The United States led all countries on canoe slalom’s Pan American Games debut. For the first time ever all Olympic disciplines were included at the Pan American Games. Due to the Pan American Games being held before the Canoe Slalom World Championships qualification is a bit complicated as the event takes priority over continental championships. Regardless the top ranked, non-qualified nation in the men’s K1 and C1 and women’s K1 events qualify to the Olympics. As for the men’s C2 event qualification at the continental level is only given to the top three continents at the world championships so we will have to wait and see if Pan America will be given one of those spots. The Pan America Games are currently being held in Toronto, Canada from July 7th to July 26th 2015. The canoe slalom events were held from July 18th to July 19th 2015. For the most part canoe slalom was dominated by three nations; Brazil, Canada and the United States. The men’s C1 event was won by the United States’ Casey Eichfeld where a two second penalty from Canada’s Cameroon Smedley was ultimately the deciding factor in the final. A two second penalty was also the deciding factor in the men’s K1 as United States’ Michal Smolen finished ahead of Pedra da Silva to win the United States its second quota. The women’s K1 event ended up being the closest contended race as Brazil, Canada and the United States all finished without penalty and within 0.03 seconds of each other. In the end it was Jazmyne Denhollander of Canada that won the gold and Olympic quota. While it is unknown whether Pan America will be given a C2 quota, but if they do it would go to the United States as they won gold in the event. However, should this happen the United States will have to choose among its three quotas because nations are only allowed to qualify two athletes through the continental championships. Should a nation qualify a boat through the World Championships the quota will be reallocated to the next best ranked nation at the Pan American Games. Likewise should a nation go over its maximum athlete quota at the continental championship the unused spots will be reallocated to the next best nation. Quotas by Nation
- United States – 2
- Canada – 1
References Toronto2015. Canoeing Slalom – Schedule & Results. Access on July 19 2015.