Photo: Balint Vekassy
Photo: Balint Vekassy

Canadian paddlers ready to shine at world championships

Paddles up!

Canada’s best canoe and kayaker’s are ready to face the world starting Wednesday, at the ICF World Sprint Championships in Racice, Czech Republic.

On the women’s side, Team Canada will be led by Laurence Vincent-Lapointe. Lapointe is a six-time world gold medallist, including four titles in the C1 200m (2010, 2011, 2013, 2014). This year will be extra special for Lapointe, since the IOC announced that the women’s C1 200m and C2 500m events will be added to the Olympic program in Tokyo 2020.

In addition to the C1 200m, Vincent-Lapointe will also compete in the C2 500m at worlds, where she will team up with Katie Vincent. Together the pair will look to build on their World Cup silver from earlier this season in Szeged, Hungary.

On the men’s side, London 2012 bronze medallist Mark Oldershaw will try to add a third medal to his world championship record. The competition in Racice could mark Oldershaw’s first world championships medal in the C2 1,000m, where he will be teaming up with rookie Mark James. Craig Spence, who finished seventh in Szeged in 2017 in the C1 1000m, and Mark Tarling, who will be competing in the C1 200m, will also be apart of the canoe crew in Czech Republic.

Mark Oldershaw poses with his medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games. He and Ryan Cochrane are the only members of the Canadian team at the 2017 World Championships to have competed in the 2012 Games. (PC / Sean Kilpatrick)

Canadians will be able to cheer on women kayakers in six races, including four Olympic events. Michelle Russell will try to better her seventh place finish in the K1 500m at the World Cup in Belgrade. The three-time 2015 Pan Am Games medallists will also join Andréanne Langlois for the K2 500m event. The duo finished seventh in Szeged earlier this year.

Rio 2016: Kathleen Fraser, Genevieve Orton, Émilie Fournel, Andréanne Langlois

Kathleen Fraser, Genevieve Orton, Émilie Fournel and Andréanne Langlois, Rio 2016. August 19, 2016. Photo by COC / Jason Ransom

Alongside Russell, Langlois will compete in two events at the world championships. Last year she took fifth in the K1 200m at the World Cup stop in Montemor-O-Velho before finishing 14th in Rio 2016. Courtney Scott, Lissa Bissonnette, Alanna Bray Lougheed and Natalie Davison will be repping the maple leaf in the K4 500m event.

Andréanne Langlois is the only Canadian woman to have participated in the Rio Games. (AP Photo / Luca Bruno)

Two-time Olympian Ryan Cochrane will lead the men’s kayak team. Accompanied by Pierre-Luc Poulin, Cochrane will be in the K2  200m event where he won gold at the 2010 Pan American Games. The pair will be making their first appearance at a world championships together. Alex Scott (K1 200m) and K2 1000m duo Jarret Kenke and Marshall Hughes, will also try to make their way on to the worlds podium.

Finals will take place on August 26 and 27.

Here is the full lineup for Team Canada in Czech Republic:

Women – Canoe
C1 200m – Laurence Vincent-Lapointe
C2 500m – Laurence Vincent-Lapointe and Katie Vincent

Men – Canoe
C1 200m – Mark Tarling
C1 1,000m – Craig Spence
C2 1,000m – Mark Oldershaw and Mark James
C1 5,000m – Mark Oldershaw (non-Olympic event)
C2 500m – Roland Varga and Drew Hodges (non-Olympic event)
C4 1,000m – Drew Hodges, Craig Spence, Mark Tarling and Roland Varga (non-Olympic event)

Women – Kayak
K1 200m – Andreanne Langlois
K1 500m – Michelle Russell
K2 500m – Andreanne Langlois and Michelle Russell
K4 500m – Courtney Scott, Lissa Bissonnette, Alanna Bray Lougheed and Natalie Davison
K1 5,000m – Michelle Russell (non-Olympic event)
K2 1,000m – Courtney Scott and Alanna Bray-Lougheed (non-Olympic event)

Men – Kayak
K1 200m – Alex Scott
K2 200m – Ryan Cochrane and Pierre-Luc Poulin
K2 1,000m – Kenke and Marshall Hughes Shank
K1 5,000m – Marshall Hughes (non-Olympic event)
K1 500m – Kenke Shank (non-Olympic event)
K4 500m – Maxence Beauchesne, Ryan Cochrane, Marshall Hughes and Pierre-Luc Poulin (non-Olympic event)