This article was originally published on the Canoe Kayak Canada website.
The Canadian anthem played twice today in Montemor-O-Velho, Portugal as the first medals of the ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup Tour were awarded. Mark Oldershaw of Burlington, ON claimed the very first gold medal of the season by winning the Men’s C1 1000.
“I’m really happy with the first international race of the year,” said Oldershaw. “I knew with the wind it would be a fast race so I tried to stay on the gas the entire way and it is a good confidence boost for the rest of the season.”
Having won Canadian Team Trials two weeks ago, Oldershaw’s result today also lands him his second top Canadian placement needed for selection to teams for Pan American Games and World Championships. Oldershaw also raced the heat of the Men’s C1 500 and finished second which put him straight through to tomorrow’s final. The 1000 metre is the Olympic distance in which Oldershaw won bronze in 2012.
Laurence Vincent-Lapointe (Trois-Rivières, QC) and Katie Vincent (Mississauga, ON) captured Canada’s second gold of the day in the Women’s C2 200. Adam van Koeverden of Oakville, ON finished fifth in the Men’s K1 1000. van Koeverden, a four-time Olympic medalist, also won his heat in the Men’s K1 500 to advance directly to tomorrow’s final.
Olympic bronze medalist Mark de Jonge of Halifax, NS won his semi-final in the Men’s K1 200 to advance to tomorrow’s final. Ben Russell (Dartmouth, NS) and Gabriel Beauchesne-Sévigny (Trois-Rivières, QC) won their heat in the Men’s C2 1000 to skip the semi and have advanced directly to tomorrow’s final.
Michelle Russell of Waverley, NS placed second in the B-final of the Women’s K1 500 to rank eleventh overall. Tomorrow she will be racing in the A-final of the Women’s K1 200 after placing third today in her semi. Several other Canadian boats advanced through heats and semis today and a full compilation of results is shown below.