PITESTI, ROMANIA (July 29, 2017) – Sophia Jensen (Chelsea, QC) captured Canada’s first medal of the ICF Junior/U23 Sprint World Championships, winning a silver in the Junior Women’s C-1 500m.
In a thrilling race, the 15-year-old Jensen fought through swirling winds to cross the finish line in a tie for second place with Ada Ibarra (MEX), showing tremendous mental toughness in battling the harsh conditions.
“Older athletes have more experience dealing with different kinds of weather, so it can be tougher for younger paddlers to adjust,” said Graham Barton, Canoe Kayak Canada’s Chief Technical Officer. “Sophia had a couple of shaky strokes, but she really held it together and managed to make it onto the podium. We’re thrilled with the result and excited about her future. She’s young enough to qualify for the next two Junior World Championships.”
Following a minor stumble midway through the race Katie Vincent (Mississauga, ON) closed the gap. However, there wasn’t enough distance left to finish in a medal position. Vincent finished fourth in the A-Final of the U23 Women’s C-1 500m.
Several other Canadian paddlers put in gutsy performances in semi-final competition. Grace Whebby (Dartmouth, NS) had a close finish into the A-Final for the Junior Women’s K-1 200m, claiming third place in her semi by less than two-tenths of a second. Alexander Scott (Bedford, NS) qualified for the U23 Men’s K-1 200m A-Final after filling in yesterday to help the Men’s K-4 500m crew win its semi-final and qualify for tomorrow’s A-Final.Katie Vincent won her semi-final heat with the second-fastest time of the day to punch her ticket to the U23 Women’s C-1 200m A-Final. Vincent is the defending gold medalist at this distance and has high hopes to repeat tomorrow as world champion.
Team Canada has plenty to look forward to on Sunday’s race schedule; Jensen looks to add to her medal count in the Junior Women’s C-1 200m while a confident Men’s K-4 crew of Maxence Beauchesne (Trois-Rivières, QC), Nicholas Matveev (Toronto, ON), Alexander Scott (Halifax, NS) and Pierre-Luc Poulin (Lac Beauport, QC) looks to build on its semi-final victory to deliver a podium performance. In total, Canadian paddlers have qualified in nine different A-Finals, creating plenty of opportunities to add to Canada’s medal count.
“The most crucial part of these competitions is making it to the A-Final,” said Barton. “Give yourself a chance to win, and anything can happen.”
The official draw can be found here, and you can watch live-streamed coverage of the events on Planet Canoe, the official YouTube channel of the ICF. Canoe Kayak Canada will issue daily highlights of Team Canada performances. Complete event results can be found here.
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. Follow Canoe Kayak Canada on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.