Adam van Koeverden qualifies for fourth Olympic Games

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GAINESVILLE, GEORGIA (May 20, 2016) – Four-time Olympic medalist Adam van Koeverden has qualified for his fourth Olympic Games. van Koeverden, of Oakville, ON, secured his spot by winning the Men’s K1 1000m at the Pan American Canoe Sprint Championships and Continental Olympic Qualifier on Lake Lanier in Gainesville, Georgia.

“The route to get to this point, to get qualified, is longer than it’s every been for me,” said van Koeverden after his race. “It was hard and stressful morning. I did what I had to do and there are a lot of improvements that have to happen in the next few months for me to be satisfied with a good Olympic performance. I’ll be using the World Cups as a stepping stone to the Olympics and I’m anticipating being able to paddle well in Racice and Portugal.”

Oldershaw wins to take next step toward qualification

Moments later, teammate Mark Oldershaw (Burlington, ON) continued the Canadian winning streak and qualifying another quota spot in the Men’s C1 1000m. The win puts Oldershaw, an Olympic bronze medalist, in a good position to qualify for the Olympic Games but his status is not certain yet. Ben Tardioli (Ottawa, ON) will compete in the the Men’s C1 200m tomorrow morning and Canada can only send one athlete in Men’s C1. If Tardioli also wins the continental qualifier, the decision of which event to prioritize will be based on World Cup performances.

“It was a really good race and a really good lead in to the World Cups,” Oldershaw said. “It was a strong tailwind so I knew I had to get out fast and take control of the race. I got a spot for Canada and I just have to go over to World Cups and perform well there and hopefully get that nomination.”

Women’s K2 continues qualifying streak

The success continued with Canada winning a third qualifier race today. Genevieve Orton (Lake Echo, NS) and Kathleen (KC) Fraser (Oakville, ON) landed first place in the Women’s K2 500m to earn Canada another two athlete quota spots. The crew to fill those spots will be determined at National Team Trials 2 in Montreal from June 24-26.

Solid medal haul in Junior and non-qualifier Senior events

Lissa Bissonnette (Sherbrooke, QC) won gold in the Senior Women’s K1 500m event. Canada already qualified an Olympic quota spot in that event at last year’s World Championships so Bissonnette was racing only for glory.

Both of Canada’s Junior K4’s made the podium. The Junior Women’s K4 500m crew of Jane Girgulis (Calgary, AB), Emma Mitchell (Winnipeg, MB), Jewelia Orlick (Chelsea, QC) and Grace Whebby (Dartmouth, NS) won gold. In the Junior Men’s K4 500m, the crew of Christian Sprang (Oakville, ON), Olivier Courchesne (Trois-Rivières, QC), Aidan Messenger (Oakville, ON) and Paul Lapierre (Dartmouth, NS) won bronze.

In 200m action Ryan Cochrane (Windsor, NS) and Étienne Morneau (Québec, QC) won their opening heat to advance directly to tomorrow’s final. They will race the final tomorrow at 11:40 a.m. where a win will earn two more Canadian athlete quota spots. Marc-Alexandre Gagnon (Trois-Rivières, QC) also won his heat in the Senior Men’s K1 200m to advance to tomorrow’s final.

Correction from yesterday’s release: Canada won a total of four medals yesterday. A silver medal by Jane Girgulis (Calgary, AB) and Emma Mitchell (Winnipeg, MB) in the Junior Women’s K2 500m was missed in Thursday’s news release.

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Summary of Results

Athlete(s) Event Result
Adam van Koeverden (Oakville, ON) Senior Men’s K1 1000m 1st

Gold medal

Mark Oldershaw (Burlington, ON) Senior Men’s C1 1000m 1st

Gold medal

Genevieve Orton (Lake Echo, NS) and Kathleen (KC) Fraser (Toronto, ON) Senior Women’s K2 500m 1st

Gold medal

Lissa Bissonnette (Sherbrooke, QC) Senior Women’s K1 500m 1st

Gold medal

Jane Girgulis (Calgary, AB)

Emma Mitchell (Winnipeg, MB)

Jewelia Orlick (Chelsea, QC)

Grace Whebby (Dartmouth, NS)

Junior Women’s K4 500m 1st

Gold medal

Christian Sprang (Oakville, ON)

Olivier Courchesne (Trois-Rivières, QC)

Aidan Messenger (Oakville, ON)

Paul Lapierre (Dartmouth, NS)

Junior Men’s K4 1000m 3rd

Bronze medal

Jillian Perrone (Oakville, ON) Senior Women’s C1 200m 5th
Marshall Hughes (Waverley, NS),

Pierre-Luc Poulin (Lac Beauport, QC)

Senior Men’s K2 1000m 6th
Marc-Alexandre Gagnon (Trois-Rivières, QC) Senior Men’s K1 200m 1st in heat

Advanced to final

Ryan Cochrane (Windsor, NS),

Étienne Morneau (Québec, QC)

Senior Men’s K2 200m 1st in heat

Advanced to final


About Canoe Kayak Canada

Canoe Kayak Canada is the national governing body for competitive paddling in Canada. Canoe Kayak Canada has been one of Canada’s top performing summer sports having won an impressive count of 24 Olympic medals. Canoe Kayak Canada is a member-based organization which 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. Follow Canoe Kayak Canada on TwitterFacebookInstagram and YouTube.


For more information:

Ian Miller
Communications and Marketing Officer, Canoe Kayak Canada