Brianna Hennessy leads five-member Canadian squad at Para canoe world championships

Canadian Paralympic Committee

August 22, 2023

Ottawa paddler looks to continue international rise


Para canoer Brianna Hennessy looks to build on her international stature at the 2023 ICF Para Canoe World Championships set to get underway on Wednesday in Duisburg, Germany.

The Ottawa paddler is part of a five-member squad, all returnees from last year, that also includes two other Paralympians in Mathieu St-Pierre of Shawinigan, Que. and Erica Scarff of Mississauga, Ont.

After a strong international debut at the Tokyo Paralympic Games in 2021, Hennessy took a giant step at last year’s worlds in Dartmouth, N.S. She won a silver in the women’s VL2 (canoe outrigger) and bronze in the KL2 (kayak) – Canada’s first medals at the Para canoe worlds since 2014.

St-Pierre is headed to his fourth world championships. He is a VL2 paddler on the men’s side and has two seventh places at worlds in addition to a fifth at Tokyo 2020.

Scarff, a member of the Paralympic team in 2016, continues on the road back after being hit by a car in 2018 which derailed her career. At last year’s worlds she was fourth in the VL3 200m missing the podium by half a second and fifth at the 2021 worlds. This is her seventh career worlds.

Ben Brown of Weston, N.S. made his worlds debut last year with an impressive fourth place in the men’s VL1 200m. Brown has rejuvenated his sporting career on the water after 12 years with the Para athletics national team in wheelchair racing which included a berth on the 2019 Parapan Am Games team.

Rounding out the Canadian team is former AAA level goaltender Gabriel Ferron-Bouius of Ottawa, competing at his third straight worlds. He improved from 17th in 2021 to 12th last year in the men’s KL3.

Hennessy is the first Canadian in action on Wednesday morning in the women’s VL2 heats. There’ll be more heats and semifinals on Thursday and Para finals run through Friday to Sunday.

For schedule and full results:

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