October 26 - 29, 2011
Canadian crews racing for medals and Olympic qualifications at Pan American Games
Sixteen Canadian paddlers will compete at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico from October 26 to 29. The multi-sport games are held every four years, in the year before the Olympic Games. The canoekayak venue in Ciudad Guzman is about 1500 metres above sea level, so the athletes are attending an altitude training camp in Colorado prior to the competition.
Several Canadian boats will be racing to qualify a spot for the Olympic Games. The fastest boat in each race (excluding K-4) will gain an Olympic entry for their country if they did not already qualify the boats at World Championships in Szeged in August. Canada’s Olympic team will be selected next year but this is the last opportunity to qualify the boat for Canada to race at the 2012 Olympics. There is also a quota that limits the Olympic team size to 18 athletes, consisting of 8 men’s kayak, 4 men’s canoe and 6 women’s kayak.
For the events that Canada has already qualified or in the case of the K-4s which can only be qualified at the World Championships, five paddlers added their names to the Pan Am team with top results at selection trials on September 9 and 10 in Welland.
There will be 42 countries from North, South and Central America represented at the Games. Canada has traditionally been a canoekayak powerhouse at the Pan Am Games and with lots on the line, this year is sure to be no exception.
Racing for Olympic Qualification: