Oldershaw looking at Olympic spot

MILAN, ITALY – Toronto’s Erica Scarff finished seventh in Thursday’s (Aug. 20) final in the Women’s KL3 200m at the 2015 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships.

Scarff, competing at her first World Championships, was just one spot away from qualifying Canada a second quota spot for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. There is an additional opportunity to qualify Paralympic quota spots at next year’s Paracanoe World Championships in Duisiburg, Germany next May. A top-four result among nations that have not already qualified is needed next year. Paracanoe will make its Paralympic debut in 2016.

Mark Oldershaw (Photo: Balint Vekassy/CanoeKayak Canada)

Mark Oldershaw (Photo: Balint Vekassy/CanoeKayak Canada)

Olympic bronze medalist Mark Oldershaw of Burlington, ON qualified for Saturday’s final of the Men’s C1 1000m with a second place finish in his semi. The top two of each of the four semi-finals plus the next fastest time advanced. Martin Fuksa of the Czech Republic held the lead in Oldershaw’s semi, as Oldershaw and Russia’s Ilya Shtokalov battled it out for second most of the way down the course. In the end Oldershaw prevailed with a margin of 0.34 of a second over Shtokalov. Oldershaw needs a top six result in the final on Saturday to secure Canada an Olympic quota spot in the event.

The Men’s K2 200m crew of Ryan Cochrane (Windsor, NS) and Hugues Fournel (Montréal) made it through to the final with the fourth overall fastest time in the semi-finals. They finished third in their semi and the advancement was top-two plus the next fastest time. Canada needs a top six result in Saturday’s final for Olympic quota qualification.

In the Women’s C2 500m, Katie Vincent (Mississauga, ON) and Nadya Crossman-Serb (Winnipeg) won their semi-final to advance to Saturday’s final. The Women’s C2 is a non-Olympic event so no quota spots are up for grabs.

Jason McCoombs of Dartmouth, NS was third in the semi-final of the Men’s C1 200m. McCoombs, a 2012 Olympian in the event, needed a top-two result or next fastest time to get through to the A-final and will race the B-final on Saturday.

Michelle Russell of Fall River, NS was fourth in the Women’s K1 500m and will race the B-final on Saturday.

Rob Clarke (Mississauga) and Brian Malfesi (Maple Ridge, BC) finished fourth in the Men’s K2 1000m semi-final and advanced to Saturday’s B-final.

Genevieve Orton (Lake Echo, NS) and Una Lounder (Dartmouth, NS) raced the Women’s K2 500m and finished eighth in their semi. They did not advance today but will race the K2 200m. Andrew Jessop of Halifax, NS raced the Men’s K1 1000m and finished up ninth in the semi-final.

Competition runs through to Sunday.

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