OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA (April 15, 2019)– Canadian Canoe Slalom athletes completed the 2019 Canoe Kayak Canada (CKC) National Team Trials of a new competitive season this weekend at the Riversport Adventures Whitewater Facility in Oklahoma City, USA. Over two days of intense competitions, canoe and kayak slalom athletes tried to secure a spot on the 2019 National teams.
The first day of competition at the combined Team Trials of Canada and USA proved to be a challenging day for some and just right for others with sub-seasonal temperatures. Both nations shared the Riversport artificial whitewater facility in Oklahoma City while athletes battled to set the fastest race runs across four Olympic events creating an international competetive atmosphere. Neither countries competition results affect the others countries selection process.
“The steep fast courses pushed the paddlers while sending athletes through some of the largest and most challenging waves the Oklahoma artificial whitewater course had to offer over the weekend”, said James Cartwright, Senior Manager of Slalom High Performance Manager and Coach Development at Canoe Kayak Canada. “Our junior and senior athletes demonstrated great results and looked strong on the course this weekend and we are excited to be announcing the Official Teams later this week.”
SLALOM – Follow our Canadian Athletes via Live Results from National Whitewater Slalom Team Trials in Oklahoma City!👉🏼…
Canadian Ben Hayward (Edmonton, AB), led the field in men’s kayak for runs one and two setting the fastest times of the day both for Canada and US.
Olympian Cam Smedley (Dunrobin, ON) led the men’s C1 class, but knew he had to race faster on day two of to solidify his place on the team.
A challenging course set, and strict selection criteria proved to be a tough challenge requiring many athletes vying for selection to step up their performance for races 3 and 4.
Saturday April 13 was planned as day 2 and trials runs 3 and 4 for the Canadians, however due to inclamite weather of high winds and heavy rain, the final two selection races were moved to Sunday April 14th. The US Team trials carried on, giving Canadian athletes an option to race for practice or opt for a rest day.
Sunday’s weather forecast proved to be spot on with the rain and wind blown away, sunny skies and warming weather made race conditions near perfect.
Two time Olympian and Ottawa native Michael Tayler took top place in race 3, while Ben Hayward set the best time once again in race 4.
Lois Betteridge (Ottawa, ON) set the fastest women’s C1 run in selection races 2 and 3 for both Canada and US. In women’s K1 event, Lois Betteridge and Florence Maheu traded off wins throughout the four selection races.
First year Junior boys C1 paddler Finn Wakeling (Port Moody, BC), demonstrated poise and perseverance through the four selection races leading the pack and winning three of four race runs in his event.
Mael Rivard (Ottawa, ON) smooth style and consistent race game, dominated all four races in the junior K1 category.
In the U23 men’s K1 class Trevor Boyd (Calgary, AB) and Keenan Simpson (Montreal, QC) battled the course and each other, swapping wins with two each.
In the women’s junior K1 class, Jocelyn Taylor (Calgary, AB) international experience on artificial courses proved to help her to win 3 of the 4 selection races.
Cam Smedley continued to solidy his position as Canada’s top C1 paddler setting the best time after each selection race.
Canoe Kayak Canada will be announcing later this week the selected athletes that will be representing Canada on the official 2019 Senior, U23 and Junior Teams. The full results of the competitions can be found online here.
In addition to the international competitions, Canoe Kayak Canada will be hosting the 2019 Whitewater National Championships in Minden Hills, Ontario from August 12 to August 18. You can view CKC’s full event calendar here.
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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 Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
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Senior Manager of Slalom High Performance Manager and Coach Development