Canoeing: Four Nations Qualify to Olympics After Oceania Canoe Sprint Championships

The 2020 Oceania Canoe Sprint Championships concluded today. The event also doubled as the Oceania continent qualifier for the sprint events. The Oceania Canoe Sprint Championships was held in Penrith, Australia from February 13th to February 16th 2020.

The qualification route for sprint canoeing is a bit complicated. In summary, while clubs competed here only athletes listed as from an Oceania nation are eligible to qualify. Additionally, nations which have already qualified to the event or have reached the maximum athlete for the boat class (men’s kayak, women’s kayak, men’s canoe, women’s canoe) are not eligible to qualify. A maximum of three eligible nations must compete for the event to be viable. A nation can only qualify a maximum of two athletes in each boat class and should the same nation qualify in both K1 boats then the nation will only be awarded the boat in the longer distance.

The men’s kayak saw quotas awarded in the K1 200m, K1 1000m and K2 1000m. New Zealand was the highest ranked nation in both the K1 and K2 1000m events while Samoa was the highest ranked nation in the K1 200m. As New Zealand can only qualify a maximum of two athletes it is quite likely they will take the K2 1000m quota won by Max Brown and Kurtis Imrie. This means the K1 1000m quota will be reallocated to Samoa’s Tuva’a Clifton. This in turn causes a reallocation in the K1 200m boat which is now won by the Cook Islands’ Te Aro’a Pekepo.

The women’s kayak saw quotas awarded in the K1 200m, K1 500m and K2 500m. Australia was the top nation in all three events with Cat McArthur and Brianna Massie winning the K2 500m event while the former and latter won the K1 200m and K1 500m events respectively. As Australia can only qualify a maximum of two athletes, they will likely take the K2 500m quota. This means the K1 500m quota will be reallocated to Samoa’s Anne Cairns while the K1 200m quota will be reallocated to the Cook Islands’ Liliana Tierney (after passing through Cairns).

The men’s canoe only had the men’s C1 1000m be a qualifying event. As the weakest continent in the C2 1000m at the 2019 World Championships, they were not awarded a quota. The Olympic quota was won by Australia’s Benjamin Manning whom finished ahead of competitors from Samoa and the Cook Islands.

The women’s canoe saw quotas awarded in the C1 200m and C2 500m. Both events were won by Australia’s Bernadette Wallace as she teamed up with her partner, Josephine Bulmer in the C2 event. As Australia can only qualify in one event, they will likely take the C2 500m quota meaning the next highest ranked eligible nation, New Zealand (Penelope Strickland) will qualify in the C1 200m.

Unqualified nations will have one more opportunity to qualify to the Olympics via the World Cup event to be held in May. The next continent to have their canoe sprint qualifiers will be Asia set to be held in May.

Qualified Nations

Men’s K1 200m
* Cook Islands

Women’s K1 200m
* Cook Islands

Men’s K1 1000m
* Samoa

Women’s K1 500m
* Samoa

Men’s K2 1000m
* New Zealand

Women’s K2 500m
* Australia

Men’s C1 1000m
* Australia

Women’s C1 200m
* New Zealand

Women’s C2 500m
* Australia

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