Photo: Jason Ransom

Athlete of the Week: Mark de Jonge

Mark de Jonge achieved a major “first” in his career this past week when he stood atop the podium at the third and final stop of the canoe-kayak sprint World Cup season in Poznan, Poland. Victorious in the K-1 200m, it was de Jonge’s first-ever World Cup gold medal as he edged out German Tom Liebscher by 0.144 of a second.

After skipping the first World Cup stop, de Jonge had recorded a sixth place finish at the second stop in Racice, Czech Republic. The Olympic bronze medallist had missed the entire World Cup tour in 2012 after dropping a dumbbell on his finger, rendering him unable to paddle for several weeks in advance of the London Games.

Next up for de Jonge are the second set of National Team Trials in Welland, ON, June 21-13. These will be used to finalize the Canadian team for the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships to be held in Duisburg, Germany August 28 to September 1.