Maple Ridge Olympian Brian Malfesi leaves for Europe today (May 15), to compete in sprint kayak’s World Cup events.
Malfesi took first place in the single 1000m kayak event at the National Team Trials, held from May 2-5 in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
Malfesi competed in 500m double kayak at the Olympics in Tokyo, but told The News he feels like the 1000m distance is a better event than the all-out sprint of a 500m.
More than 100 sprint paddlers from across Canada competed in the first set of trials, held on iconic Lake Banook, home of the 2022 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships.
The trials, hosted by the Atlantic Division of Canoe Kayak Canada (ADCKC), served as a selection regatta for the World Cup events being held later this month. It was Malfesi’s second win as a senior competitor, but first in years, and means he will now compete at World Cup events in the Czech Republic and Poland.
Malfesi is a member of the Ridge Canoe and Kayak Club, and said he has enjoyed getting back to his roots – spending a lot of time on Whonnock Lake recently. He’s been training twice a day, and getting to know all the regular fishermen who go there.
“It’s amazing there – it’s honestly one of the best places I paddle,” he said of the little Maple Ridge lake.
Malfesi will compete at the world championships in Dartmouth this summer, and is also setting course for the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics.
“Team Trials on Lake Banook were a fantastic way to kick of our competitive sprint racing season, with races on the course which will host the World in August,” said chief technical officer Ian Mortimer. “As we begin the push to Paris it was very promising to see strong paddling from new and veteran senior athletes within our team.”
Malfesi was among eight Olympic and Paralympic paddlers who competed at the Tokyo Olympics who were selected to the team, last week, including 2020 Olympic bronze medallist Katie Vincent.
The ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup circuit begins on May 20-22 in Racice, Czech Republic, followed by ICF Para Canoe and Canoe Sprint World Cup in Poznan, Poland from May 26-29.
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