Vincent, MacKenzie win bronze at sprint canoe worlds, clinch Olympic quota spot for Canada


Canadians Katie Vincent and Sloan MacKenzie claimed bronze in the women’s C2 500-metre final on Saturday at the 2023 ICF Canoe-Kayak Sprint World Championships in Duisburg, Germany, clinching a quota spot for Canada in the event at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Vincent and MacKenzie crossed the finish line with a time of one minute 52.956 seconds, just 0.04 seconds back of Spain’s Antia Jacome and Maria Corbera for silver.

China’s Xu Shixiao and Sun Mengya won gold with a time of 1:52.775 in a race that saw the three clear favourites distance themselves from the pack after the halfway point.

Vincent, a 27-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., won bronze at the Tokyo Olympics in the same event alongside partner Laurence Vincent Lapointe, who retired last year, leading to a partnership with MacKenzie of Windsor Junction, N.S.

The pair finished painstakingly close to the podium in the C2 500m final at last year’s worlds in Dartmouth, N.S., just 0.03 seconds back of third place, but have been ramping up this year with World Cup bronze in the event in Hungary back in May.

The two didn’t leave the 2022 worlds empty-handed though, as they combined with Sophia Jensen and Julia Osende to win gold in the women’s C4 500m — MacKenzie’s first world championship medal.

The win was one of six gold medals and nine total medals that Vincent has won at the world championships since 2017, and she will look to make it double digits when she returns to the water on Sunday to take part in the C1 500m final, the C1 5000m final and the C2 mixed 500m final alongside Connor Fitzpatrick.

In a non-Olympic qualifying event, Jacy Grant of Wellington, N.S., won silver in the women’s C1 1,000m on Saturday in a time of 04:26.955, just under two seconds back of Chile’s Maria Mailliard.

Grant trailed Li Li for the first three quarters of the race before overtaking the Chinese competitor to grab silver in the last 250m.

Grant will combine with Jensen, MacKenzie and Osende to defend Canada’s title in the C4 500m event on Sunday.

Jensen finished sixth in the C1 200m on Friday, while Michelle Russell finished sixth in the K1 500m on Saturday, with both locking up quota spots for Paris.

Canada kicked off the world championships with a pair of gold medals on Thursday, topping the podium in both the men’s and women’s unified K2 200m events.

Matthew Casey and Laurent Lavigne clocked 1:00.296 to finish ahead of Germany’s Sebastian Girke and Thomas Brockmann (1:02.784), while Belgium’s Pieter Van Baelen and Robbe Heylen took bronze (1:03.721).

Fellow Canadians Rachel Cohen and Maddy Schmidt won the women’s final in 1:00.296, with a pair of German teams rounding out the podium.

Nina Voll and Isabel Schank won silver with a time of 1:11.455, followed by Leona Johs and Sandra Leyba (1:12.981).

Paralympians Hennessey, Scarff each win silver

Canadians also reached the podium at the Para canoe world championships, also being held in Duisburg this week.

Erica Scarff of Mississauga placed second in the women’s VL3 200m race on Friday with a time of 57.582, 1.383 seconds back of gold-medal winner Hope Gordon of Great Britain.

Mari Christina Santilli of Brazil won bronze with a time of 59.232.

Fellow Canadian Paralympian Brianna Hennessy won silver in the women’s VL2 200m event on Friday for the second straight year, breaking the minute mark with a time of 58.766, which beat last year’s result of 1:01.42 in Dartmouth.

Hennessey and Scarff secured quota spots for next summer’s Paralympics in Paris.

Hennessey was bested by Emma Wiggs of Great Britain, who topped the event for the fifth straight year with a time of 57.100, adding an 11th world title in an illustrious career that also includes two Paralympic gold medals.

Susan Seipel of Australia finished just 0.466 seconds behind Hennessy to take bronze.

Ottawa’s Hennessy will now look to add another medal in the KL1 200m race on Sunday, an event she claimed bronze in last year.

Other Canadians in action on the final day of competition in Duisburg are:

  • Toshka Besharah in the women’s K1 200m A Final
  • Pierre-Luc Poulin and Simon McTavish in the K2 500m A Final
  • Fitzpatrick in the men’s 5000m final
  • Madeline Shmidt in the women’s K1 5000m final
  • Simon McTavish in the men’s K1 5000m final

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