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Weekend recap: Canadians ramp up for the Paris Olympics

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Canadian golfers moved closer to qualifying for the Games, the women’s soccer team won a warmup match and a sprinter broke another national record. Here’s a look at the top performances by Canada’s potential summer Olympians over the weekend:

Corey Conners boosted his Olympic golf hopes at the Canadian Open.

Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre held on for a one-stroke win over American Ben Griffin at Hamilton Golf and Country Club on Sunday for his first PGA Tour title. Two-time champion Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland tied for fourth while Canada’s Conners and Mackenzie Hughes finished sixth and tied for seventh, respectively. Nick Taylor, who last year became the first Canadian to win the event in 69 years, missed the cut.

With two tournaments left before Olympic berths are determined by the world rankings, Taylor and Conners moved closer to securing Canada’s two spots in the men’s tournament in Paris. Taylor, despite the missed cut, remained in 30th place while Conners moved up four spots to No. 45. Conners widened his lead over Adam Hadwin, who fell four places to No. 59 after missing the cut. Hughes improved slightly to No. 65 — one slot ahead of Taylor Pendrith, who tied for 21st.

Canada’s best women’s golfer, Brooke Henderson, missed the cut at the U.S. Women’s Open and fell three spots in the world rankings. Still, she remains a lock for the Olympics at No. 14. Maude-Aimee Leblanc tied for 58th to improve to No. 353 in the rankings, but she still trails Alena Sharp (267) and Maddie Szeryk (306). Japan’s Yuka Saso captured her second U.S. Open title.

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WATCH | Corey Conners nearly holes it from over 70 yards:

2024 Canadian Open: Corey Conners nearly holes it from over 70 yards, finishes as top Canadian

Conners came inches from an eagle approach shot while Mike Weir reacted on camera in the broadcast booth to the near-make. He finished sixth with a score of -12 to win the Rivermead Cup trophy as the top Canadian.

The Canadian women’s soccer team won a tuneup for Paris.

With their Olympic opener against New Zealand less than two months away, the reigning champs defeated 31st-ranked Mexico 2-0 in Saturday’s friendly in Montreal. Adriana Leon and Cloe Lacasse scored for the ninth-ranked Canadians. Evelyne Viens, who led Italy’s women’s Serie A with 13 goals in 24 games this season for Roma, assisted on both goals. Canada will face Mexico again on Tuesday night in Toronto.

The Canadian men’s national team, which is not in the Olympics, has a couple of big friendlies this week as it prepares to open the Copa America on June 20 against World Cup champion Argentina. Canada, ranked 49th in the world, faces the seventh-ranked Netherlands in Rotterdam on Thursday and No. 2 France in Bordeaux on Sunday. Today, new head coach Jesse Marsch called up Minnesota United forward Tani Oluwaseyi for his first national-team camp. The 24-year-old has impressed with seven goals in 15 matches for his Major League Soccer club this year.

Sprinter Audrey Leduc set another Canadian record.

After breaking Angela Bailey’s long-standing national women’s 100m record by clocking 10.96 seconds in April, Leduc ran a 22.36 in the 200m on Friday night in Atlanta to add the 200m mark. That’s well under the Olympic standard of 22.57, giving the 25-year-old Leduc the chance to be in three events in Paris. She’s met the 100m standard, and she helped the Canadian 4x100m relay team qualify last month.

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In Diamond League track and field action, Canadian shot putter Sarah Mitton finished just two centimetres behind winner Chase Jackson of the United States at Sunday’s meet in Stockholm. Mitton was also second to Jackson at last year’s world championships in Budapest and at a Diamond League event in China in April. Mitton defeated the American to win the indoor world title in March in Scotland. Read a full recap of the Stockholm meet here.

WATCH | Leduc clocks Canadian record in women’s 200m:

Andre De Grasse strikes twice, and ‘Lightning Leduc’ strikes again | Athletics North

Andre De Grasse lowered his season’s best to 10.10s in the 100m after a two-win day at Ostrava Golden Spike. And Audrey Leduc clocked a Canadian record in the 200m to go with her 100m record from April. These stories and more in Athletics North.

In other track and field news, the sport’s world governing body announced today the creation of a new global championships, to be held every two years, where gold medallists will receive $150,000 US. That’s triple the amount World Athletics recently pledged to each winner at the Paris Olympics. The first Ultimate Championships will take place in Budapest over three days in September 2026 and feature Olympic, world and Diamond League champions. Read more about the event here.

No more Canadian boxers qualified for the Olympics.

All nine of the Canadians who entered the last-chance Olympic qualifying tournaments in Thailand fell short of a spot in Paris. The closest was women’s flyweight McKenzie Wright, who lost 5-0 on points to Mexico’s Fatima Herrera with an Olympic berth on the line.

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That leaves Canada with only two boxers in the Olympics. Women’s middleweight Tammara Thibeault and men’s welterweight Wyatt Sanford qualified with their gold-medal performances at last year’s Pan American Games. Canada’s last Olympic boxing medal came in 1996 when heavyweight David Defiagbon took silver in Atlanta.

Other key results:

* The Canadian women’s volleyball team lost to Serbia and beat South Korea to run its Nations League record to 5-3. Canada, ranked 10th in the world, heads into the final leg of the preliminary round next week looking to clinch an Olympic berth based on its world ranking. With five spots available, Canada ranks fifth among teams who have not yet qualified.

* Olympic-bound artistic swimmer Jacqueline Simoneau won six medals at a World Cup stop in the Toronto area. That included a gold and a silver in solo events, which aren’t part of the Olympics, and a pair of duet silvers with Audrey Lamothe, who will be her duet partner in Paris and also compete alongside Simoneau in the team event. Simoneau won a solo gold and silver at this year’s world championships in Doha, where she became Canada’s first world title winner since 1991 in the sport formerly known as synchronized swimming.

* The Canadian men’s rugby sevens team was relegated from the global SNVS tour after losing its 29th straight match Sunday at the season finale in Madrid to finish in 12th place in the standings. Canada, which placed eighth at the Tokyo Olympics, can still reach this summer’s Games in Paris via a last-chance Olympic qualifier next month. The Canadian women’s team, which has already qualified for the Olympics, finished fifth in their standings after losing the bronze match Sunday in Madrid.

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