Sport Shorts: Canoeist Vincent-Lapointe is World Champion … Twice

Laurence Vincent-Lapointe won double gold on Sunday at the World Canoe and Kayak Championships, capping off a four-medal day for Canadian paddlers. The native of Trois-Rivieres, Que. became world champion yesterday in the women’s C-1 200 metres before teaming with Mallorie Nicholson (Oakville, Ont.) to win the C-2 500 metres.

In the individual event, Vincent-Lapointe blasted across the finish line in 48.188 seconds, ahead of China’s Li Tianian (48.992) and Russia’s Maria Kazakova (51.724). In the pairs event, the Canadian duo struck gold with a time of 2 minutes and 3.622 seconds.

Olympians Adam Van Koeverden and Richard Dalton added to Canada’s medal haul with two individual bronze medals. Van Koeverden (Oakville, Ont.) took bronze in his best event, the K-1 500 metres, in a tight race where he finished about six-tenths of a second from gold. Dalton (Halifax) won bronze in the C-1 200 metres, about eight-tenths of a second off the gold medal pace. This race proved extremely close as, amazingly, the top-six paddlers all finished within a single second of each other.

Also racing Sunday finals were Thomas Hall (Pointe-Claire, Que.) and Ben Russell (Dartmouth, N.S.), who finished sixth in the C-2 500 metres. Over in the K-2 200 metres, Ryan Cochrane (Windsor, N.S.) and Hughes Fournel (Lachine, Que.) also finished sixth.

“It was our first international event together and we are very satisfied,” said Fournel. “We believed we could win a medal but we are encouraged by the fact the boats ahead of us were very fast and we were close. We’re both excited about building on this towards 2012.”

Overall at the event in Poznan, Poland, Canada captured a total of four gold medals, one silver, and two bronze, which includes para-events.