Speed ​​canoe-kayak | Sophia Jensen silver medalist as Olympic team takes shape

Speed ​​canoe-kayak | Sophia Jensen silver medalist as Olympic team takes shape
Fecha de publicación: 
13 May 2024
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Canada scored a double in the women’s C1 200m final on Sunday at the Sprint Canoe-Kayak World Cup in Szeged, Hungary. Ontario’s Katie Vincent (45.54 s) won ahead of Quebec’s Sophia Jensen (46.16 s). A performance which allowed Jensen to unofficially qualify in this event for the next Olympic Games.

“Katie and I exchanged heads and she got me in the end. I had what I needed [pour gagner] and I didn’t really know where I stood, except that the result is exceptional. I didn’t really have any expectations coming here, so it’s pretty crazy! » explained Jensen, who beat Cuban Yarisleidis Cirilo Duboys (46.21 s), bronze medalist.

“With this second place in C1, it qualifies me for the Olympic Games. I haven’t received official confirmation yet, but I have met all the qualifying criteria, so I should be named to the team,” said Jensen.

The Chelsea canoeist has shone on the international stage in junior and under-23 competitions. However, this was not automatically going to translate into success once in the senior ranks given that Canada is a world power in women’s canoeing.

“ [Cette qualification olympique] was very, very difficult to obtain. I think we have the country with the most competitive canoe team. It’s been a long journey and I’m just really proud of myself and the team. I learned a lot and I continue to learn. Now I can’t wait to learn at the Olympic Games,” says the 22-year-old athlete, adding that his constant self-confidence and in his path towards his goal explains this success.

“ [La confiance], it is especially important in a 200 m which is a special race where you have to be perfect all the time. I still have a lot of room for improvement and I can’t wait to see where this takes me. »

On Saturday, Jensen finished fourth in the C2 500m final alongside Nova Scotian Julia Lilley Osende. Katie Vincent and Sloan Mackenzie placed second.

Sophia Jensen will be back in the Outaouais for two weeks, to celebrate a little with her loved ones, before heading to Nova Scotia to complete her training. She will be present at the Olympic Selections in Montreal at the end of June, but without any qualification issues for her. The athlete will encourage his teammates who will fight for the last available places on the team.

The Canadian men’s K4 is on target

In the men’s K4 500 m contested on Saturday, Quebecers Pierre-Luc Poulin and Laurent Lavigne joined their efforts with those of Nicholas Matveev and Simon McTavish to place ninth in the A final, 2.02 s behind the gold medalists , the Germans.

In an interview with Sportcom on Sunday, Poulin was both satisfied and lucid about this performance.

“We performed well, but we are too far from the winners, that’s for sure. Normally, we are at 1.5% or 2% [en temps] and there we are at a little over 2.5%. If we want to dream of an Olympic final, we need to be closer, that’s for sure. The next few weeks of training will therefore be extremely important. »

The kayaker specified that his crew will have to improve their stroke environment in order to increase the distance covered with each paddle stroke.

Canada is already assured of having a men’s K4 500m at the Olympics. Now it’s up to the coaches to decide who will be on the boat. The four Canadians who were from K4 in Hungary have been the same crew for the past three years, but Poulin does not want to assume that it will be the same in Paris.

“In recent years, we have been a K4 that has performed well at the end of the season, but that does not take away from the work that remains to be done. »

Canada will also have a quota of athletes in the K2 and K1 events and the Quebecer believes that his victory in the B final of the K1 500m, as well as Simon McTavish’s sixth place in the A final, could have a positive impact in this file after their poor performance in K2 at the last national trials.

“This weekend, I set a personal best and Simon had a very fast time. Individually, our level is very good. Now it just remains to get that essence of performance and that chemistry together. […] After our semi-finals, we cooled down together and that’s the discussion we had. Now is the time to make the magic happen,” concluded Poulin, adding that he was able to compete for a moment with the reigning Olympic 1000m champion who was next to him in his semi-final.

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