In sync: A decorated diver and a new partner
Veteran diver Meaghan Benfeito of Laval, Que., and her partner 10 years her junior, Calgary’s Caeli McKay, are medal threats in the 10-metre platform synchronized competition. Benfeito and former partner Roseline Filion won Olympic bronze medals together in both 2012 in London and 2016 in Rio de Janeiro. While Benfeito said it was originally hard to take on a new partner after Filion retired, she says she and McKay have a strong chemistry. Benfeito, 32, and McKay, 22, won an Olympic test event in May at the Tokyo Aquatic Centre.
Canada and Britain clash in big women’s soccer showdown
Top spot in Group E of the women’s soccer tournament, and a more favourable draw in the quarter-final, is up for grabs when Canada takes on Britain. The British women enter the match with two wins, while Canada opened with a draw against Japan before rebounding with a win over Chile. Canada is going for its third straight Olympic medal after taking bronze at the previous two Games. The last time these teams met on the Olympic stage, Canada overcame a hostile home crowd to blank Britain 2-0 in the quarter-final of the 2012 London Games.
A long-awaited Olympic debut
Along with basketball player and fellow flag-bearer Miranda Ayim, Nathan Hirayama led Canada into Tokyo’s National Olympic Stadium at the Games’ opening ceremony. Now, the co-captain of Canada’s men’s rugby sevens team will finally lead his squad into Olympic competition. The men’s team missed out on qualifying when rugby sevens made its Olympic debut at the 2016 Rio Games after narrowly losing to Russia in the quarter-final of a last-chance qualifying tournament. Hirayama said the team put in the work over the five years between Olympics and are ready to go. Canada opens its pool play against host Japan.
After tough loss to hosts, Canada still has softball podium hopes
Canada’s softball team will try for its first ever Olympic medal in the bronze-medal game at Yokohama Baseball Stadium. Canada was denied a shot at the championship game after a tough 1-0 extra-inning loss to host Japan on Sunday. While playing for bronze might not be what the third-ranked Canadians had in mind when heading to the Olympics, it will help put coming up short at the 2008 Beijing Games out of mind. Canada lost to Australia in the semi-final the last time softball was contested in the Olympics.
Four gold medals up for grabs in the pool
Swimming competition continues Tuesday with four finals as part of the roster of events in the pool. One to watch in the women’s 100-metre backstroke is Kylie Masse of LaSalle, Ont. She finished first in her qualifying heat Sunday in an Olympic record time of 58.17 seconds — only to see that record get broken in each of the next two heats. She still qualified a strong third for Monday’s semi-final.
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