Andre De Grasse is on to the semifinal of the men’s 100-metre race in the Tokyo Olympic Games.
De Grasse posted a Heat 5 best time of 9.91 on Saturday to earn a spot in the next round, scheduled for Sunday. His time was just 0.01 off his personal best set at the 2019 world championships.
The Canadian record of 9.84 is shared by Olympic champion Donovan Bailey and Bruny Surin.
With the retirement of Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt, there will be a new Olympic champion crowned in Tokyo.
The 26-year-old Markham, Ont., native is looking for his fourth-career Olympic medal. He earned bronze in the 100-metre race in Rio, as well as in the men’s 4×100 relay. De Grasse also won silver in the men’s 200-metre event in 2016.
Bismark Boateng of Toronto and Gavin Smellie of Brampton, Ont., both failed to advance out of their respective heats.
Overall, Canada has 12 medals at the halfway point of the Games (three gold, four silver, five bronze), good for 12th place in the medal table and in total medals.
China led the medal table with 21 gold, four more than host Japan, and was tied with the United States at 46 medals overall.
Swimmer Kylie Masse was Canada’s only medal winner on Saturday, touching the wall just behind Australian star swimmer Kaylee McKeown in the women’s 200-metre backstroke.
Masse’s second silver was the fifth medal produced by the Canadian women’s swim team in Tokyo. A sixth on Sunday in the medley relay would match the team’s output at the 2016 Games in Rio.
While Masse’s day may have been more “fun” and less “painful,” the same can’t be said for diver Pamela Ware.
Ware, 28, from Greenfield Park, Que., impressed in the preliminary round of the women’s three-metre springboard, qualifying in fourth place – a position she maintained through the first three rounds of Saturday’s semifinal.
Things started to go wrong for Ware in Round 4, when a lacklustre dive put her in ninth place – still comfortably in the top 12 that would qualify for Sunday’s final, if she could regain her form in the fifth and final round.
Instead, disaster struck: Ware stumbled on her approach and hesitated coming off the board, abandoning her dive before it started and dropping, feet first, into the water. The result was a failed dive, a score of zero, and a last-place finish.
Ware’s teammate, Jennifer Abel of Laval, Que., was more successful, finishing an impressive third in the semis to book her ticket to the final, where she’ll be looking for her first career medal in a solo event.
Abel, 29, earned a silver medal a week ago in the three-metre synchronized springboard event with partner Melissa Citrini-Beaulieu. She and former partner Emilie Heymans earned a bronze in the same event in London in 2012.
In track and field, Marco Arop led wire to wire to win his heat of the 800 metres on Saturday and move onto the semifinals.
The 22-year-old from Edmonton looked relaxed en route to a time of one minute 45.26 seconds.
Arop’s teammate Brandon McBride didn’t qualify for the semis, finishing sixth in his heat in a time of 1:46.32.
In weightlifting, Canada’s Boady Santavy lifted a combined 386 kilograms to take fourth on Saturday in the 96-kilogram weight class at the Tokyo Olympics.
Qatar’s Fares El-Bakh set an Olympic record with a clean and jerk of 225 kilograms on his second attempt to clinch gold with a total of 402. Venezuela’s Keydomar Vallenilla Sanchez and Georgia’s Anton Pliesnoi took silver and bronze as both lifted a total of 387 kilograms.
Santavy, from Sarnia, Ont., lifted a finals-best 178 kilos in the snatch before making a 208-kilo lift in the clean and jerk.
For boxer Tammara Thibeault, it was always going to be a tall order to defeat her experienced opponent, Nouchka Fontijn of the Netherlands, in the women’s middleweight quarterfinal.
Fontijn, the silver medallist in 2016 in Rio, ended the 24-year-old Thibeault’s Olympic dream by unanimous decision after a close fight.
Canada’s Auger-Aliassime falls to Ruud in National Bank Open quarterfinals – Sportsnet.ca
Felix Auger-Aliassime stood at the back of the IGA Stadium hardcourt with one hand on his hip and a look of astonishment on his face.
Casper Ruud managed to get his racket on an overhead smash late in Friday’s quarterfinal at the National Bank Open, the return floating over Auger-Aliassime’s head and inside the baseline.
Auger-Aliassime scrambled back but his shot found the net. Nothing was working for him on this day — not even the tennis equivalent of a slam dunk — in a 6-1, 6-2 rout that lasted just 74 minutes.
“(My) first two matches were good, some positive things,” Auger-Aliassime said. “I never thought it would be ending like this today.”
The sixth-seeded Auger-Aliassime entered play without dropping a set this week but he came out flat on an overcast afternoon. Ruud, the No. 4 seed from Norway, wrapped up the first set in a brisk 36 minutes and took the partisan crowd out of the match.
Auger-Aliassime, from Montreal, made 21 unforced errors to just eight for Ruud, who advanced to his third Masters 1000 semifinal of the season.
