Canoeing Sprint: Canada and Cuba Top Pan Am Championship

Pan American nations qualified to the Olympics at the 2016 Pan American Sprint Canoe Championship. The highest ranked eligible boat in the men’s K1 200m, K2 200m, K1 1000m, K2 1000m, C1 200m, C1 1000m and C2 1000m and the women’s K1 200m, K1 500m and K2 500m qualified to the Olympics. The Pan American Sprint Canoe Championship was held in Gainesville, United States from May 19th to May 21st 2016.

There are a few rules when it comes to qualifying at the continental level for sprint canoeing. First a nation can only qualify a maximum of two athlete quotas from the men’s canoe events. Should a nation qualify two boats in the same category (women’s K1, men’s K2 etc.) they are given the athlete quota in the boat with the longer distance, the other athlete quota will be reallocated to the next highest ranked boat. Finally an athlete can only qualify one athlete quota. Should they qualify in two boats the quota will be given in the largest boat (K2, C2) while the other quota will be allocated to the next highest ranked boat in the K1/C1 event.

For the canoe events Cuba’s Fernando Jorge Rodriguez and Serguey Torres Madrigal won the men’s C2 1000m with a time of 3:31.69. The men’s C1 1000m was won by Canada’s Mark Oldershaw whom finished with a time of 3:52.85. Cuba’s Arnold Rodriguez Castro won the men’s C1 200m with a time of 41.64. However Cuba can only qualify two athlete quotas meaning it must choose one of the boats. Given the scenarios Mexico will likely qualify a boat in either the men’s C1 200m or C2 1000m. In the off-chance that Canada decides to take the C2 1000m over its C1 1000m then Colombia will take the C1 1000m.

The women’s kayak events were dominated by Canada as they won in all three of the Olympic qualifying events. Andreanne Langlois won the K1 200m in a time of 42.98, Lisa Bissonnette won the K1 500m in a time of 1:53.65 and Kathleen Fraser and Genevieve Orton won the K2 500m in a time of 1:41.75. However, Canada already won a quota in the K1 500m from the World Championship meaning the quota for that event was reallocated to second place finisher Margaret Hogan of the United States.

The men’s kayak events saw Cuba’s Reiniel Torres Ribeaux and Jorge Garcia Rodriguez win in the K2 1000m with a time of 3:13.00. The men’s K1 1000m was won by Canada’s Adam van Koeverden whom finished with a time of 3:30.66. Brazil’s Edson Freitas da Silva and Gilvan Bittencourt Ribeiro won the men’s K2 200m with a time of 34.45. Since Brazil won a quota in the men’s kayak its host quota in the men’s K1 1000m has been reallocated to the next best boat at the 2015 World Championship, specifically Belgium. The K1 200m was won by Argentina’s Omar de Andres whom won with a time of 37.47. However, since Argentina already qualified a boat from the World Championship the Olympic quota went to third place finisher Fidel Vargas Duany of Cuba, as silver medalist Freitas of Brazil already qualified through the K2 200m.

This was the final opportunity for athletes to qualify in sprint canoeing. All that is left to do is for nations to confirm the athlete quotas and announce the teams which will compete at the Olympics.


Athlete Quotas by Nations

  • Canada – 5
  • Cuba – 5
  • Brazil – 2
  • Mexico – 1
  • United States – 1




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