The Canadian women’s basketball team won’t have the crowd on its side when it returns to the hardcourt at the Basketball Arena on Monday.
Canada will take on host Great Britain in Group B preliminary round play at the London Olympics. Both sides opened the competition with losses to podium contenders.
It was a particularly tough defeat for the Canadians, who dropped a 58-53 decision to powerhouse Russia after letting a 10-point lead slip away in the fourth quarter. Canada is 11th in the world but is in a tough group with No. 6 Brazil, No. 8 France and Australia, which shares the No. 2 position with Russia.
“I honestly feel like we could upset any of them if we played well on the right day at the right time,” said head coach Allison McNeill. “Basketball is like that.”
The top four teams in each group will advance to the knockout phase. Great Britain is ranked No. 49 but turned in a decent effort in its opener, dropping a respectable 74-58 decision to the Aussies.
Canada is making its first Olympic appearance in basketball in 12 years.
Elsewhere, the defending champion Canadian men’s eights are hoping to bounce back in Monday’s repechage after finishing a distant fourth in the opening heat. They will need a top-four finish to book their ticket to Wednesday’s final.
The men’s four will also be on the water at Eton Dorney for their opening heat.
Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., will make his Olympic debut at the All England Club on Monday if the weather co-operates. His first-round men’s singles match against Tatsuma Ito of Japan was postponed Sunday due to rain.
Several Canadian swimmers will be in the pool at the Aquatics Centre. Samantha Cheverton of Lachine, Que., and Barbara Jardin of Notre-Dame-de-Grace, Que., are in the women’s 200-metre freestyle while Regina’s Erica Morningstar will race in the women’s 200 individual medley.
At Horse Guards Parade, the men’s beach volleyball duo of Josh Binstock of Richmond Hill, Ont., and Martin Reader of Comox Valley, B.C., will take on Norway’s Tarjei Viken Skarlund and Martin Spinnangr. Binstock and Reader opened the preliminary round with a 2-0 win over Great Britain.
Sailors David Wright of Toronto and Danielle Dube of Glen Haven, N.S., will compete in the individual laser races. Also at Weymouth, Gordon Cook of Toronto and Hunter Lowden of West Vancouver, B.C., will race in the 49er-men’s skiff event.
In equestrian, several Canadians are in action in the individual cross-country eventing. Crispin Duenas of Toronto will compete in men’s individual archery.
Follow us on Twitter: