Paddle Monster Viewers Information to Canoe-Kayak on the Olympics

A Viewers Information to Canoe-Kayak on the Tokyo Olympics

It’s arduous to imagine however the 2020 Olympic Video games are lastly upon us, a yr late in 2021.  After all, which means from August 2 – 7 we’ll see Olympic canoe-kayak competitors for the primary time in 5 years.  I assumed I’d write a preview for people who aren’t completely acquainted with the game however get pleasure from getting out on the water with a paddle of their palms.  The fact is, whether or not you do your paddling on a stand-up paddleboard, some sort of touring kayak or a surf ski, there’s a number of similarity to what you’re doing and what you’ll see on the Olympics.  It’s only a case of the Olympic athletes having made their sport crucial factor of their lives for the final 8 years or so, working extremely arduous, and being extraordinarily good at it.

Some historical past

Dash canoe-kayak occasions have appeared within the Olympic program at each video games since Berlin in 1936.  Through the years the occasions have modified and extra girls’s occasions have been added.  Actually, Tokyo would be the first time that girls can be racing canoe occasions!


Traditionally the game has been dominated by Europeans and particularly the East Bloc who, through the chilly battle years, devoted tons of assets into their Olympic sports activities as a method to attempt to legitimize their political system.  For the reason that collapse of the Soviet Union and communism in Europe, Hungary and a few of the former Soviet Republics particularly have remained very robust.  Germany continues to be one of many stronger nations throughout all the occasions.

Different western European international locations have traditionally been robust in some occasions, whereas weaker in others.  The identical might be mentioned for Canada and the USA.  Since 1980 Australia and New Zealand have had some very notable successes in males’s kayak occasions and New Zealand the ladies’s kayak occasions as properly.  China has, since 2004, been very profitable in some males’s canoe occasions and their girls’s program in each canoe and kayak has grown stronger as properly.  In South America, Brazil has lately grown fairly robust within the males’s canoe occasions.

Canoe-kayak slalom occasions (white water by means of gates) had been added in 1972 after which dropped once more till 1992 once they turned everlasting occasions.  These slalom occasions had been added with out rising the quota of canoe-kayak athletes so now there are fewer dash occasions in every video games as the entire quota of athletes should be shared between dash and slalom.   This has resulted in some conventional occasions being dropped to make room for girls’s canoe.

For the aim of this preview we’ll persist with a dialogue of the dash occasions.

The occasions

The game consists of races on an 8-lane course for each canoes and kayaks over distances of 200m, 500m and 1000m.  Lanes are marked by buoys each 10m or 12.5m so paddling down a lane on the course is lots like driving in your lane on the freeway.  Begins are from beginning gates which maintain the nostril of the boats till the starter’s command after which drop out of the way in which into the water.

Paddlers should keep of their lanes and actually should keep a minimal or 5m away from paddlers on both aspect of them.   Wash driving of any form is forbidden and ends in disqualification.

Canoe occasions are in singles (C1) and doubles (C2).  A cool little bit of trivia is that the “C” doesn’t stand for canoe however slightly “Canadian”.  Paddlers excessive kneel on one knee with the opposite foot in entrance of them and paddle solely on one aspect utilizing a single blade paddle.  There isn’t a rudder or mechanical steering gadget so paddlers should use their paddle to steer.

Kayak occasions are in singles (K1), doubles (K2) and fours (K4).  A cool little bit of trivia is that the K4 is the quickest boat made for paddling.  Males’s K4s have towed water skiers behind them.  Kayak paddlers sit down and use a double blade paddle.  Kayaks have rudders for steering much like surf skis and the primary individual within the boat controls the rudder along with his or her ft.

At the moment, the dash occasions encompass:


  • K1 200m
  • K1 1000m
  • K2 1000m
  • K4 500m
  • C1 1000m
  • C2 1000m


  • K1 200m
  • K1 500m
  • K2 500m
  • K4 500m
  • C1 200m
  • C2 500m

Traditionally there has solely been one entry per occasion per nation, nevertheless in Tokyo for the primary time there can be two entries per nation allowed in singles occasions, provided that the second entry is an athlete racing in one of many crew occasions in that self-discipline.

The sector on the Olympics is sort of condensed in comparison with what one would see at a World Championships as international locations should qualify boats within the varied occasions on the Olympics on the World Championships within the yr earlier than or at a regional qualifier.  This qualification course of is meant to maintain the entire variety of canoe-kayak athletes within the Olympic Village to a minimal, therefore what you see on the beginning line on the Olympic Video games, even within the opening heats, is the most effective of the most effective.

From the preliminary heats, boats will advance to semi-finals or on to the ultimate relying on the occasion and the entire variety of certified entries, with 8 boats within the closing and the subsequent 8 in a “B-final”.

What to search for

It’s all the time a bit tough to make medals predictions because the “as soon as each 4 years” nature of the Olympics all the time makes for some attention-grabbing outcomes.  Favourites who’ve dominated the occasions on the World Championships between Olympic Video games have as typically been upset as received of their Olympic race.  Equally, it’s not unusual for younger athletes to emerge from obscurity and win, seemly out of nowhere, on the Olympics.  These races actually epitomize the “something can occur in sport” adage.

