Olympic viewing guide: Can Kylie Masse pull a Maggie Mac Neil?

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·8 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Canada's Kylie Masse will bend over backwards tonight to try adding an Olympic gold to her pair of world titles. (Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images - image credit)
Canada's Kylie Masse will bend over backwards tonight to try adding an Olympic gold to her pair of world titles. (Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images - image credit)

This is an excerpt from The Buzzer, which is CBC Sports' daily email newsletter. Stay up to speed on what's happening at the Tokyo Olympics by subscribing here.

Canada now has at least one medal of each colour. Following silvers in a swimming relay and synchronized diving, swimmer Maggie Mac Neil won Canada's first gold of Tokyo 2020 last night, adding the Olympic crown to her world title in the women's 100-metre butterfly. Mac Neil was also part of the silver-winning 4x100-metre freestyle relay team the night before. This morning, reigning judo world champion Jessica Klimkait recovered from a devastating defeat in the semifinals to win her bronze-medal bout. She's the first Canadian woman to stand on an Olympic judo podium.

Canada should add to its medal count tonight and Tuesday morning as we head into Day 4 in Tokyo. Let's look at the best chances, starting with the sport that has accounted for half of the country's four podiums so far:

Can Kylie Masse pull a Maggie Mac Neil?

Like her fellow Canadian last night, Masse heads into the Olympic final of her signature event as the reigning world champion. In fact, the 25-year-old from La Salle, Ont., won the women's 100-metre backstroke at the last two swimming world championships — in 2017 and '19. She also took bronze in this event at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

And yet, just like Mac Neil, Masse is not favoured to win. The betting odds imply it's a toss-up for gold between Australia's Kaylee McKeown and American Regan Smith, with Masse tapped for bronze and a large gap between her and anyone else.

McKeown, 20, is the world-record holder. She set it about six weeks ago at the Australian trials. As for the Olympic record, the Big Three have been playing hot potato with it in Tokyo. Masse broke the record in her heat yesterday, only to see Smith take it in hers minutes later, then McKeown topped them both a few minutes after that. Smith stole it back in this morning's semifinals, where Masse also improved on her time from the heats while McKeown came in a bit slower.

But if we learned anything from Mac Neil's gold-medal victory last night, it's this: don't put too much stock in the times you see before the final, and the betting markets can be wrong. After placing sixth overall in 100 fly semifinals, Mac Neil was listed as just the fifth-most-likely to win gold. But she saved her best for when all the chips were on the table. Masse could be doing the same.

Bottom line: this is going to be a fierce final — one of the most competitive in the Olympics. Watch it live at 9:51 p.m. ET on the CBC TV network, which is showing all of tonight's swimming races starting at 9:30 p.m. ET. You can also stream them all live on CBC Gem, the CBC Olympics app and CBC Sports' Tokyo 2020 website.

None of the other three swimming finals tonight involves a Canadian, but two semifinals do.

Penny Oleksiak and 14-year-old phenom Summer McIntosh swim in separate races in the women's 200m semis, which start at 9:30 p.m. ET. McIntosh beat Oleksiak in this event at the Canadian trials, but Penny was faster in today's heats, placing second overall behind American star Katie Ledecky while Summer was fifth. McIntosh was coming off a fourth-place finish last night in her first Olympic final, the 400-metre freestyle.

Sydney Pickrem competes in the women's 200-metre individual medley semis at 10:58 p.m. ET — the last competition of the night. She took bronze in this event at the most recent world championships, in 2019. Read more about what happened in this morning's swimming heats here.

WATCH | Mac Neil brings home gold:

Other strong Canadian medal chances on Monday night/Tuesday morning

The Olympics always bring surprises. But these look like Canada's best podium hopes, in chronological order:

Softball

The Canadian women's team plays for bronze at midnight ET vs. Mexico. Canada, ranked third in the world, blanked the Mexicans 4-0 in their tournament opener and finished third in the round robin with a 3-2 record. The losses were to the U.S. and Japan, who came in favoured to meet in the gold-medal game and will do just that at 7 a.m. ET. Mexico was fourth at 2-3. So if the Canadian women just keep doing what they've been doing (beating all the teams they're favoured to beat), they'll win the country's first Olympic medal in softball or baseball.

