Canoeing: Watkins Wins Men’s C1 Gold at Oceania Canoe Slalom Championships

Daniel Watkins of Australia won gold in the men’s C1 slalom at the 2020 Oceania Canoe Slalom Championships. Originally quotas were made available for each of the Olympic events, but due to a rule requiring at least three eligible nations to compete in the event only the men’s C1 slalom quota was awarded. The Oceania Canoe Slalom Championships is currently being held in Auckland, New Zealand from February 1st to February 3rd 2020.

While there is no limit to the number of athletes competing, including those that come from different continents, only up to a maximum of three selected athletes per nation were eligible to obtain the quota. This meant despite having more athletes competing Australia could only qualify base on the performances from Ian Borrows, Daniel Watkins and Tristan Carter while New Zealand could only qualify base on the performances from Benjamin Gibb, Patrick Washer and Jack Egan.

The heats for the men’s C1 slalom was won by Australia’s Steven Lowther who finished the course with a time of 97.10 seconds. This was 0.08 seconds faster than Watkins. The semi-finals saw Borrows piped Watkins for first position as he finished 0.49 seconds faster with a time of 104.20. Watkins would finally shake that second place monkey off his back as he made it count where it matter as he won the event and an Olympic quota for his nation with a time of 101.57. Silver medal was won by invited athlete Zachary Lokken of the United States and the bronze medal was won by Borrows.

The Oceania Olympic quotas in the other events (Men’s K1, Women’s K1 and C1) will be reallocated. First to the highest ranked Oceania nation in the Canoe Slalom Rankings to be published on June 1st (must have three eligible nations) and should that not decide anything then through the results of the 2019 World Championships, with Oceania having priority over the rest of the world. The next continent to have their canoe slalom qualifier will be Africa, set to take place in March.

Qualified Nations

Men’s C1 Slalom
* Australia

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