van Koeverden adds gold to World Cup medal collection

Oakville’s Adam van Koeverden completed his 2012 World Cup paddling medal set by winning the gold in the men’s K-1 1,000-metres at a meet in Moscow.

van Koeverden, a silver medallist last weekend in Germany and bronze medallist two weeks ago in Poland, won decisively Saturday (June 2) in three minutes and 55.217. Murray Stewart of Australia followed in 3:57.234 and Pavel Nikolaev of Russia was third in 3:57.493.

“It was pretty hard right from the first stroke and just holding onto the paddle in gusty winds like that is tough,” said van Koeverden, a three-time Olympic medallist tuning up for his third Games in London.

After 400 metres, a gust came through and slowed Stewart and van Koeverden considerably. van Koeverden recovered to take the lead and increased the gap with a steady but hard pace right to the finish line.

“Murray pushed right to the last 100 metres,” said van Koeverden. “I was relieved to cross the finish line first. My lungs are still burning; it was the most challenging race of my season so far. With Murray in the race I knew that I couldn’t afford to take my foot off the gas at all until I was across the line.”

In the men’s C-1 1,000, Mark Oldershaw of Burlington, was fifth. Ilya Shtokalov of Russia took the gold, Sergey Yemelyanov of Kazakhstan second and Pavel Rusu of Moldavia third.

Oldershaw and van Koeverden were the only two Canadians at the event.

“I’m really happy with my medals on this tour,” said van Koeverden. “Racing is getting and better with every start.”