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5 Team Canada sports to watch this weekend: April 12-14 – Team Canada

5 Team Canada sports to watch this weekend: April 12-14 – Team Canada

Andrew Lahodinski/COC, The Canadian Press/Kristen Muskie, Dave Holland

Team Canada fans are gearing up for an action-packed weekend as athletes take part on the ice, track, green, shooting range and in the pool.

The Canadian women's hockey team participates in the playoffs for the IIHF Women's World Championship. Canadian cyclists host the best in the world at the UCI Nations Cup in Milton, Ontario, while Canadian swimmers prepare for their Olympic trials at the Canadian Open Swimming Championships in Toronto. Canadian shooters are targeting Olympic qualification at the Pan American Championships and four Canadians are participating in the Masters tournament at Augusta National.

Hockey

Team Canada's quest for gold continues at the IIHF Women's World Championship in Utica, New York. After a tough overtime loss to Team USA on Monday, Team Canada sits in second place in Group A with a 3-0-0-1 record.

The Canadians will face Sweden in the quarterfinals on Thursday night. Last year in Brampton, Ontario, the game against Sweden and Canada was a thriller in overtime, with Sarah Nurse scoring the winning goal for Canada.

The semi-final matches are scheduled to be held on Saturday, followed by the medal matches on Sunday.

Cycling path

A total of 29 Canadian cyclists will participate in the UCI Nations Cup in Milton, Ontario this weekend.

Kelsey Mitchell, the Olympic gold medalist in the sprint at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and L'Oriente Genest, the Olympic bronze medalist in the Keirin, will compete on the Velodrome track, as will rising star Dylan Pepik, a two-time World Championship medalist who has won two gold medals in the Olympic Games. This year's First Nations Cup in Australia.

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Maggie Coles-Lester, Michael Foley and Nick Wamis are among other national team players looking to round off the Olympic qualification period on a high note. This competition is the last to be counted toward the 2022-2024 UCI Olympic Rankings, which will be used to allocate all quota places for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The finals of the women's and men's team pursuit, group speed races and elimination races will be held on Friday.

Mitchell and Genest will target podium finishes in the women's sprint on Saturday and the women's Keirin on Sunday. Saturday also sees the men's omnium, an event consisting of four different races in which Bebek won gold in February.

Sunday will see Mathias Guillemette and Foley on track for the men's Madison while Wamis competes in the men's sprints and the women's Coles-Lister V Omnium. Tickets are still available if you wish Cheer for Team Canada in person.

swimming

Many of Canada's best swimmers will fine-tune their preparations for the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Trials, held May 13-19, by competing in the inaugural Canadian Open at the Pan American Sports Center in Toronto.

Names to watch include: current 400m IM world record holder and four-time world champion Summer McIntosh; Olympic 100-meter butterfly champion Maggie McNeil; seven-time Olympic medalist Penny Oleksiak in her first competition since another knee surgery three months ago; And recently crowned 200m IM world champion Finley Knox.

During the opening night of the competition on Wednesday, McIntosh posted the fastest time in the world this year in the women's 200 freestyle. Racing will continue until Saturday, with temperatures rising in the morning and finals in the evening. You can stream the event on CBC Sports.

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Shooting

The Canadian men's team is targeting Olympic qualification at the Pan American Championships in Medellin, Colombia.

Crispin Duenas, Eric Pieters and Devang Gupta have qualified for the men's team final where they will face the hosts Colombians for the gold on Sunday. The winner will earn a spot on the Olympic team at Paris 2024. The Canadians finished second in the qualifying round before winning the quarterfinals 6-2 over Chile and the semifinals 5-4 over Mexico.

While the Canadian women were eliminated from the team event in the quarterfinals, they earned one spot as an individual Olympic quota earlier this week in the Pan American Olympic qualifiers that preceded the Pan Am Championships. Christine Essiboa defeated Virginie Chenier in that final, but who will take the seat at Paris 2024 is yet to be determined.

Golf

Four Canadians are competing in the Masters on Thursday: Adam Hadwin, Nick Taylor, Corey Conners and 2003 champion Mike Weir.

The quartet played an all-Canadian practice round earlier in the week, with Team Ontario (Ware and Conners) taking on Team BC (Taylor and Hadwin). The tour was a chance for Taylor, Hadwin and Conners to soak up some of the 53-year-old Weir's Augusta wisdom. Weir's victory in more than two decades remains the only time a Canadian has won not only the famous green jacket, but any major men's golf tournament. This will be his 25th Masters appearance.

Read: The most important moments in Canadian golf history

Conners will be playing in the tournament for the seventh time, with a track record that includes three top-10 finishes in the past four years. Hadwin will make his fourth Masters appearance, while Taylor, the RBC Canadian Open champion, will make his second appearance at Augusta National.

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For now, Taylor and Hadwin consider the Canadians to be in a position to qualify for Paris 2024, but Conners' strong result could boost him up the Official World Golf Rankings. This classification will close on June 17 for the allocation of Olympic places.

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