Paddlers looking for berth on world team

Oakville’s Adam van Koeverden can assure himself a nomination to the world championship team and other Canadian paddlers can take the first steps towards a berth at the third and final stop on the World Cup canoe and kayak circuit this weekend (June 4-6) in Duisburg, Germany.

Van Koeverden, a three-time Olympic medalist, already has five medals in the first two World Cup competitions this season and can gain a nomination on the world team by being the top Canadian in this weekend’s K-1 (kayak singles) 1,000-metre event. Angus Mortimer of Ottawa, fifth at last weekend’s World Cup, will also be entered.

This weekend’s competition will also be the first step towards a world team berth in the men’s C-1 (canoe singles) 1,000, C-2 1,000 and the men’s K-1 200 metres. A top Canadian finish here and a win at the second selection trials July 17-18 in Montreal can guarantee a nomination in those events.

The Canadian entries in the C-1 1,000 are Mark Oldershaw of Oakville, (a triple medallist last weekend) and Olympic bronze medallist Thomas Hall of Pointe-Claire, Que.; in the C-2 1,000 Benjamin Russell of Dartmouth, N.S., and Richard Dalton of Halifax as well as Gabriel Beauchesne-Sevigny of Trois-Rivieres, Que., and Andrew Russell of Dartmouth, N.S., are battling it out and in the K-1 200 Andrew Willows of Gananoque, Ont., and Richard Dober Jr, of Trois-Rivieres are vying for the world spot.

Also competing in the men’s kayak, is Burlington’s Brady Reardon.

“This weekend is pretty important with part of the selection process taking place,” said Graham Barton, CanoeKayak Canada’s sprint high performance director. “As well for many of our crew boats we are looking at different combinations to determine who might race at worlds.”

Paddlers from 39 countries are expected to compete. Germany, a powerhouse in the sport, will have a much stronger team than last weekend with their world team selections on the line. Spain and Italy will also be entered after skipping last week.

Canada is fielding a 33-member team this weekend.

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