MINDEN, ON – All four of Canada’s canoe slalom athletes at the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games will be going home with a medal. Jazmyne Denhollander of Chilliwack, BC capped off the day with a gold for Team Canada in the Women’s K1 event and the finish could not have been closer.
All three of the final competitors in Women’s K1 ran clean runs without any penalties for touching or missing a gate. In the end Denhollander posted the fastest time of 97.92 seconds with only 0.02 of a second margin from the silver medalist – Ana Satila of Brazil – and 0.03 of a second margin from the bronze medalist – Ashley Nee of the United States.
Denhollander finished third in the semi-final earlier in the day and stepped up significantly in her final which was delayed due to a thunder storm. The sky cleared and she received her gold medal in front of the home crowd with the Gull River gleaming in the background. Denhollander has made history as Canada’s first ever golden canoe slalom paddler at the Pan American Games.
Cameron Smedley of Dunrobin, ON had an impeccable final run in the Men’s C1 and won a silver medal. Smedley posted the fastest run time in the Men’s C1 final but a slight brush of his shoulder against one of the gates early in the course cost him a two second penalty. The gold medal went to Casey Eichfeld of the United States. Smedley had trailed Eichfield for the whole weekend but stepped up in the final to close the gap with just a penalty holding him back from the top spot.
Ben Hayward of Edmonton, AB won a bronze medal in the Men’s K1. Hayward won the semi-final with a clean run but two gate touches in the final cost him four seconds in penalties. Michal Smolen of the United States took the gold while Brazil’s Pedro Da Silva landed the silver.
Haley Daniels of Calgary, AB rounded out the Canadian medal haul with a bronze in the Women’s C1. Ana Satila of Brazil won gold and Colleen Hickey of the United States took the silver.
Communications and Marketing Officer, CanoeKayak Canada