Three out of four isn’t bad.
After Katie Vincent failed to repeat as the women’s C1 200m champion, she picked up the pace after a slow start with partner Connor Fitzpatrick to win a gold medal in the mixed 500m on Sunday at the U.S. Championships. ICF Canoe Sprint and Paracanoe Worlds in Dartmouth, NS
Then the 26-year-old won another gold alongside Sloan MacKenzie, Julia Osende and Sophia Jensen in comeback mode in the C4 500 race. Earlier today, Vincent had finished fifth in the 200m a year after winning his first world sprint title in Copenhagen.
The Mississauga, Ont., native clocked 50.63 seconds after placing first in Thursday’s heats in 46.50.
Vincent ended his day with a third gold medal, covering the 5000m in C1 in 27:50.88 to beat Germany’s Annika Loske (27:55.52) and Spain’s Maria Corbera (28:02.52).
On Saturday, Vincent and MacKenzie of the Cheema Aquatic Club in Waverley, N.S., placed sixth in the women’s C2 500m in 2:07.40, more than six seconds behind (2:01.26) the Chinese duo winner consisting of Sun Mengya and Xu Shixiao.
In May, Vincent kicked off her World Cup season with a tied silver in the Women’s C1 200m A final in Racice, Czech Republic, and followed with silver in Poznan, Poland.
“Crazy Fight to the End”
Meanwhile, 20-year-old Jensen crossed the finish line in 2:23.21 minutes in the Women’s C1 500, trailing lone Ukrainian winner Liudmyla Luzan (2:22.34) by 87-100 second. Jensen qualified for Sunday’s final by winning her heat in 2:12.82 on Thursday.
WATCH | Jensen misses the gold medal by less than a second:
She paddles a distinctive green boat, with red, green and yellow leaves on the side, which Jensen says evokes the forest along the Gatineau River where the Cascades Club is located.
She was exuberant with the result in an event included in the upcoming Olympics, saying the cheers from the crowd kept her in the know that she was vying for a medal and got her adrenaline pumping in “a crazy fight until at the end”.
Double medalist at the 2017 Junior Worlds
“I knew I could be up there, but I didn’t know I would be in the top two. It feels good,” said Jensen, standing at the dock of the Mi’kmaq Aquatic Club, waving to local fans.
Jensen, originally from Edmonton and now living in Chelsea, Que., collected silver medals in the C1 500 and C1 200 at the world junior championships in 2017.
In another race Sunday, Bret Himmelman of Hammonds Plains, N.S., and Craig Spence of Waverley finished third in a grueling 1,000 canoe final in intense midday heat.
WATCH | Himmelman and Spence realize their “dream” by finishing on the podium:
They reached the finish line in 4:06.13, trailing winners Sebastian Brendel and Tim Hecker of Germany by 11.22 seconds (3:54.91). China’s Ji Bowen and Liu Hao finished second (3:55.34).
An exhausted Spence had to sit on the dock with ice on his neck after the race, but said winning a medal on his home lake in front of friends and family was “a dream come true”.
“Getting a medal on home soil, what an incredible feeling,” said Spence, still gasping for breath.
Himmelman said hearing the cheers of Canadian fans en route to winning a world championship medal on home soil is likely a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Since the Tokyo Olympics last summer, the kayak and canoe teams have rebuilt and brought new athletes into senior-level racing, said Ian Mortimer, who served as the team’s technical director l ‘last year.
“They’re a pretty young team with a lot of promise for the future,” he said, shortly after Jensen won his silver medal.
“The goal for Sophia is the top. She’s a top athlete,” he said. “Everything is a springboard to the ultimate goal at the Paris Olympics (in 2024).”