Tokyo Olympic Games Slalom kayaker Florence Maheu advances to semi-finals

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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 semifinal 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.



K1 Men

Michael Tayler

K1 Women

Florence Maheu

C1 Men

Cameron Smedley

C1 Women

Haley Daniels


About Canoe Kayak Canada

Canoe Kayak Canada (CKC) 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. Follow Canoe Kayak Canada on TwitterFacebookInstagram anYouTube.



For more information:

Colleen Coderre

Communications Lead

Important Note to our Paddling Community

Recent comments on social media and elsewhere about allegations of inappropriate behaviour within our sport are causing concern in some parts of the paddling community.

While we all have the right to express an opinion, it is vitally important that we also recognize how hurtful our comments can be, and that we must take responsibility for educating ourselves to ensure those opinions are well-founded.

In response to this situation, we felt it important to put out a timely message to make clear a few important points.

First, any cases of alleged violations of CKC’s Safe Sport policies are dealt with thoroughly and objectively through the Independent Third Party. We cannot comment on the specifics of any case without consent from the parties involved as confidentiality is a cornerstone of any safe sport program.

Confidentiality also promotes the integrity of the process by allowing for an independent investigation and by respecting voluntary agreements between the parties. Discipline decisions are published to ensure transparency for the sporting community.

Second, spreading unfounded gossip is harmful and hurtful for everyone involved. There is also the potential for a negative ripple effect that could distract our Olympic athletes and coaches as they make final preparations for Tokyo.

Third, CKC has one of the most advanced and progressive safe sport policies among national federations. Widely adopted by paddling clubs across the country, we are constantly looking for ways to better protect participants and to proactively create the conditions for positive athlete experiences. Sport Canada’s announcement this week about a new independent safe sport office is further reason to feel confident about the power of Canada’s safe sport movement and the strength of CKC’s approach.

It’s clear there are members of our paddling family who are struggling with some difficult issues. Let’s commit to supporting each other with kindness and compassion so that the necessary healing can take place and we can move forward with a collective commitment to making canoe kayak safe, welcoming and fun for everyone involved.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to either of us should you have questions or concerns. Queries about the complaint process canbe directed to Brian Ward, Independent Third Party for Canoe Kayak Canada, at:

Casey Wade, Chief Executive Officer  

Kenna Robins, Senior Manager National Program Development


COVID-19 Update: Olympic and Paralympic Sprint Team Trials cancelled

March 14, 2020

Canoe Kayak Canada (CKC) has made the difficult but necessary decision to cancel the CKC-Sprint Racing Discipline (CKC-SRD) Olympic and Paralympic Team Trials scheduled for April 16-19, 2020 in Gainesville, Georgia.

This decision has been made in light of the rapidly changing landscape related to the COVID-19 health pandemic and in the interest of ensuring the health and well-being of all of our athletes, coaches and staff.

Due to the updated Government of Canada recommendation to “avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada”, CKC believes it is in the best interests of our athletes, coaches, officials, staff and the many volunteers and spectators to cancel this event.

We recognize that this is a tremendously disappointing decision for paddlers and coaches who have been training and preparing for months and years to be at their best for these trials. While it was a difficult decision, CKC considers that it is the right decision for the safety of our paddling community and the public at large.

It should also be mentioned that the Government of Canada has issued a recommendation for all Canadians to “avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada” and that Canadians currently outside the country should determine which commercial options are still available and consider returning to Canada earlier than planned if these options are becoming more limited. Athletes, coaches and staff returning from locations outside of Canada should also consult local public health reasources at their destination and in destinations through which they may need to travel to return home to understand the isolation protocols that they should follow.

CKC will be making the arrangements in the coming days to progressively wind down our Sprint National Team Training Camp in Indian Harbor Beach, Florida so that athletes, coaches and staff can return home to Canada.

CKC recommends that all Provincial and Club camps taking place outside of Canada understand the above-mentioned Government of Canada travel recommendation as an indication to begin to carefully plan the return of athletes, coaches and other staff to Canada in a manner which minimizes risk to their health and safety.

“This was an extremely difficult decision for the leadership team at CKC,” said Graham Barton, CKC Chief Technical Officer. “I have been in the training environment and seen first-hand the dedication and commitment of our athletes, but what I admire most is the professionalism, understanding and belief that we, as team, must do what is best for the health and safety of all.  I am confident we will adapt and plan for all the contingencies in the coming months and that our Team will be ready.”

CKC distributed information to the paddling community concerning the spread of COVID-19 last week and will continue to do so on a regular basis. Please understand that the sport, medical and public authority understanding of COVID-19 continues to evolve and that decisions, recommendations and guidelines may change as new information emerges. In this regard, we expect that further updates could be forthcoming within the next 24-48 hours.

CKC is keenly aware of the community concern and disruptions related to the COVID-19 outbreak and recognize that these disruptions particularly affect our athletes and their competitive aspirations for the upcoming season. CKC will do everything within its control to ensure that disruptions to selection and Olympic qualification opportunities are minimized to the greatest extent possible and will communicate any further information in relation to selection and Olympic qualification as soon as possible.

In this regard, athletes and coaches should expect that modifications will be made to the currently published Olympic and Paralympic Selection Criteria. Please note that modifications will be made as soon as possible, and, specifically, once further information is available regarding the status of Olympic qualification events, as well as other events, including domestic trials and international competitions that will be used for Olympic and Paralympic selection.

In the meantime, athletes should feel comfortable reaching out to CKC coaches, staff, parents or other trusted individuals to share their concerns and any issues arising from this situation.

A CKC Mental Health resource document is available here.

Michael Tayler clinches K1 Olympic spot at Australian Open
Canoe Slalom

PENRITH, AUSTRALIA (February 24, 2020) – Michael Tayler (Ottawa, ON) will be headed to his third consecutive Olympic Games following a top Canadian finish in the men’s K1 slalom event at the 2020 Australian Open in Penrith this weekend.

“Thanks to everyone who has supported me over the years,” reflected Tayler. “I’m so proud to have another opportunity to represent Canada on the Olympic stage!”

Ben Hayward (Edmonton, AB) was also vying for Olympic selection in the men’s K1 event finishing 29th in the semi-finals, behind Tayler in 21st. Both Canadian kayakers have been in a tight battle for Olympic selection in a point-based, best two-out-of-three event qualification system.

Team Canada had previously qualified the men’s K1 boat for Tokyo 2020 at the 2019 World Slalom Championships in La Seu D’Urgell, Spain.

“Olympic selections always deliver high-pressure racing and I’m really proud of our team for embracing the challenge and performing when it counts in international competitions,” said James Cartwright, Senior High Performance Manager. “We now have three paddlers selected to Tokyo and we will be going to Brazil next month with an important job to compete for the last spot in women’s canoe.”

In the women’s C1 event, Haley Daniels (Calgary, AB) finished top Canadian in 21st position overall, moving her into a tie in overall points standings with Lois Betteridge (Ottawa, ON) in the women’s C1 Canadian Olympic selection process. Lois Betteridge finished 27th and will also look to the next qualification event that will be held at the Olympic whitewater park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on April 3-5 to contest for the women’s C1 Olympic entry.

Other notable Canadian results include Florence Maheu (Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, QC) placing 26th in the women’s K1 event and Cameron Smedley (Ottawa, ON) finishing 30th in men’s C1.

The next Tokyo qualification opportunity to take place at the 2020 Pan-Am Championships scheduled in Rio de Janeiro from April 3-5, 2020.

Visit the event website and results here.

To view Canada’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic Team Criteria, click here.

photo credits: JRG images