PITESTI, ROMANIA (July 27, 2017) – For Team Canada, it was a day of mixed results as the ICF Junior and U23 Sprint World Championships got underway in Pitesti, Romania.
Leading the way was Katie Vincent (Mississauga, ON) who earned a berth in Saturday’s “A” Final in the Women’s U23 C-1 500m with the second-fastest qualifying time of 2:13.812. Vincent is looking to add to her gold medal collection, having won the U23 C-1 200m at last year’s World Championships, as well as the Junior edition of the race in 2014.
Following in Katie’s footsteps, 15-year-old Sophia Jensen (Chelsea, QC) qualified for the “A” Final in the Junior C-1 500m by winning her semi-final in a time of 2:20.524.
“It was an up and down day, for sure,” said Canoe Kayak Canada’s Chief Technical Officer, Graham Barton. “We had some great performances in very competitive races. A few were good enough to qualify for finals, while others competed really hard but just ended up on the wrong side of a fourth place finish.”
While Vincent and Jensen were dominating their races, Team Canada had some near misses in the semifinals on the men’s side. Jarret Kenke (Saskatoon, SK) and Pierre-Luc Poulin (Lac-Beauport, QC) finished fourth in their U23 K-2 1000m semifinal, falling short of a finals berth by only three tenths of a second behind a duo from Germany. In the U23 C-1 1000m, Canada’s Craig Spence (Dartmouth, NS) was edged out by Vladislav Chebotar (RUS) in the last 50 metres. Kenke, Poulin, and Spence will compete in “B” Finals on Saturday.
Barton emphasized the value of the top-flight competition, particularly for Junior paddlers competing in their first world championships. “It’s really eye opening for them to see how fast the best paddlers in the world really are,” he said. “It can be a great motivator and will definitely benefit those athletes who hope to return to worlds next year.”
Vincent and Jensen will be back on the water on Day 2, hoping to qualify for finals in the C-1 200m in the U23 and Junior competitions, respectively. There is also keen interest in the U23 Men’s K-4 500m, a new event at the 2020 Olympic Summer Games in Tokyo. Canada’s hopes rest with Maxence Beauchesne (Trois-Rivières, QC), Nicholas Matveev (Toronto, ON), Marshall Hughes (Waverly, NS) and Pierre-Luc Poulin (Lac Beauport, QC) who are coming off an outstanding performance against strong international competition at the Canada Cup regatta in Shawinigan, Quebec earlier this month.
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.