Six Canadian Sprint Paddlers punch ticket to Tokyo
Burnaby, BC (March 12, 2021) – Canadian history was made today as the first-ever paddler in women’s canoe, Katie Vincent qualified* to represent Canada, in the women’s C1 event, at the Tokyo Olympic Games. The women’s K-4 500m team also booked their ticket to Tokyo* today with impressive back-to-back final wins in Burnaby.
It was an exhilarating day of racing with the women’s K-4 crews kicking off racing for Olympic qualification. Alanna Bray-Lougheed (Burloak Canoe Club), Andréanne Langlois (Club de canoe-kayak de vitesse de Trois-Rivieres), Michelle Russell (Cheema Aquatic Club), and Madeline Schmidt (Rideau Canoe Club) won their second K-4 500m finals of the CKC Olympic and Paralympic Sprint Team Trials, securing their nomination for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
“I think we had the first race jitters yesterday, got those over with, and then today we just put it all together,” said Russell. This event marking the first racing opportunity for the team in almost two years due to the pandemic. “Covid-19 made us learn a lot about ourselves and made us tougher as athletes and as people too,” added Langlois. “We have trained in every weather condition – hail, snow, giant waves,” said Schmidt. “It has definitely brought us closer together as a team.”
Later in the morning, the Women’s C1 200m final got off to a clean start with 10-time World Champion, Laurence Vincent Lapointe (Club de canoe-kayak de vitesse de Trois-Rivieres) looking to add to her race win from Thursday. Meanwhile, Katie Vincent (Mississauga Canoe Club), who secured Canada’s berth at the 2019 World Championships, was just as hungry for the opportunity, stealing the second race win in a nail-biter photo finish across the line.
The C1 200m tie forced a race-off between the Katie and Laurence at 2pm PT. The Canadian duo lined up again to deliver yet another heart pounding performance with Katie taking the final win with only millimeters separating the two boats. Results
“It’s hard to put into words (how I’m feeling) right now,” said Katie Vincent. “It’s my birthday today and I can’t imagine a better birthday present than this. It was a fight right until the end and a positive takeaway for our team that we have such a strong field of female paddlers. Four years ago, we had no group to train with and look at us now. We can take pride in the team that we’ve built and I look forward to getting in the boat with Laurence to race the C2 500m event tomorrow. It’s fun to go fast!”
“We are so thrilled to see two of the best paddlers in the world racing together after such a long hiatus and a challenging period of time,” said Casey Wade, CKC Chief Executive Officer. “With respect to the women’s C2 500m event, we continue to work closely with the International Canoe Federation to secure an additional women’s canoe Olympic quota spot due to extenuating circumstances dating back to the 2019 World Championships. This will also allow us to have a second entry in the women’s C1 200m Event.”
Connor Fitzpatrick (Senobe Canoe Club) and Roland Varga (Richmond Hill Canoe Club) secured their second finals win in the C2 1000m to lock up their advancement for the World Cup season.
Simon McTavish (Mississauga Canoe Club) also crossed the line with another win to confirm his Olympic journey continues in the Men’s K1 1000m.
Michelle Russell (Cheema Aquatic Club) celebrated another win in the K1-200m final today.
The Para Canoe finals saw Andrea Nelson (Balmy Beach Canoe Club) earn a nomination to the Canadian Paralympic Committee for inclusion on Team Canada. Additional Para athletes who won both finals but still need to meet criteria for a nomination include Erica Scarff (Mississauga Canoe Club) in the women’s KL3 200m Class while Gabriel Ferron-Bouius (Rideau Canoe Club) took top spot on the men’s side and Stefan Samoila won the KL2 Class. Mathieu St. Pierre VL2 and Mike Trauner VL3 rounded out the winners in the Va Classes.
Racing takes place on Burnaby Lake over the course of four days, wrapping up on Sunday March 14.
CKC would like to thank Canoe Kayak BC and Tourism Burnaby for their support of this event.
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 Organizations.
Andréanne Langlois, Alanna Bray-Lougheed, Michelle Russell, Madeline Schmidt | Photo: Rich Lam/CKC
CKC Olympic and Paralympic Sprint Trials
March 11-14, 2021
Burnaby, BC – Map
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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.