Canada’s paddlers ready to make waves at the world championships

Clear the waters for Team Canada’s best canoeists and kayakers! On Thursday, the ICF World Sprint Championships will begin in Montemor O Vehlo, Portugal.

Laurence Vincent-Lapointe will lead the way on the women’s canoe side, competing in two individual events, the C-1 200m and the marathon C-1 5000m.

Earlier this year, Vincent-Lapointe set a new world record for the C-1 200m, posting a time of 44.502 seconds during the first World Cup of the season in Szeged, Hungary.

RELATED: Gold medal and world record for Laurence Vincent-Lapointe and Katie Vincent

Vincent-Lapointe will compete with Katie Vincent in the C-2 500m event. The duo are the reigning world champions and world record holders in the event. They won gold and set the new record of 56.752 seconds in Szeged.

Despite Vincent-Lapointe’s strong international performances, she has yet to compete at an Olympic Games. That could change soon, due to the IOC’s commitment to gender equity at Tokyo 2020.

It was announced last year that changes were going to be made to the canoe/kayak sprint and slalom events, including the addition of the women’s C-1 200m and C-2 500m, the first ever women’s Olympic canoe events.

Katie Vincent and Laurence Vincent-Lapointe react to winning gold in the C-2 500m at the 2017 ICF World Sprint Championships. (Photo: ICF)

RELATEDPaddlers Vincent-Lapointe and Vincent become C-2 500m world champions

Canada looks to win their first world championship medal in men’s canoe since 2013. At that time, veteran canoeist Mark Oldershaw won bronze in the men’s C-1 5000m event. The team of Oldershaw, Jason McCoombs, Gabriel Beauchesne-Sévigny and Benjamin Russell also won bronze in the C-1 200m relay.

This year, Oldershaw will compete in the C-1 1000m and C-1 5000m events. He won Olympic bronze in the C-1 1000m at London 2012. Joining him are Craig Spence, competing in the C-1 500m, along with Connor Fitzpatrick and Roland Varga racing in the C-2 1000m.

Canada’s Mark Oldershaw celebrates bronze in the men’s C-1 1000m final at Eton Dorney during the 2012 Summer Olympics in Dorney, England on Friday, August 8, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

In women’s kayak, Canada will be competing in six events. Michelle Russell will be in half of those, participating in the K-1 500m and K-1 5000m individually. She will compete in the K-4 500m with teammates Lisa Bissonnette, Madeline Schmidt and Courtney Stott.

Michelle Russell, Emilie Fournel, KC Fraser and Hannah Vaughan won Team Canada’s first medal (a gold) of TO2015 (COC Photo by Michael P. Hall).

Two-time Olympians Ryan Cochrane and Mark de Jonge will lead the men’s kayak crew. Cochrane will compete in the K-4 500m with Marshall Hughes, Nicholas Matveev and Pierre-Luc Poulin while de Jonge will race with Alexander Scott in the K-2 200m event. De Jonge, the 2012 Olympic bronze medallist and two-time world champion in the K-1 200m, returned to competition this season after a year away.

Dominik Crête will represent Canada in the K-1 200m race. He won the spot after facing off against Scott on July 9 in Montreal.

The 2018 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships will run August 23-26 in Montemor O Vehlo, Portugal.

Here is the full lineup for Team Canada:

Women – Canoe
C-1 200m – Laurence Vincent-Lapointe
C-2 200m – Nadya Crossman-Serb and Hannah MacIntosh (non-Olympic event)
C-1 500m –  Katie Vincent (non-Olympic event)
C-2 500m – Katie Vincent and Laurence Vincent-Lapointe
C-1 5000m – Laurence Vincent-Lapointe (non-Olympic event)

Men – Canoe
C-1 500m – Craig Spence (non-Olympic event)
C-1 1000m – Mark Oldershaw
C-2 500m – Connor Fitzpatrick and Roland Varga (non-Olympic event)
C-2 1000m – Connor Fitzpatrick and Roland Varga
C-1 5000m – Mark Oldershaw (non-Olympic event)

Women – Kayak
K-1 500m – Michelle Russell
K-2 200m – Alanna Bray-Lougheed and Natalie Davison (non-Olympic event)
K-2 500m – Lisa Bissonnette and Courtney Stott
K-4 500m – Lisa Bissonnette, Michelle Russell, Madeline Schmidt, and Courtney Stott
K-2 1000m – Alanna Bray-Lougheed and Natalie Davison (non-Olympic event)
K-1 5000m – Michelle Russell (non-Olympic event)

Men – Kayak
K-1 200m – Dominik Crête
K-2 200m – Mark De Jonge and Alex Scott (non-Olympic event)
K-4 500m – Ryan Cochrane, Marshall Hughes, Nicholas Matveev, and Pierre-Luc Poulin