Media Contact: Ian Miller
Cell: (613) 314-1352
Mark de Jonge nabs Olympic bronze - August 11th, 2012
LONDON – Mark de Jonge of Halifax, NS has won a bronze medal in the K1 200 metre at the London 2012 Olympic Games. The bronze brings Canada’s medal count in CanoeKayak to three, including a silver by Adam van Koeverden in K1 1000 and a bronze by Mark Oldershaw in C1 1000.
de Jonge took the third spot in K1 200 with a time of 36.657 seconds. Great Britain’s Ed McKeever won the race at 36.246 seconds and Saul Craviotto Rivero of Spain took silver with a time of 36.540 seconds in a tight finish.
“I wasn't nervous. I felt comfortable and I felt so much support from back home,” said de Jonge. “It was a good race. It was not my perfect race but I am so happy to get a medal.”
This is the first time 200 metre events for CanoeKayak have been included in the Olympic programme. That change motivated de Jonge as a natural sprinter to return to the sport after several months away. He narrowly missed qualifying for the 2004 and 2008 Olympic teams in 1000 metre events.
de Jonge had a strong sixth place finish last year at World Championships which guaranteed Canada’s Olympic entry in the event. He battled a finger injury in April and came back to qualify for the Canadian Olympic Team by winning Canadian Trials in June and laying down a time faster than the World’s best.
Ryan Cochrane of Windsor, NS and Hugues Fournel of Lachine, QC finished seventh in an extremely close final in the K2 200 metre. The crew got off to a fast start and finished the race in a time of 35.396 seconds. A gap of less than two seconds separated first from last in the eight boat final. The race was won by the Russian crew of Yury Postrigay and Alexander Dyachenko in a time of 33.507 seconds.
“We are leaving with a ton experience,” said Fournel after the race. “I am a little disappointed but it is hard to feel that way when I am so happy and proud of Mark de Jonge won a medal.”
Jason McCoombs of Dartmouth, NS placed fifth in the B-final of the C1 200 metre. The 19-year-old clocked a time of 44.973 seconds to finish off his first Olympic Games on the final day of competition at Eton Dorney.
Lorraine Lafrenière, Director General of CanoeKayak Canada said, “I’m very proud of our team. The athletes and coaches have worked hard for these results and they’re taking home an impressive three medals. Congratulations to the entire team.”
The team will take in the closing ceremonies tomorrow night before returning to Canada on Monday. They will compete next at the Canadian Sprint CanoeKayak Championships in Dartmouth, NS to finish off their season.
For more information:
Media Attaché, CanoeKayak Canada