Tokyo Olympic Games Slalom kayaker Florence Maheu advances to semi-finals
TOKYO, JAPAN (July 25, 2021) – Olympic competition officially kicked off today at the Kasai Canoe Slalom Centre with the women’s kayak and men’s canoe heats.
Florence Maheu (Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, QC) was the first Canadian down the course, paddling a strong first run, positioning herself well leading into the second run. Florence cementing her spot into the semi-finals following the second run and will compete on Tuesday July 27.
“I am really proud to perform at my best today,” said Maheu. “I was definitely nervous, and you put that pressure on yourself to deliver a good performance and I felt I did that today. Sometimes you are able to have some good moves but you are not able to put everything together in the race but today I was able to do that in my first run and that is all I can ask for.”
Cameron Smedley (Dunrobin, ON) had a tough day on the Olympic course and did not find his form on either of the qualification race runs, taking several punishing penalties that set him back in the rankings. Smedley needed to deliver a strong second run in order to move up into the top 15 cut-off in order to advance to the semifinals. The second run proved to be faster but unfortunately it was not enough to make the semi-final cut-off.
“I feel like I could have competed with the top contenders in the field and that obviously didn’t happentoday,” said Smedley. “I took some penalties and paddled too cautiously and I think the nerves got the better of me. I will have to reassess where things went wrong here.”
Canada will compete next in the women’s kayak semifinals on Tuesday (Tokyo Time), along with the Olympic debut of women’s canoe at the Olympic Games. Men’s kayak heats start on July 29.
For full results click here.
The Canadian entries are listed below.
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.