Canadian paddlers feed on local crowds to win medals at world championships

Canada’s rising stars in canoe racing rode to gold, silver and bronze medals at the World Championships as the crowd roared their approval on Sunday at Lake Banook in Dartmouth, NS.

Katie Vincent and Connor Fitzpatrick started slow and accelerated as they canoeed to a victory in the 500m to become world champions in the event.

Her victory came about 90 minutes after Sophia Jensen, a 20-year-old from Chelsea, Que., rode to silver, finishing less than a second behind world champion Liudmyla Luzan of Ukraine in the 500 meters.

The paddler was blown away by the result and said the cheers from the crowd made her realize she was vying for a medal and got her adrenaline pumping in “a crazy fight to the end”.

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The Halifax duo of 26-year-old Craig Spence and 24-year-old Brett Himmelman also fought for a bronze medal for Canada in a grueling 1,000m canoe final in the midday heat.

An exhausted Spence was forced to sit on the quay with ice on his neck after the race but said winning a medal on his home lake in front of friends and family was “a dream come true”.

The strong results came after Vincent, a 26-year-old from Mississauga, Ontario, relinquished her title as reigning world champion in the women’s 200-meter sprint and finished fifth in the race, where less than a second separated the top athletes.

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Canadian Vincent finishes in C1 200 final at canoe sprint championships

On Saturday, two-time Olympian Andreane Langlois and Toshka Besharah-Hrebacka showed their new partnership in women’s kayaking is paying off with their bronze in the 200-meter K-2 sprint.

Besharah-Hreback is just 19 years old and competing in her first senior competition, while Langlois is 29 and a veteran on the world stage.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on August 7, 2022.

© 2022 The Canadian Press Canadian paddlers feed on local crowds to win medals at world championships


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