What to watch this weekend at the Olympics
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The Winter Olympic sports season continues with important events in figure skating, speed skating and skiing, while the path for aquatic athletes to the Summer Olympics passes through the World Aquatics Championships in Qatar. Here’s what to watch this weekend, and the scoop on three World Cup victories for Canadian athletes in the past 24 hours.
World Aquatics Championships
The competitions began today in Doha, where Canadian Mia Vale failed to qualify for the medal round in the women’s 1-meter springboard. She captured a bronze medal at the 2022 World Championships in this non-Olympic event.
The top Canadian diver competing this weekend is Kylie MacKay in the women’s 10m fixed platform. She earned an Olympic berth for Canada thanks to her bronze medal performance at last year’s world championships. Kate Miller could earn another Olympic berth for Canada by finishing in the top 12. The preliminary round begins on Sunday and the event culminates in the final on Monday morning.
The preliminary competition in artistic swimming opened today, with Canadians Jacqueline Simoneau and Audrey Lamothe trying to qualify for the Olympics in the pair, while Canada is trying to secure an Olympic place in the team event.
The Canadian women’s water polo team’s last chance to qualify for the Olympics begins with its group stage opener against South Africa on Sunday. Half of the 16 teams participating in the tournament have already qualified for the Olympics. The first two winners among the rest will receive the last remaining places in Paris.
The women’s and men’s 10km open water swimming events will be held early on Saturday and Sunday respectively. Canadians Emma Finlin and Leyla Orawski (women) and Eric Hedlin and Hao Li Fan (men) can reach the Olympics with a top-13 finish.
A tough week for Canadians could end on a positive note at the Four Continents Championships in China, where non-European skaters come together to answer for last month’s European Championships.
Canada learned Monday it will not be promoted to bronze in the team event at the 2022 Olympics in the wake of the Kamila Valeeva doping scandal. Although the Russian teenager was Not retroactively eligible After being suspended for four years by the sport’s highest court of appeal, figure skating’s world governing body decided to simply deduct Valeeva’s points from her team’s score rather than disqualify the Russians entirely. As a result, they missed out on the gold medal but only dropped to bronze – one point behind fourth-placed Canada. Which pledged to appeal.
Four Canadians who would have been favorites for an Olympic medal if the Russians had qualified to compete on the Four Continents. National Ice Dancing Champions Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier took the lead in the event Leading the opening round today. Roman Sadowski is in eleventh place heading into the final stage of the men’s competition on Saturday morning. Madeline Chisas finished sixth in the women’s event.
Canadians Diana Stellato Dudek and Maxime Deschamps lead the pairs event in tonight’s deciding free skate. Gilles and Poirier could take the Dancing on Ice title Saturday night.
Canadians Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolai Sorensen take second place in the dance. The duo withdrew from the national championships in Calgary last month after it was reported that Sorensen was under investigation by Safe Sport authorities after a woman accused him of sexually assaulting her in 2012. Sorensen called the allegations “false” and Fournier-Beaudry expressed his support for her teammate.
The final meet of the long track World Cup season began this afternoon in Quebec City, with several Canadians finding themselves at or near the top of the standings at various distances.
Valerie Maltese and Evanie Blondin finished first and second respectively in the women’s mass start heading into Sunday’s finals. Maltese ranks third in the women’s long-distance standings, which combine the 3,000 and 5,000 meters races. Laurent Dubroy came in second in the men’s 500 metres, and Ted-Jan Plomin took third in the men’s long distances (5,000 meters and 10,000 metres). The Olympic champion women’s team trio of Maltese, Blondin and Isabelle Weidmann finished second after last week’s season finale.
After this weekend comes the World Championships in Calgary starting February 15th.
What you should know:
* Mikael Kingsbury He won the men’s Mongols event in Deer Valley in Utah last night to collect his 87th World Cup gold medal. This led him to surpass Canadian alpine great Ingemar Stenmark of Sweden for the most men’s World Cup victories in a single ski discipline. Kingsbury will try for his ninth win of the season on Saturday night in the Dual Mongols event.
* Canada’s India Sherritt She raced for her first World Cup gold in skiing Today in Italy. Partly due to injuries, the 27-year-old has not reached the podium since late 2019. Canadian Hannah Schmidt finished seventh to maintain her lead in the women’s standings. Rhys Howden edged out fellow Canadian Jared Schmidt (Hannah’s brother) to take first place in the men’s pursuit after two 25th-place finishes in a row. Another set of men’s and women’s races are scheduled to be held on Saturday at the same venue.
*Canadian Mirela Rahneva He won a surprise skeleton gold at the World Cup Today in Latvia. It is her first win in more than two years and her first podium appearance since taking bronze at the season-opener in China in November. It ranks eighth in the Women’s World Cup standings. Competition continues in Latvia with bobsleigh races on Saturday and Sunday.
How to watch:
With the exception of dual moguls and ski cross, the upcoming events listed above are broadcast live on CBCSports.ca, the CBC Sports app and CBC Gem.
Other live events on those platforms this weekend include a Professional Women’s Hockey League game between Minnesota and Toronto on Saturday, and a game against Canada. Davis Cup Tennis Qualifiers Against South Korea in Montreal. That begins today at 4pm ET and continues Saturday at 2pm ET. Watch it here.
On Saturday, the CBC Television Network will show the Minnesota-Toronto PWHL game live at noon ET, followed by the NHL All-Star Game and then coverage of the World Aquatics Championships and World Cup speed skating meet in Quebec City. See the full broadcast and streaming schedule here.