Canadian Men’s Kayak crews punch tickets to Tokyo
Ottawa, ON (May 13, 2021) – Canada adds two men’s kayak crews to the start line in Tokyo today in the Men’s K4 500m and the Men’s K2 1000m events.
Mark De Jonge (Masqua Aquatic Club), Nick Matveev (Balmy Beach Canoe Club), Pierre-Luc Poulin (Lac-Beauport Canoe Club) and Simon McTavish (Mississauga Canoe Club) secured their Olympic spots today winning both qualification races at the Olympic Basin in Montreal, Canada. They were competing head to head against Brian Malfesi, Dominik Crête, Vincent Jourdenais, Laurent Lavigne in a two-part race series.
Two-time Olympian and bronze medallist, Mark de Jonge reflects on the very long journey to Tokyo. “It feels very satisfying today having put so much effort and energy into this process. It has been such a long haul for everyone. There has been so much doubt around so many things over the last year and it all gets bottled up. That doubt was all released today.”
The Men’s K4 500m berth was secured by this winning crew back in 2019 at the ICF Sprint World Championships. Both the men’s and women’s Canadian K4 teams are now finalized for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Brian Malfesi (Ridge Canoe Club) and Vincent Jourdenais (Club de Canoë-Kayak de Trois-Rivières) also lock up their qualification for Tokyo in the Men’s K2 1000m by achieveing the highest rank at Olympic Team Trials and completing the six-man kayak team for the Games.
“This has been a long process for these crews,” said Graham Barton, Chief Technical Officer at CKC. “Due to exceptional circumstances, including an injury just before Olympic Trials and a recent decision to remain at home during the World Cup season, the Men’s K4 finals to select athletes were rescheduled to this week in Montreal. We appreciate how difficult this has been on the athletes and the coaches but their professionalism throughout the Covid restrictions has Canada going to Tokyo with an experienced K4 crew that achieved some respectable times in cold water conditions this week. I am confident they can make the final in Tokyo.”
Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic selection continues for some CKC teams with additional internal selection procedures or Global Olympic qualification opportunities throughout the rest of May.
To learn more about the status of Tokyo qualifications for Canadian sprint paddlers, click here.
*Prior to being named to Team Canada, all nominations are subject to approval by the COC’s Team Selection Committee following its receipt of nominations by all National Sport Organization.
About Canoe Kayak Canada
Canoe Kayak Canada is the national governing body for competitive paddling in Canada, one of Canada’s top performing summer sports with a total of 24 Olympic medals, and a leader in the Paralympic movement. Canoe Kayak Canada is a member-based organization that includes an intricate network of clubs as well as provincial, territorial and divisional paddling associations. Elite National Team athletes proudly represent Canada at various competitions around the globe – most notably the Olympic Games, Paralympic Games, Pan American Games, ICF World Cups as well as Junior, Under 23 and Senior World Championships.