“It was a perfect day for me at the office,” Ruud said.
Auger-Aliassime was the last Canadian remaining in the draw. Ruud who will next play No. 8 Hubert Hurkacz of Poland, a 7-6 (4), 6-7 (5), 6-1 winner over Nick Kyrgios.
Auger-Aliassime was hoping to become the first Canadian to reach the semifinals at this ATP Tour event since Denis Shapovalov in 2017. The last Canadian to win this tournament was Robert Bedard in 1958.
“It’s super disappointing to lose any tournament like this and especially here,” Auger-Aliassime said.
Unseeded players were scheduled to play in the evening quarterfinals. American T
In a match between two unseeded players, Britain’s Daniel Evans defeated American Tommy Paul 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 to advance.
Evans will next play Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta, who defeated British qualifier Jack Draper 7-6 (4), 6-1 in the last of Friday’s quarterfinal matches.
Auger-Aliassime couldn’t get on track despite regular urging from the near-capacity crowd. He was shanking more shots than usual and his mistakes came at critical times.
With a powerful forehand and effective two-handed backhand, Ruud was clinical in his attack and relentless with pressure. Auger-Aliassime was forced to his heels and had to settle for a defensive style.
The Canadian gave up two quick breaks in the second set before finally holding serve to get to 1-4.
“To right away lose my service game, then another one … from three-love, it really felt like the worst possible outcome today,” Auger-Aliassime said. “At that point it gets really tough.
“I tried my best, but he was also getting more and more comfortable and confident, so then things get much more difficult.”
Earlier in the day, Hurkacz took advantage of two double-faults by Kyrgios early in the third set for the first service break of their match. He rolled from there to end the Australian’s nine-match winning streak.
“Nick is a super opponent, he can make every single shot,” Hurkacz said. “He doesn’t really have that many weaknesses, if any. I was just trying to serve (well) and stay aggressive.”
There was no wasted energy from Kyrgios, who played like he had a cab waiting outside the venue.
He’d usually bounce the ball just once and go right into his service motion. The pace of play agreed with Hurkacz, a six-foot-five right-hander who matched the Australian’s power game.
Both players had break opportunities but tiebreakers were needed to settle the first two sets.
Kyrgios, who dispatched defending champ and world No. 1 Daniil Medvedev in the second round, slowed in the third set and his serve lost some of its zip.
“I’m not a machine, I’m a human,” Kyrgios said. “My knees were sore, my back was sore, my abdominal (area) was sore. I was trying to stay moving, but I just stiffened up.”
Kyrgios entered play with wins in 15 of his last 16 matches, with the only defeat coming to Novak Djokovic in last month’s Wimbledon final.
The semifinals are set for Saturday and the final of the US$6.57-million tournament goes Sunday. The winner will earn just over $915,000.
Three Stars from Day 4 of WJC: Lysell, Sweden dominate all-European action – Sportsnet.ca
Sweden made its presence felt in an all-European matchday at the 2022 World Juniors.
The Junior Crowns established their dominance in Group B with a convincing 6-0 win over Austria. They will fight for a first-place finish in the group stage with the United States on Sunday.
Without two of their best young forwards, Red Wings eighth overall pick in 2022 Marco Kasper and Canadiens second-rounder Vinzenz Rohrer, Austria struggled against the Swedes. The good news for the Austrians is that there is no relegation in this rescheduled version of the World Junior Championship.
Slovakia salvaged their disappointing run in Edmonton by clinching their spot in the quarterfinal round.
The Slovaks — without the top two picks in the 2022 Draft in Juraj Slafkovsky and Simon Nemec — fell 5-4 against their Czech rivals then 11-1 against Canada earlier in the tournament. In their third game on Friday, Slovakia were held up by Latvia but finally took a 3-2 win in a shootout.
The loss means that Latvia will finish in the depths of the tournament. The Latvians can find solace in the fact that the country stood up to Slovakia and at least snagged away one point from their European counterparts.
Here is a look at the top performances from Day 4 of the World Juniors:
3rd star: Isak Rosen, Sweden
Sweden had yet to score on the power play at Rogers Place yet but Rosen rose to the occasion with one goal and one assist.
After a first period where the Swedes had 21 shots but only one goal, Rosen added a second goal to his tournament tally and broke their power play drought.
The Austrians forgot about the winger near the right faceoff circle. Fabian Lysell located Rosen with a cross-ice pass of his own and the young winger bagged in the one-timer on one knee.
Rosen later told Swedish media that this was an important goal for his country after they spent the pre-tournament and the first game of the WJC without scoring on the power play.
The Buffalo Sabres prospect is known for his strong shot but he also has quite the passing ability. Rosen used his physicality to impose himself and get Sweden another goal.