Diving

The 10-metre synchronized duo of Meaghan Benfeito and Caeli McKay can win Canada's second diving medal of the Games when their final begins at 2 a.m. ET. They've yet to reach an Olympic or world-championship podium together, but Benfeito took bronze in this event at the past two Olympics and at three world championships with now-retired former partner Roseline Filion.

Judo

Twenty-four hours after Klimkait paved the way with her bronze, Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard has a shot to become just the second Canadian woman to win an Olympic judo medal. She competes in the 63kg weight class, which starts at 10 p.m. ET. Beauchemin-Pinard's round-of-32 match is fourth up on the docket. On the men's side, 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Antoine Valois-Fortier is competing in the men's 81-kilogram division. Medal bouts start around 5:30 a.m. ET.

Weightlifting

Maude Charron is the slight betting favourite to win gold in the women's 64-kilogram division, where the top 10 lifters start competing at 6:50 a.m. ET. The 28-year-old from Rimouski, Que., beat Olympic co-favourite Mercedes Perez of Colombia to win the Pan American title in April, and she's also the reigning Commonwealth Games champion. The competition in Tokyo looks pretty wide open with reigning Olympic champ and world-record holder Deng Wei of China out due to injury and three-time European champ Loredana Toma of Romania unable to compete because her entire country was banned from international weightlifting for a year over its repeated doping violations. Read more about Charron and the rest of Canada's weightlifting team here.

Some other interesting stuff you should know about

The Canadian women's soccer team can secure a spot in the knockout round. The back-to-back bronze medallists play their final group-stage match at 7 a.m. ET vs. Great Britain. Canada sits second in its group after earning a 1-1 draw vs. Japan and a 2-1 win over Chile. Great Britain leads the group and has already clinched a spot in the quarter-finals after beating both those teams. A draw or better vs. the British will ensure Canada advances, and even a close loss could do the trick. The top two teams in each of the three groups moves on, plus the two best third-place teams.

Simone Biles is facing a challenge. The women's team gymnastics final is at 6:45 a.m. ET. Canada didn't qualify, but a fascinating showdown is brewing between Simone Biles' defending-champion U.S. squad and the team representing the Russian Olympic Committee. Russia (back when it was allowed to call itself that at the Olympics) took silver at the 2016 Games, and the current group surprised the Americans on Sunday by finishing first in qualifying. The scoreboard gets wiped clean for the final, but it suddenly looks like the Russians might challenge Biles and the U.S. for gold — and a sweep of the Olympic team events. The Russian men's team won its first gold since 1996 today.

The Canadian women's basketball team lost its opener to Serbia. An ice-cold shooting day doomed the fourth-ranked Canadians, who made only five of their 24 three-point tries in a 72-68 defeat to the eighth-ranked Serbs today. Team chemistry may have been an issue as this was the first time the full Canadian squad played together in a year and a half. Canada will try to rebound on Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET vs. South Korea. Read more about the loss to Serbia and watch highlights here.

And finally…

Two 13-year olds won a medal — and so did a guy old enough to be their grandfather. Japan's Momiji Nishiya and Brazil's Rayssa Leal took gold and silver in the Olympic debut of women's street skateboarding. Kuwaiti shooter Abdullah Al-Rashidi, 57, who competed in his first of seven Games more than a decade before those skaters were even born, got his second consecutive bronze in the men's skeet event.

How to watch live events

They're being broadcast on TV on CBC, TSN and Sportsnet. Or choose exactly what you want to watch by live streaming on CBC Gem, the CBC Olympics app and CBC Sports' Tokyo 2020 website. Check out the full streaming schedule here.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting