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Five things to watch at the Tokyo Olympics on Saturday, Aug. 7
Aug. 6, 2021

From an Olympian returning to the Games after a 17-year absence to a long-anticipated Olympic debut for a much-loved martial art, here are five things to look for Saturday at the Tokyo Olympics.

Elmore returns to the Games, 17 years later

Canada has three entries in the women’s marathon. Malindi Elmore of Kelowna, B.C., formerly one of the country’s top middle-distance riders, is making her second Olympic appearance at the age of 41. She raced in the 1,500 metres back in Athens in 2004, but was battling a virus at the time and didn’t advance past the heats. Dayna Pidhoresky of Tecumseh, Ont., is making her Olympic debut after a breakthrough finish at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 2019, while Natasha Wodak of North Vancouver, B.C., ran the women’s 10,000 metres in Rio in 2016, finishing 22nd.

Canada’s lone Olympic ‘karateka’ takes to the mat

Karate is making its Olympic debut in Tokyo, with 80 competitors taking part in a series of kata (“forms”) and kumite (sparring) competitions. Daniel Gaysinsky of Vaughan, Ont., will take part in the over-75-kilogram weight class of the “kumite” event, facing three other athletes in the elimination round. Gaysinsky, 26, qualified for the Games in dramatic fashion. At a qualification tournament in Paris in June, he won a penalty appeal and earned a last-second victory over Tyron-Darnell Lardy of the Netherlands.

Canadian medal hopefuls on final day of canoe sprint, artistic swimming

Medals are being handed out in four events on the final day of canoe sprint: women’s canoe double 500, men’s canoe single 1,000, women’s kayak four 500 and men’s kayak four 500. Canoe sprinters Laurence Vincent-Lapointe of Trois-Rivières, Que., and Katie Vincent of Mississauga, Ont., are expected to compete for a medal in the women’s canoe double 500. Vincent-Lapointe is coming off a silver in the C-1 200 -- her first Olympic medal. Meanwhile, in the pool, artistic swimming wraps up with the team free routine. Eight swimmers in the Canadian team are hoping to win a medal, including Claudia Holzner and Jacqueline Simoneau, who finished in fifth place in their duet free routine.

Soccer powerhouses chase Olympic gold

Powerhouses of European and South American soccer meet in the men’s final with a gold medal up for grabs. Defending champion Brazil, in its record fifth Olympic final, faces a team from Spain whose only Olympic title dates back to 1992 -- at home in Barcelona. Brazil is coming off a Copa America loss to Argentina in the final last month. And this time there’s no Neymar, the Paris Saint-Germain forward whose penalty clinched gold at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in a shootout against Germany. Spain defeated Japan 1-0 in the semifinal to clinch a spot in the final. The Brazilians needed a penalty shootout to get past Mexico.

Medals abound as track and field all but wraps up

Malindi Elmore, from Kelowna, B.C., celebrates winning in the women's 1,500-metre event at the Canadian Track and Field Championships in Calgary, Alta., Friday, June 29, 2012.

With the Tokyo Olympics slowly winding down, a whole slew of medals are up for grabs on one of the final two days for athletics. Athletes are competing in seven medal events on Saturday, with only the men’s marathon final remaining the following day. In individual events on the women’s side, there’s the high jump, the 10,000 metres and marathon final. For the men, there’s the javelin throw and 1,500 metres. Meanwhile, both women’s and men’s 4x400 relay finals close out the day.