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Five things for Canadians to watch at Tokyo Olympics on Saturday, July 24

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From cyclist Michael Woods looking to deliver Canada's first medal of the Games to Canada's women's soccer team trying to rebound from a disappointing opening match, here are five things to watch Saturday at the Tokyo Olympics. 

Against backdrop of Mount Fuji, road cyclist is Canada’s first shot at medal

The first medals are up for grabs at the Olympics Saturday. A Canadian is in contention in men’s road cycling – a 234-kilometre road race that ends at Fuji International Speedway. Ottawa’s Michael Woods is Canada’s best shot at a medal. He will be racing alongside Hugo Houle of Ste-Perpétue, Que., and Montreal’s Guillaume Boivin. The race takes place against the backdrop of Mount Fuji, with the men climbing the lower slopes of Japan's tallest mountain.

Sinclair and Co. looking to bounce back after opening draw

Having set its sights on reaching the final before the Tokyo Games even began, Canada’s women’s soccer team will be hoping for a better effort in its second group-stage match. Canada conceded late in a 1-1 draw to Japan in the opener, cancelling out an early goal from captain Christine Sinclair. The Canadians face last-place Chile in Group E action. The Chileans are coming off a 2-0 defeat to Britain in their first match. Canada won the women's soccer bronze medal at the last two Olympics.

Pivotal softball match for Canada, with memories of Olympics past

Thirteen years after being denied a medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Canada’s women’s softball team is eyeing hardware again. The Canadians need a victory over Australia in their third match to remain in the top half of their six-team group. Canada cruised to a 4-0 victory over Mexico in the opener before dropping a tight 1-0 contest to the Americans. It was a crushing defeat to Australia in 2008 that prevented Canada from earning a medal. Four players remaining from that team are competing in Tokyo.

Medal quest begins for reigning women's world beach volleyball champs

Toronto’s Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan of Kitchener, Ont., play their first beach volleyball match at the Tokyo Olympics. The 2019 world champions and 2018 Commonwealth Games gold-medal winners face Katja Stam and Raisa Schoon of the Netherlands in preliminary-round play. The Toronto team of Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson are also in action at Shiokaze Park, near Odaiba Marine Park. They take on China’s Wang Fan and Xia Xinyi.

Archery duo of Barrett and Duenas compete for medal at Yumenoshima Park

The mixed team of Stephanie Barrett (Mississauga, Ont.) and Crispin Duenas (Toronto) look to challenge for a medal in archery. The 42-year-old Barrett is competing in her first Olympic Games, while it’s the fourth for the 35-year-old Duenas. The mixed team from South Korea is the duo to beat. The event takes place in Tokyo’s Yumenoshima Park.

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