Podium success for Young Sprint Paddlers on the International Stage

Posted By: admin@canoekayak.ca

Bratislava, Slovakia (September 16, 2019) – Canadian sprint paddlers earned an impressive twelve medals, including five gold medals at the 2019 Olympic Hopes Regatta in Bratislava, Slovakia this weekend. The Olympic Hopes Competition is an event focused on young paddlers aged 16 to 17 on the Olympic pathway.  This event has emerged over the past five years as the optimal international competition for young athletes to test themselves against the best in the world. This year’s Olympic Hopes competition saw 835 competitors from 36 nations competing in age class competition.

Canoe Kayak Canada (CKC) prepares for this event as both a performance indicator and a valuable learning opportunity, as such Canadian athletes were entered into multiple events to provide the best experience racing at an international level.

This approach led to an impressive medal haul for Team Canada and leading the way was Andrew Billard (Halifax, NS) who won four medals including two gold in C1 events, one silver and a bronze in the C2 events with Mathew O’Neill (Ottawa, ON). Ella Hodgson-Pageau (Ottawa, ON) also won three medals, two gold and one silver in the C1 and C2 event with Evie McDonald (Carleton Place, ON). Along with the strong performances by Canada’s eight medal-winning athletes (full medal tally below), the rest of the team also demonstrated great results with Canada finishing top 5 in a number of other events.

The outstanding medal haul at the 2019 Olympic Hopes Regatta comes after a 15 medal-count tally for Team Canada at the 2018 event.

The sustained success of our 16 and 17 years old athletes at the Olympic Hopes Regatta reflects the strength of our club programming and coaches across the country,” said Ian Mortimer, CKC Director of Development. “This group of athletes performed very well over the weekend and have provided significant inspiration to paddlers across the country. They continue to set a high standard for performance as we enter the offseason and begin to prepare for a big 2020.” 

Canadian Medal Count at the 2019 Olympic Hopes Regatta:

Ella Hodgson-Pageau and Evie McDonald – GOLD U16/U17 C2 200m
Ella Hodgson-Pageau – GOLD U16 C1 200m
Ella Hodgson-Pageau – SILVER U16 C1 500m
Andrew Billard – GOLD U17 C1 500m
Andrew Billard – GOLD U17 C1 1000m
Andrew Billard and Mathew O’Neill – BRONZE U16/U17 C2 1000m
Andrew Billard and Mathew O’Neill – SILVER U16/U17 C2 200m
Evie McDonald – BRONZE U16 C1 200m
Toshka Besharah – BRONZE U16 K1 200m
Ian Gaudet – BRONZE U16 K1 200m
Kieran Graham – BRONZE U16 C1 200m
Craig Johnson – GOLD U16 K1 500m

The Canadian team roster listed below:

Event Athlete
Men’s Canoe Andrew Billard
Men’s Canoe Austin Pigeon
Men’s Canoe Keiran Graham
Men’s Canoe Matthew O’Neill
Men’s Kayak Craig Johnson
Men’s Kayak Ian Gaudet
Men’s Kayak Jacob Price
Men’s Kayak Xavier Levasseur
Women’s Canoe Ella Hodgson-Pageau
Women’s Canoe Evie McDonald
Women’s Canoe Kate Pennyfather
Women’s Kayak Angelina Davidson
Women’s Kayak Anna O’Brien
Women’s Kayak Brooke Westwater
Women’s Kayak Cassidy MacPherson
Women’s Kayak Toshka Besharah