Weekend Roundup: Olympic qualifications and victories around the world
Team Canada athletes had another busy weekend full of Olympic qualifications, victories and national records. Catch up on the latest:
Coming back to claim Olympic berth
When karate makes its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020, Daniel Gaysinsky will represent Canada in the male kumite +75kg category. On Sunday he secured the last ticket to Tokyo at the Karate 2020 Qualification tournament in Paris in dramatic fashion, when the last three seconds of his bout against a Dutch competitor were repeated after a protest. In that short time, Gaysinsky snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.
Set to serve in Tokyo 🏐
Brandie Wilkerson and Heather Bansley locked up their Tokyo 2020 qualification via their spot in the world rankings. The duo is ranked eighth in the Olympic rankings. They’ll join Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes on the beach in Tokyo.
Mislawchuk loves winning in Mexico
On Sunday, Tyler Mislawchuk successfully defended his World Cup title from two years ago in Huatulco, Mexico. He won the final men’s race of the Olympic qualification period for his third career World Cup victory. In the sweltering heat, the Canadian triathlete achieved an overall time of 53:09 in the sprint distance race.
In the women’s race, Amélie Kretz finished in fifth position in her final push to qualify for Tokyo 2020. World Triathlon will publish those rankings this week.
Another final for Félix Auger-Aliassime
Canadians were hoping it would be time for Félix Auger-Aliassime to capture an ATP title, after reaching the final in back-to-back years, but the 20-year-old will have to wait a little longer. On Sunday, Auger-Aliassime fell to Croatia’s Marin Cilic 7-6(2), 6-3 at the Stuttgart Open final. In the semifinals, Auger-Aliassime dominated the grass surface, converting on break points when it mattered to beat American Sam Querrey 6-4, 7-5.
Another routine, another gold medal
Canadian artistic swimmers were unstoppable at the World Super Final in Barcelona, capturing a grand total of seven medals over the four-day competition. Claudia Holzner and Jacqueline Simoneau posted a high score of 91.9883 to capture their second straight gold medal, having also triumphed in the women’s duet technical competition on Saturday. Holzner and Simoneau are among the eight artistic swimmers nominated to Canada’s Olympic team.
In addition to her two gold medals with Holzner, Simoneau dazzled in the individual events, topping the podium in both the women’s solo technical on Thursday and the women’s solo free on Friday.
Canada also won gold in Saturday’s mixed team highlight competition and collected two bronze, first in the women’s team technical on Thursday and then in the women’s team free competition on Friday.
Back to 🏀 business!
In their first tournament in more than a year, Canada’s women’s basketball team is 2-0 at the FIBA AmeriCup. The Canadians started the tournament on Saturday with a 101-41 win over the U.S. Virgin Islands. This was their first game together since they secured a Tokyo Olympic berth in February 2020. On Saturday, they faced a stiff challenge against Brazil, edging them 71-67. Canada plays El Salvador on Monday and Colombia on Tuesday. The top two teams from each group will advance to the semifinals.
Smashing your own record 💪
Race walker Evan Dunfee set a new Canadian record in the 10,000m event at the Harry Jerome International Track Classic, in Burnaby, B.C. He completed the race walk in a personal-best time of 38 minutes 39.72 seconds. It was 14.48 seconds faster than Dunfee’s previous mark of 38:54.20 set in July 2019.
Reunited and it feels so good 😁
Three-time Olympic medallist diver Meaghan Benfeito lost everything when a major fire destroyed her condo building in Mirabel, a Montreal suburb. Raising her spirits before the start of Tokyo 2020, Benfeito has received reproduced Olympic medals. A medal reproduction is an extraordinary event, which follows an equally extraordinary protocol. This effort was made possible by Marnie McBean, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Kaitlyn Weaver is breaking archetypes
On Friday, two-time Olympian Kaitlyn Weaver became one of the few Olympic female figure skaters to publicly identify as queer. The 32-year-old shared her coming out story with the world, with hopes that her story will help break figure skating’s female archetype and carve out a new path for those still competing.
Woods takes mountain classification at Tour de Suisse
Canadian cyclist Mike Woods finished fifth overall in the general classification at the Tour de Suisse, but did claim first place in the mountain classification. He finished the eighth and final stage on Sunday as the runner up. Fellow Canadian Hugo Houle finished 30th overall.
Klimkait’s first world championship medal
Jessica Klimkait won the gold medal at the 2021 World Judo Championships to claim Canada’s spot at Tokyo 2020 in the women’s 57kg judo event. With no score after the four minutes of regulation, the match went into Golden Score time and Klimkait made her move for the waza-ari and the victory.