Olympic champion Adam van Koeverden won the men's K1 1,000-metre by 4.3 seconds at Canadian Sprint Team Trials on Friday.
The Oakville, Ont., native used a headwind and clocked a time of three minutes 47.6 seconds to meet the selection criteria for Canadian Olympic team. He was followed by Steven Jorens of Lac Beauport, Que., at 3:51.9 and Brady Reardon of Burlington, Ont., in 3:54.5.
“It was my first race of the year so there's lots of fine tuning to do,” said van Koeverden. “I'm going to sit down with my coach now and talk to him about what to work on for training.”
Van Koeverden will head to Europe next week to compete in three World Cups. The competitions begin May 18 in Poznan, Poland and continue until June 3 with stops in Duisburg, Germany and Moscow, Russia.
“Those races are important for me — just more indications of what I should work on for the final eight or seven weeks of preparation before London. Really I'm just focused on London,” van Koeverden said.
Burloak clubmate Mark Oldershaw will join van Koeverden for the World Cups. Oldershaw won the Men's C1 1,000-metre after a close battle with Dartmouth's Ben Russell. The two were separated by 1.4 seconds, with Oldershaw finishing in a time of 4:22.6 and Russell in a time of 4:24.1.
Oldershaw and Russell will race off again at World Cups to finalize who will take the Olympic spot.
“I'm a little disappointed to come second but at the same time I executed my race plan and did what I was hoping to do,” said Russell. “Heading into World Cups in Europe I'm going to have to evaluate that race a bit and see where I can get the edge on the next one.”
Emilie Fournel of Lachine, Que., time 2:05.6 to win the women's K1 500-metre over Kathleen Fraser of Toronto by just 0.114 of a second. Nova Scotia's Michelle Russell 0.067 was third.
Although the women have not qualified a quota spot for the Olympic Games, if an additional spot is awarded it will be decided between Fournel and Fraser at World Cups with the same best two out of three race format.
The women's team will also head to Europe next week.
“I'm really excited,” said Kathleen Fraser. “It's going to be a great event. We're close so it's going to be a good close race.
CanoeKayak Canada will announce its official selections for the Canadian Olympic Team following National Team Trials 2 in Montreal, June 22-24.