Your guide to an action-packed sports weekend

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Spring always tends to be a good time for sports fans, and the next few days shouldn’t be any different.

Here’s your guide to an action-packed weekend:

It’s our first glimpse of the men’s 100 metres this season. The second stop of the Diamond League campaign features most of the same Canadian faces as last week’s opener. But one key event is different, with the men’s 100m replacing the 200m. Led by De Grasse, Canadians make up three of the eight sprinters in the field. The two-time Olympic 100m bronze medallist found himself a step slow in the 200m — the event in which he claimed Olympic gold — last week, and he’s the only athlete in the field not to have run the 100m this season. But De Grasse performs best in the clutch, as evidenced by seven medals in seven individual races at marquee events, so don’t be surprised if he uses this race as something of a warmup ahead of next week’s Prefontaine Classic in Oregon, which doubles as the site of July’s world championships. Ever wonder what exactly it is that makes De Grasse so fast? We have all the answers here:

WATCH | Glenroy Gilbert breaks down the mechanics of De Grasse’s speed:

What makes Andre De Grasse so fast?

Athletics Canada head coach Glenroy Gilbert breaks down the physical and mental abilities that make Andre De Grasse Canada’s fastest man.

The other Canadians in the field are the always-steady Aaron Brown and Jerome Blake, who may be on the verge of a breakout season. The top international competitors are Yohan Blake, the Jamaican who owns the lowest personal best in the field at 9.69 (though it was set a decade ago), and American Trayvon Bromell, the Olympic favourite who flamed out in qualifying in Tokyo.

Elsewhere, Canadians Marco Arop and Django Lovett will look to back up strong third-place showings in the 800m and high jump, respectively, while middle-distance runner Lindsey Butterworth makes her season debut. The women’s 100m doesn’t feature any Canadians, but the race between Olympic bronze medallists Shericka Jackson of Jamaica and Dina Asher-Smith of Great Britain should be a fascinating one. Diamond League action from Birmingham, England, begins tomorrow at 9 a.m. ET on, the CBC Sports app and CBC Gem.

Two titans clash in the women’s Champions League final. Lyon is the winningest club in league history, with seven titles to its name. Barcelona is the reigning champion, and possibly even better this year than last. And so the French and Spanish powerhouses will square off for the European championship on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET on neutral turf in Italy. It’s a rematch of the 2019 final, which saw Lyon easily take care of business to claim the title. But Barcelona is a different beast now. Led by captain Alexia Putellas, it won all 30 domestic games this season, and went perfect in Champions League round-robin play before easing through knockouts. Whether Lyon is up to the challenge could be partly in the hands of Canadian defender Kadeisha Buchanan, the Olympic gold medallist whose task will be to help slow the Spanish side’s high-speed offence. And with the Canadian’s contract set to expire after the season, she’s hoping to go out on top. Read more about Buchanan and her place in the massive Champions League final in this piece by CBC Sports contributor John Molinaro.

The NHL and NBA playoffs continue. Here’s hoping you’ve caught your breath after that rollicking Game 1 in the Battle of Alberta that saw the Flames outrace the Oilers to a 9-6 victory. Now, goalies Jacob Markstrom and Mike Smith will be on the hot seat with Calgary and Edmonton having combined for 29 goals in their past two meetings. Game 2 goes tonight at 10:30 p.m. ET, and Game 3 is Sunday at 8 p.m. ET. Both are available across CBC Sports platforms. It’s early days in the second round still, but the Lightning could put a stranglehold on their series against the Panthers after stealing a Game 2 win with 3.8 seconds remaining last night. Game 3 is Sunday, with a quick turnaround before Monday’s Game 4.

In the NBA, the Celtics smashed the Heat last night, setting up a pivotal Game 3 back in Boston on Saturday with the series tied at one apiece. Meanwhile, the Warriors took an early lead in their West final against the Mavericks, and a pair of wins this weekend would move them that much closer to their first NBA Finals appearance since falling to the Raptors in 2019.

When one major ends, another begins. With the PGA championship well into its second round, things seem headed toward a juicy weekend showdown between Rory McIlroy, the first-round leader, and Justin Thomas, who had ripped away the solo lead for himself as of our publish time. Tiger Woods, who struggled on Thursday, was fighting just to play into the weekend. Meanwhile, Canadians Adam Hadwin, Mackenzie Hughes and Corey Conners are all projected to miss the cut entirely. The Wanamaker Trophy will be awarded on Sunday, the same day action begins at Roland Garros for the second tennis major of the season. Rebecca Marino made it five Canadians in French Open singles draws when she won qualifying today. She’ll be joined by Bianca Andreescu and Leylah Fernandez on the women’s side, while Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov form the Canadian contingent in the men’s bracket. In case you missed it, we broke down each of their chances in yesterday’s newsletter.

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