CanoeKayak athletes move on to World Cups to contend for selection to the Canadian Olympic Team

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CanoeKayak athletes move on to World Cups to contend for selection to the Canadian Olympic Team

Lake Lanier, Georgia – Ryan Cochrane of Windsor, NS and Hugues Fournel of Lachine, QC won the Men’s K2 200 metre at Canadian Sprint Team Trials in Lake Lanier, Georgia in a time of 31.67 seconds.

“The key word was out like a cannon,” said Fournel. “We maybe told each other that fifteen times before the race … it worked perfectly.”

Connor Taras and Austin Denman who train at the Banook Canoe Club in Dartmouth, NS placed second. They were 0.66 of a second behind Fournel and Coachrane. Rhys Hill of Ottawa and Étienne Morneau of Québec City placed third in a time of 32.39 seconds.

Cochrane said the level of competition was exceptionally high as crews stepped up with their best for the Olympic year.

“We weren’t taking this lightly whatsoever,” said Cochrane. “We went into it acting like we were up against the best in the world because that’s the fact of the matter – some of the best in the world were racing.”

Richard Dober Jr of Trois-Rivières, QC and Steven Jorens of Candiac, QC were winners in the K2 1000 metre. The crew lead the field by a margin of 1.9 seconds to win the race in a time of 3:15.8.

“We had an awesome race,” said Jorens. “It’s the first step in the qualification process for us so we’re looking forward to the racing ahead.”

Philippe Duchesneau of Montréal and Christopher Mehak of Toronto finished second with a time of 3:17.2 in the K2 1000 metres. Ottawa’s Angus Mortimer and Brady Reardon of Burlington, ON came third and clocked 3:17.8. Dober and Jorens also placed fifth in the K2 200 metre.

Canada has one Olympic quota spot for a K2 entry. The goal for the top two crews in both the 1000 metre and 200 metre distances at World Cups is to prove their medal potential for the Olympic Games in their respective events. Both crews were happy to take the first step in the selection process and racing will heat up in Poznan, Poland from May 18 to 20 and Duisburg, Germany from May 25 to 27. CanoeKayak Canada’s final nominations to the Canadian Olympic Committee will be officially announced in June following National Team Trials 2 in Montréal, June 22 to 24.

A race-off took place between two Nova Scotian athletes in the C1 200 metre. Jason McCoombs of Dartmouth edged out Richard Dalton of Halifax by 0.001 of a second to guarantee himself the second spot for the World Cup team. McCoombs placed second to Aaron Rublee of Kamloops, BC yesterday in a tight final and Dalton, who qualified the quota spot for Canada last October at the Pan American Games, was a close third.

Rublee and McCoombs will compete for selection to the Canadian Olympic Team at two World Cups. Rublee will need to place as the top Canadian in one of those races, while McCoombs will need to beat Rublee at both World Cups to take the spot.

In events where no Olympic quota spots are up for grabs, athletes were racing to meet international performance standards for consideration to the World Cup team. The Women’s K4 500 metre team of, Lissa Bissonette of Sherbrooke, QC, Nicole Brown of Waverley, NS, Alexa Irvin of Kentville, NS and Michelle Russell of Fall River, NS won their race and laid down a solid time of 1:36.42.

The duo of Paul Bryant and Roland Varga who train at Richmond Hill Canoe Club in Ontario won the Men’s C2 1000 metre in a time of 3:46.01. They will find out if their time is good enough for selection to the World Cup tour when the team is officially announced by CanoeKayak Canada on Tuesday.

“We had the time standard in our heads the whole time so it was a lot of pressure, but I think we did a pretty good job,” said Bryant. “Hopefully we go to the World Cups. They made us a lot faster last year. If not we just go home and slug away together until the next set of trials and make a good showing throughout the rest of the year.”

Mallorie Nicholson and Laurence Vincent-Lapointe, the defending World Champions in the Women’s C2 500 metre, raced the event as the solo crew to clock a time of 2:02.26.

Una Lounder of Dartmouth, NS and Genevieve Orton of Lake Echo, NS finished off the three day trials with a win in Women’s K2 500 metre in a time of 1:45.54.

Results: Video interviews are available at Photos available upon request.


On-site media contact:

Ian Miller

Communications and Marketing Officer, CanoeKayak Canada


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