COC Sport Shorts: Wozniak Set, Paddlers Hit Podium & More

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Paddlers in Poland: The second stop on this year’s World Cup circuit for canoe-kayak landed in Poznan, Poland over the weekend. Canadians were front and centre. How about taking gold and silver medals in a brand new event? That’s what Olympians Mark Oldershaw and Gabriel Beauchesne-Sévigny did respectively in the gruelling 5,000 metre solo canoe (C-1). Oldershaw also added a silver medal in the C-1 1,000 metres. Olympian Adam van Koeverden captured two medals over the weekend, silver in the K-1 500 metres and bronze in the K-1 1,000 metres. The women’s K-4 team rounded off the medals with silver in the 500 metres. The paddlers are Genevieve Orton, Emilie Fournel, Kristin Gathier and Mylanie Barré.

Trying to Serve-ive Roland-Garros: Peter Polansky of Thornhill, Ontario, ranked 273 in the world in tennis, qualified for his second Grand Slam this month – the French Open. On May 24, he played Philipp Petzschner, a German ranked 68 in the world. Polansky left it all on the court in a thrilling five-set match that he eventually lost 5-7, 6-2, 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-3. Meanwhile, fellow Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak of Blainville, Que., is coming into her own. She is the first Quebecker ever to be seeded at the French Open. Wozniak, No. 24, gets set for her opening round match on Tuesday, May 26, where she will take on Monica Niculescu of Romania. Wozniak reached the third round last year.

Some Splendid Swimmers: Some big names in Canadian swimming got together and clocked new Canadian records at an international event at the UBC Aquatic Centre. A men’s 4×100-metre medley relay team set a new mark on May 24 – the team included three Olympic swimmers in Brent Hayden (a world champion), Brian Johns and Scott Dickens and 2007 Pan American athlete Matt Hawes. One day earlier, Olympian Annamay Pierse broke her own national record in the 100-metre breaststroke. She also owns the world short course record in the 200-metre breaststroke.

Training for 2010: The Canadian women’s hockey team is holding a training camp from May 25 to June 16 in Dawson Creek and Tumbler Ridge, B.C. Such a camp was also held prior to the 2006 Olympic Winter Games. Players train and live together every day for three weeks as the team begins to gel in anticipation of Vancouver 2010. Head Coach Melody Davidson told the COC that she considers the rivalry with the United States a healthy one, and said many countries are improving in women’s hockey. In 2010 she expects Sweden and Finland as well the U.S. to pose major challenges.

Rowers Ready: The first rowing World Cup of the season is set for May 29 to 31. Seven Canadian boats will slip into the waters of the Olympic regatta course in Banvoles, Spain, not far from Barcelona. The national team has a new high performance director in Peter Cookson.