were joined by other teams participating in the tournament in their clean-up efforts.