Oakville kayakers look to make a splash at upcoming Tokyo Olympics
Oakville residents will want to have a close eye on kayaking when this year’s Tokyo Summer Olympics kicks off on Friday, July 23.
Two local athletes are among the 16 paddlers named to Canada’s National Sprint Canoe Kayak Team.
Alanna Bray-Lougheed will compete in the women’s kayak, while Simon McTavish will launch into the water in the men’s kayak.
“I believe we have an extremely strong team heading to Tokyo,” said Graham Barton, Technical Director of Canoe Kayak Canada. “We have been able to keep our athletes on the water through a difficult 18 months and although our Olympic candidates have not been able to compete internationally during this time, our evaluations during the trials of the l The Olympic team and throughout our preparation indicate that we each of our events.
“Tokyo will only be one more bubble experience that we have become accustomed to, so it won’t be a distraction. I know they are looking forward to the start of competition on August 2 and will proudly represent the sheet. maple.”
Bray-Lougheed was considering retiring after not making Canada’s 2019 World Cup squad, but that changed after securing a berth at the Lima 2019 Pan Am Games.
There she and Andréanne Langlois would run to a gold in the K-2,500m and then helped the women’s K-4,500m team row to a third consecutive gold medal.
The 28-year-old, who started paddling at the age of 10, first took to the water in a national competition as a member of the Burloak Club at the age of 15 and won the war canoe race (C-15) at the 2009 Canadian Championships.
She has built an impressive resume in national and international competitions.
Bray-Lougheed won three national titles in 2016 in the C-4 200m, K-4,500m and K-2 1000m, then she and her teammate Madeline Schmidt reached the K-2,500m A final in the
2016 U23 World Championships.
The following year, she teamed up with Natalie Davison for several distances, competing in ICF World Cup events for the first time.
She and Davison played their first A final together at the K-2 200m in Serbia. The Oakville athlete competed in another A final the same year, this time with Courtney Scott, in the K-2 1000m at the senior world championships.
In 2018, Bray-Lougheed made two more World Cup saves and another final appearance as a member of the K-4,500m crew.
She finished seventh with Davison in the K-2 1000m at the world championships and won her first international medals at the Pan American Championships, winning gold with Langlois in the K-2 200m and silver in the K-4 1000m.
McTavish, who followed his brother in a kayak and started paddling at the age of 15, represented Australia for seven years (2012-2018) even though he was born in Oakville.
The 24-year-old first took to the water in international competition at the 2012 Olympic Hopes Regatta in Hungary, before competing at the 2014 World Junior Championships.
For McTavish, 2018 will turn out to be a big year. He would win a silver medal in the K-1 100m at the Under-23 World Championships, win a pair of gold medals at the FISU World University Championships and make his World Cup debut.
In 2019, McTavish would place first in the K-1 1000m and K-4,500m events at national trials, before placing fourth with the K-4,500m crew on their World Cup debut for Canada in Poznan. , Poland. The Oakville native would help the Canadian K-4,500m team qualify for Tokyo 2020.
Team Canada’s most recent Olympic medals in sprint canoeing came in London 2012, where Adam van Koeverden of Oakville won his fourth Olympic medal in men’s kayak.
The canoe / kayak sprint will take place August 2-7 at the Sea Forest Waterway.
CANADIAN OLYMPIC TEAM PHOTO