For Tokyo, in 2021, it’s much more tough to make predictions as a result of excessive stage worldwide racing has been so affected by COVID during the last 18 months.  Eighteen months is an eternity on the highest stage.  Veteran athletes who had been making an attempt to hold on for one final Olympics have all of the sudden needed to entertain the notion of coaching a whole further yr simply to compete.  Many haven’t been in a position to cling on that lengthy.  Youthful athletes on the verge of worldwide stardom however not fairly able to win their nation’s Olympic entry have all of the sudden been granted an additional yr to mature.  And naturally, the variety of world occasions by which the vast majority of groups have been in a position to ship their greatest to compete have been restricted during the last 18 months due to COVID.  We don’t even know whether or not all of the athletes entered will make the beginning line for his or her occasions as, on the time of writing, there have been COVID circumstances inside the Olympic Village.

So slightly than attempt to make predictions for every occasion I’ll as an alternative share a number of issues to search for while you’re watching.


As with each Olympics there can be athletes racing who’ve performed all of it earlier than, a number of instances.  Listed here are a number of to look at:

Sebastian Brendel, Germany

Brendel is not any stranger to those that observe SUP, having raced at quite a few occasions over the previous couple of years in Europe and the ICF SUP World Championships in China in 2019.  He’s the Olympic Champion in C1 1000m from each London 2012 and Rio 2016 in addition to in C2 1000m in Rio.  He’s a beast and at 33 hasn’t proven any indicators of slowing down.  He’ll once more be racing each the C1 and C2 1000m.


Lisa Carrington, New Zealand

Carrington is the Olympic Champion is girls’s K1 200m from each London in 2012 and Rio in 2016.  She’s truly undefeated in K1 200m since 2011.  In Tokyo anticipate to see her defend her title in K1 200m.  She can even be racing K4 500m and possibly K1 500m as properly so has an opportunity to hit the rostrum 3 times.


Liam Heath, Britain

Heath is the defending Olympic Champion in K1 200m after profitable in Rio in 2016.  Curiously, simply to get the Rio entry he needed to beat the defending Olympic Champion from London 2012, his countryman, Ed McKeever.  Heath is the 2019 World Champion on this occasion and is the favorite to win once more in Tokyo.


Olympic newcomers

Although not essentially new to racing on the highest stage as they’ve raced on the World Championships, the Olympics are a novel occasion with a wholly completely different stage of stress that sees some rise to the event and a few collapse.  Listed here are some athletes that can be coping with this stage of stress for the primary time.

Nevin Harrison, United States

At 17, Harrison shocked the paddling world by crushing the ladies’s C1 200m closing on the 2019 World Championships.  Now, at 19, she’s going to attempt to do it once more within the C1 200m.  She’s the lone American entry in canoe-kayak dash and positively one of many favourites in her occasion.

Picture: Ken Lambert / The Seattle Occasions

Girls’s Canoe Athletes

That is the primary Olympic Video games by which girls can be competing in canoe occasions, regardless of having been racing on the World Championships for the final decade.  There are many attention-grabbing subplots to those races.  Can the Canadian girls, who had been the strongest for a lot of the final decade preserve their spot on the rostrum?  Or have the ladies from different international locations, who had been quickly closing the hole, caught up?  Who would be the first girls canoe athletes to be topped Olympic Champions?

Others issues to be careful for

Listed here are a number of different issues to be careful for as you watch the races and observe the outcomes.

Steadiness of Energy

There all the time appear to be one or two international locations that dominate the races inside a self-discipline and even throughout all the disciplines.  In Rio, Hungary received 3 of the 4 girls’s occasions and Germany 3 of the 6 males’s occasions.

Extra lately, on the 2019 World Championships China and New Zealand emerged as winners of a number of occasions, with China profitable the boys’s C2 1000m and ladies’s C2 500m and New Zealand profitable the ladies’s K1 200m and 500m.

Will there be a dominant nation?  Will there be athletes who change into a number of medalists or Olympic Champions?

Paddle Monster ties

Those that are Paddle Monster subscribers can be to observe the Chinese language girls within the canoe occasions as Paddle Monster coach Andrey Kraytor was the approach coach for the Chinese language girls’s canoe workforce by means of most of their Olympic preparation.  If you happen to haven’t seen Andrey race C1 200m it’s value a take a look at a race or two on YouTube.  It’s spectacular (as is watching him race 200m SUP).  It’ll be actually attention-grabbing to see how a lot the Chinese language girls resemble Andrey from a way perspective when they’re racing and, after all, how properly they do.

Kraitor Andrey

For these which were Paddle Monster subscribers going manner again you’ll acknowledge the identify Teneale Hatton.  Teneale was a Paddle Monster surf ski coach from 2016 to 2017 earlier than opting to concentrate on her personal paddling.  She’ll be racing within the K4 500m for New Zealand.  We congratulate her on making the workforce and need her all of the luck on the earth pursuing her Olympic dream.

Teneale Hatton

Racing in canoe-kayak dash begins in week two, working from August 2 – 7.  I’ll write a recap after every day’s competitors highlighting the outcomes.  I hope you’ll be a part of me in watching what is bound to be nice racing!



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