The 19-year-old dispossessed Austria’s Tim Geifes along the boards and then found his captain Emil Andrae with a swift cross-ice pass to notch his country’s fourth goal of the game.
Rosen will cross the pond to North America for the first time for the upcoming season. The wingers will play for the Rochester Americans of the AHL and be yet another addition to the young Sabres pipeline.
Honourable mention: Slovakia’s Adam Sykora blew away the few fans in attendance with a flash of brilliance to get his country levelled 1-1 in the first period. He skated his way past a defenceman then made a give-and-go play with Jakub Demek to fool Lativian goalie Bruno Bruveris.
Slovakia will try to channel the relief from their shootout win against the high-flying Finns on Sunday. On their end, the Latvians will hope to hold another close game on Sunday against Czechia.
2nd star: Emil Andrae, Sweden
A defenceman with two goals in a single game is always worth mentioning. Emil Andrae returned to the ice after a season-ending injury with HV71 and helped his team find another gear in the second period.
The 54th overall pick by the Philadelphia Flyers in 2021 was touted as a blueliner that can play on both sides of the puck and proved it against Austria.
Sweden’s captain scored twice in the span of 1:05 to keep the Austrians at bay and secure the victory.
The five-foot-nine defenceman took advantage of Rosen’s forced turnover to score his first goal. Andrae found himself in a perfect position to utilize his heavy wrister on the power play.
Andrae added his second goal from the point with another wrist shot directed in traffic to get Sweden up by four goals. The captain chipped in a late secondary assist in the third period to finish the game with three points and a plus-2 differential.
1st star: Fabian Lysell, Sweden
On an all-European afternoon, Fabian Lysell made his experience of North American ice felt. The winger made sure to remind hockey fans that the Boston Bruins drafted him in the first round of the 2021 NHL Draft.
Lysell finished the game with one goal and one assist. He joins his teammates Rosen and Andrea as Sweden’s leading scorers with three points each.
The winger may have missed a penalty shot but he bounced back admirably with a goal a few seconds later.
From a very tight angle, Lysell found the tiniest bit of space above Austrian netminder Sebastian Wraneschitz’s shoulder to score Sweden’s fifth of the game.
The winger showed that his game isn’t too far away from the NHL and that he doesn’t mind getting his nose dirty. The Swede, who is used to North American ice playing for the Vancouver Giants of the WHL, crashed Wraneschitz’s net early on in the game in an attempt to kickstart Sweden’s domination.
Lysell and his country-mates will need to keep the pace up as Sweden looks to take on the Americans on Sunday and the surprising Germans on Monday.
Joshua Roy off to a hot start at the World Juniors – Habs Eyes on the Prize
The Montreal Canadiens have several prospects in action at this summer’s World Junior Hockey Championship in Edmonton. In today’s episode of Habsent Minded Extra, I’m taking a look at how fifth-rounder Joshua Roy has become a key member of the powerhouse Canadians in their quest for gold.
He has played most of his minutes so far on the top line with Mason McTavish and Connor Bedard. That trio has been relied upon to drive offense for the team so far, and while their initial contest against Latvia was somewhat lukewarm, they exploded against Slovakia on Thursday night.
In a selfless act, Roy gave up a chance at a breakaway and his first goal of the tournament by passing to McTavish, and insisting that the latter take his attempt at notching the hat trick, which he did.
#GoHabsGo Joshua Roy is an exemplary teammate.
Foregoes a breakaway and dishes to Mason McTavish, and points to the net, letting him know he doesn’t want it back and wants his linemate to go for the hatty.
He gets the hatty. pic.twitter.com/Sv1nPXHVm9
— Matt Drake (@DrakeMT) August 11, 2022
With the game well in hand for Canada in the third period, head coach Dave Cameron brought out the line blender. This saw Roy shifted down in the lineup to play with Islanders prospect William Dufour, and Senators prospect Zack Ostapchuk. An eyebrow raiser at first given Roy’s performance, but it yielded results almost immediately.
Roy scored his first goal of the tournament, and added an assist on an Ostapchuk goal to finish with four points against Slovakia, tying him for second in tournament scoring behind McTavish.
Whether that line blending sticks or not, Roy showed in this game is that he can produce wherever they put him in the lineup. With Dufour and Ostapchuk, he actually gets to play more of a similar trigger-man role that he’s used to in Sherbrooke, and it may even help his overall production.
His selflessness, and acceptance of a checking and puck retrieval role with the top guns means they can put him right back on that top line as well. After barely missing out on the roster for the ill-fated December 2021 tournament, he has established himself as a versatile tool for team Canada.
That versatility should earn him plenty of playing time for the remainder of this tournament, and could make him a no-brainer for a big role with the team when they reconvene in December for the next one.
Click the play button below to listen to my full thoughts on Roy’s hot start ahead of tonight’s game against Czechia.
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