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5 Team Canada sports to watch this weekend: March 8-10 – Team Canada

5 Team Canada sports to watch this weekend: March 8-10 – Team Canada

Darren Calabrese/COC, Mateusz Kielbinski/FIS Freestyle, Darren Calabrese/COC

Get ready for an action-packed weekend for Team Canada fans, as Canadian athletes compete on the sand, on the snow, on the track, and on the water.

The Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Elite 16 circuit kicks off in Doha, Qatar, while the FIS Freestyle World Cup circuit stops in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Canadian boxers are vying for spots at the Paris 2024 World Qualifying Championship in Busto Arsizio, Italy, while Canadian sailors are competing in the 49er and 49er FX World Championships in Lanzarote, Spain. Meanwhile, the World Triathlon Championship Series kicks off this weekend in Abu Dhabi.

Here's what you don't want to miss:

Beach volleyball

The Professional Beach Volleyball World Tour will make its first stop of 2024 in Doha, Qatar for the Elite 16 event which began earlier this week and continues through Saturday.

Canadians Melissa Humana-Paredes and Brandi Wilkerson entered the main draw ranked fourth on the FIVB world rankings. After winning their first two matches on Wednesday, they lost their final match in the preliminary round 2-1 (10-21, 24-22, 15-13) to Tina Graudina and Anastasia Kravsinuka of Latvia, ranked 12th in the world.

The round of 12 and quarter-final matches will be held on Friday, which will lead to the semi-finals and final on Saturday.

The results of the Pro Beach Tour have implications for Olympic qualification, as the top 17 teams for each gender on the FIVB Olympic Ranking list will qualify for Paris 2024. The ranking takes into account the top 12 team performances between January 1, 2023 and June 9, 2024.

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Read: Brandi Wilkerson on big wins, learning from losses, and making a positive impact

Freestyle skiing – moguls and aerials

The FIS Freestyle World Cup circuit stops in Almaty, Kazakhstan, where the moguls and aerials events are taking place this weekend. It is the final competition of the season for single poles and antennas and the penultimate event for double poles.

It is the first World Cup in over a month for the Mongols. At their final stop at Deer Valley in early February, Mikael Kingsbury recorded his 87th World Cup victory, a record for a male athlete in any FIS Olympic skiing or snowboarding discipline.

Kingsbury currently holds first place in the World Cup Men's Double Moguls/Double Moguls Standings and first in the Men's Double Moguls Standings. He ranks second in the men's poles standings, but only 30 points behind Japan's Ikoma Horishima, which constitutes an exciting finish. The men's and women's Mongols will be held on Friday, followed by the Mongols doubles on Saturday.

Weather events will take place on Sunday. Marion Thénault is fourth in the Women's World Cup standings this season, despite having to miss a track stage in December after suffering a bad fall in training. The 23-year-old got the season off to a flying start by winning gold in the Roca in the opening match of the 2023-24 World Cup. She was also on the podium at the recent event, finishing third in front of family and friends at Lac Beauport last month.

In the men's aerials, Alexandre Duchaine, who was the winner at Deer Valley in early February, will compete alongside Emile Nadeau and Louis Irving, both of whom have been on the podium at the World Cup.

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boxing

The first ever World Boxing Qualifying Tournament will be held from March 3-11 in Busto Arsizio, Italy. There are 49 Olympic spots available for the Paris 2024 Games across 13 weight classes. In most weight classes, there are four Olympic berths that must be allocated. The exceptions are the women's 57kg (2 spots) and the women's 60kg (3 spots).

Team Canada still has several boxers in contention. Scarlett Delgado (women's 54 kg) won her match against Sweden's Anna Svensson on Thursday and will qualify for the round of 16 with her match with Zainab Rahimova from Azerbaijan on Friday. In the women's 57kg category, Mary Al-Ahmadiyya will face Greek Olga Papatado in the round of 32 on Thursday afternoon.

Sarah Calle will face Latvia's Kitia Zarberga in the round of 32 in the women's 66kg category on Friday, while Mackenzie Wright will face Philippines' Ayra Villegas in the round of 16 in the women's 50kg category. Victor Tremblay will face Portuguese Pedro Manuel Gomez in the round of 32 in the men's 57kg category, also on Friday. On Saturday, Edocador's Alexis Barrier will face Guerlon Kongo in the men's +92kg round of 16.

Sailing

The 49er and 49er FX World Championships take place March 4-10 in Lanzarote, Spain, with Canada represented by five crews. This is the first of two regattas from which the results will be used to determine the Canadian 49er and 49er FX crews for Paris 2024.

In the men's 49 category, Santiago 2023 bronze medalists William Jones and Justin Barnes (who have qualified for an Olympic quota spot) are the best Canadians through the first eight races in Lanzarote. Also competing are Thomas and William Staples as well as Ari Moffat and Hunter Howie.

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In the Women's 49er FX Championship, the leading Canadian crew through eight races is Georgia and Antonia Lewin LaFrance. Also competing are Santiago 2023 silver medalists Alexandra ten Hoff and Maria Millen, who have qualified for a quota place.

The qualifying race series was held from March 5 to 7, followed by the final series from March 8 to 10, which concludes with the medal races.

Triathlon

The World Triathlon Championship Series (WTCS), triathlon's most prestigious competition circuit, kicks off this weekend with a stop in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

The women's and men's sprint competitions, which consist of a 750-meter swim, a 20-kilometre bike, and a 5-kilometre run, kick off the season on Friday.

There will be four Canadians on the job. Taking part in the men's race will be Tyler Mislawchuk, ninth at the 2023 World Triathlon Sprint Championships in Hamburg, and Charles Paquet, seventh at the WTCS Sprint event in Montreal last June, while Dominika Jamnicki and Amy Legault, fifth and sixth respectively. At the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago, she will represent Canada in the women's event.

Triathletes can accumulate points to reach the World Triathlon Individual Olympic Qualifying Rankings until May 27.

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