Weekend recap: Canadian Para paddlers win four medals at World Cup

Canadian Paralympic Committee

May 30, 2022

Hennessy, Scarff, St-Pierre all on the podium


(photo courtesy ICF)

Mathieu St-Pierre and Erica Scarff each won gold while Brianna Hennessy hung a silver and bronze on her paddles as Canada won four medals this past weekend at a Para canoe World Cup event in Poznan, Poland.

The 33-year-old St-Pierre from Shawinigan, Que. triumphed in the men’s VL2 200-metre nine-man final in 54.39 seconds with Higinio Rivera of Spain second in 54.70 and Tamas Juhasz of Hungary third in 55.00.

“I had a lot of expectations,” St-Pierre told Sportcom. “My times were getting faster and faster in training, I was improving and I knew it was good. But to replicate that in a competition is something else.”

Scarff, a 2016 Paralympian from Mississauga, Ont. who missed last year’s Games in Tokyo, took the women’s VL3 200m in 59.82. She placed ahead of Nataliia Lahutenko of Ukraine in second at 1:00.46 and Talia Eilat of Israel in third. Scarff was also fifth in the KL3 final.

Hennessy, like St-Pierre a first time Paralympian in Tokyo, was edged for top spot in the women’s VL2 200m finishing just 0.04 seconds behind winner Susan Seipel of Australia.

The Ottawa resident was also involved in another tight battle in the KL1 200m. Edina Mueller of Germany won in 53.87, Maryna Mazhula of Ukraine was second in 54.08 and Hennessy followed in 54.88.

Canadians also on the podium at Para athletics Grand Prix

Paralympic Games bronze medallist Marissa Papaconstantinou of Toronto won her showdowns against Maria Tietze in both the T64 100m and 200m this past weekend at the World Para athletics Grand Prix event in Notwill, Switzerland.

In the 100, the 22-year-old Papaconstantinou, a leg amputee who runs with a blade prosthetic, clocked 13.17 seconds for the win with Tietze second in 13.49. In the 200, the time difference was similar with the Canadian first in 27.63 and the German second in 27.96.

It was also a solid weekend for Austin Smeenk of Mississauga, Ont. who earned a bronze in the T34 400m wheelchair race in 51.80. Walid Ktila of Tunisia was first in 50.00 and Rheed McCracken of Australia second in 50.96. Smeenk was also fourth in the 100m and sixth in the 800m.


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