The race for the final canoe-kayak spot on the Canadian Olympic team has been narrowed down to two after Mark de Jonge won the nine-boat final of the men’s K-1 200-metre race Saturday.
The Halifax paddler finished in a time of 35.89 seconds. Richard Dober Jr. of Trois Rivieres, Que., was second at 36.73 seconds.
De Jonge and Dober will race each other to finalize the Olympic spot on Sunday morning. De Jonge can confirm his trip to London by winning the first race, while Dober will need to win two race-offs to take the spot.
Quebec City’s Etienne Morneau was third on Saturday, while Ottawa’s Rhys Hill was fourth.
Jason McCoombs of Dartmouth, N.S., proved himself as the fastest canoer at the second set of Canadian team trials in the senior men’s C-1 200 metres.
McCoombs has already been selected to the Canadian Olympic team and chose to race the trials to work on his race plan and to keep pace with his competition overseas competing at the European championships this weekend.
“I saw some pretty quick times at Europeans this weekend, so the bar has been raised obviously, and I’ll just do my best to be in that race,” said McCoombs. “I was really focusing on the second half of my race and trying to pull together a nice finish and I think it went pretty well even in the pretty strong headwind.”
McCoombs clocked 41.88 seconds in the headwind to win with a lead of just over half a second. Gabriel Beauchesne-Sevigny of Trois Rivieres, who was second with a time of 42.44 seconds. Ottawa’s Ben Tardoli was third, while Aaron Rublee of Kamloops, B.C., was forth.
Jillian D’Alessio continued a successful streak for Nova Scotia athletes by winning the senior women’s K-1 500 metres. D’Alessio, of Middle Sackville, won in a time of two minutes 07.67 seconds. Dartmouth’s Hannah Vaughan was second at 2:03.38 and Una Lounder, also of Dartmouth, posted a 2:04.87 to take third.
With the trials results weighing heavily on national team selection for carding points, D’Alessio says the win is a boost for her confidence as she works to make her way back onto the team.
“Coming out and being able to put together one of my best races, really it just proved a lot to myself and what I’m capable of doing. Hopefully there’s potential for more,” she said.