Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Olympic Continental Qualifier - March 9,10,11 - Brazil

Canadian athletes are ready to race this weekend in Fez do Iguassu, Brazil this weekend. What's on the line? Nation spots at the Olympics this summer in London.

Countries could qualify spots based on their results at the World Championships in 2011 or their respective continental races in 2012. With Africa and Oceania already decided last month, attention turns to Brazil this weekend as North and South America are prepared to race it out for one spot in each class.

The USA already qualified a K1 and K1womens Olympic spot at the World Championships. In those two classes that means Canada has to beat all of the South American countries to get spots. Brazil will be the main competition in these classes. Paul Manning-Hunter and Jessica Groeneveld from Alberta will be looking to help the Canadian team Olympic berths.

In C1 and C2, no country from North or South America has qualified. It will be up to Canada to take on all comers for a nation spot. Athletes from the USA, Brazil and Argentina should be the main competion. The Purcell brother from Innisfail will be looking to get a spot for Canada in C2.

Once Canada qualifies nation spots, we will then have Olympic Team Trials in Charlotte, North Carolina in April. No one will go into the event with any kind of point advantage and the Olympic boat for Canada will be determined from 3 of 4 races April 12 and 13th.

Canadian athletes have been down in Brazil for the last two month in preparation for the weekend. Here's few picture of life in Brazil
Jessica Groeneveld (credit - Ettore Ivaldi)
Team Canada at the Falls
Thomas Purcell contemplating life on a day off
What do you do when the gym is closed?

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