Gauthier, Selinger and Waters qualify to represent Canada at Paracanoe World Championships

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Burnaby, BC – World Champions Christine Gauthier of Pointe-Claire, QC and Christine Selinger of Regina, SK will return to defend their titles at the Paracanoe World Championships in Poznan, Poland from May 16 to 17. Dave Waters of Dartmouth, NS will also return to the World Championships after qualifying as the third member of Canada’s Paracanoe team at trials yesterday in Burnaby, BC.

“I’m happy to be going this quick, this early in the season,” said Selinger after the trials. “My time today was the same as my time from Szeged last year at Worlds.”

Selinger and Gauthier arrived in BC on Monday, fresh off gold medal wins at Pan American Championships last Sunday in Rio de Janeiro. It’s a tight schedule this year with Paracanoe World Championships being held earlier in the season, in conjunction with the first ICF Sprint World Cup because of the Olympic Games. Selinger will defend her title in the V1 200 metre event in the TA category. Dave Waters will also race the V1 200 metre in Poland, which uses a modified outrigger boat paddled with a single canoe blade. Waters will race in the LTA category and Gauthier will return for the event she won a gold medal in last August, the LTA K1 200 metre. Para-athletes are classified based on the ability they have with their legs, trunk and arms. In total, twelve athletes from across Canada competed at the trials. Time standards based on previous international results were implemented in the selection criteria for the first time this year. “I was extremely impressed with the overall level of performance,” said team manager, Christine Bain. “Our athletes showed a tremendous amount of drive and desire to achieve their best performances. They’re talented athletes and our team is improving year after year.” This is the fourth year the World Championship events for Paracanoe have been held. Canada continues to be a leader in developing the sport as Paracanoe prepares to make its debut on the programme at the 2016 Paralympic Games.

Most of the athletes have been preparing for the trials for the past two weeks at a national training camp in Pitt Meadows, BC under the guidance of coaches Jeff Van Horne of Dartmouth, NS and former Olympian, Karen Lukanovich of Morin Heights, QC. “It was amazing racing and I put everything I learned at the camp into my race,” said Draga Culjak after competing in the K1 200 metre at trials. “I’m motivated to race next year and do even better.”

CanoeKayak BC and the Pitt Meadows Paddling Club were instrumental in staging the first National Paracanoe Team Trials ever held in British Columbia. Some of the athletes will attend a competition in Gig Harbour, WA next week. Athletes named to the team will get ready to head to Europe on May 12. The others will focus on training for the Canada Day Regatta in Ottawa and the Lake Placid International Regatta in early July. The season will be capped off with the Canadian Sprint CanoeKayak Championships from August 22 to 25 in Dartmouth, NS.
Trials results:

Men K1 LTA
1. Christian Maranda (Québec, QC) – 55.69
2. Jean Dagher (Ottawa, ON) – 58.95
3. Philip Mailey (Toronto, ON) – 59.67

Women V1 TA
1. Christine Selinger (Regina, SK) 1:11.74

Men K1 TA / A
1. James Telep (Pitt Meadows, BC) A – 1:13.00
2. Corey Stewart (Pitt Meadows, BC) TA – 1:21.00
3. Kevin Priebe (Pitt Meadows, BC) A – 1:23.31
4. Suleiman Muse (Toronto, ON) A – 1:25.19

Men V1 LTA
1. Dave Waters (Dartmouth, NS) – 57.38
2. Wifredo ‘Papito’ More Wilson (Toronto, ON) – 59.39

Women K1 TA
1. Christine Selinger (Regina, SK) – 1:11.35
2. Draga Culjak (Toronto, ON) – 1:13.36

Women K1 LTA
1. Christine Gauthier (Pointe-Claire, QC) – 57.51


For more information:

Ian Miller
Communications and Marketing Officer, CanoeKayak Canada

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