Photo credit: Bernard Irvin

GAINESVILLE, GEORGIA, USA – Canada’s fastest sprint CanoeKayak athletes will race at Lake Lanier in Gainesville, Georgia on Saturday, May 2 and Sunday, May 3. Headlining this weekend’s competitors are three Olympic medalists including reigning World Champion Mark de Jonge of Halifax, four-time Olympic medalist Adam van Koeverden of Oakville, ON and Olympic bronze medalist Mark Oldershaw of Burlington, ON.

Canadian athletes have spent the last several months training in Florida and this will be their first competition of the year. The first one will be a big one as the trials will determine selections for World Cup Tour taking place in Europe in the second half of May.

These trials will also be the first round of selections for the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games and World Championships in Milan, Italy. Each event has its own selection criteria but for most events an athlete or crew needs two wins to secure selection to the Pan American Games or World Championships Team. The winner in Georgia generally has two more opportunities to beat out the second place competitor at World Cups in order to lock up the spot. Some selections for World Championships will continue into a second set of National Team trials to be held in Montréal from June 19 – 21.

The trials will also weigh on carding selections for Sport Canada’s Athlete Assistance Program and in some cases selections for U23 World Championships. CanoeKayak Canada will name its team for World Cups this coming Monday.