Rio 2016 Preview: Canoe

Fernando Fernandes (Photo: Rio 2016)

Sport: Canoe

Events: Six (Three male, three female)


KL1: Only arms are used for paddling

KL2: Trunk and arms are used for paddling

KL3: Legs, trunk and arms are used for paddling

Venue: Lagoa Stadium

Athlete Quota: 60 (30 male, 30 female)

International Federation: International Canoe Federation (ICF)


Canoe will make its debut in the Paralympic debut in Rio this year, which is being greeted with great fanfare and leaves the home fans hopeful of at least one medal. In Paralympic Canoeing the only category is the K1 (Single person Kayak) and all races will be over a distance of 200m.

The hopes of Brazil will hang on Fernando Fernandes, the former model turned Canoe star, he has won four world championships and comes in as a near certain favorite in home waters. His compatriot, Luis Cardoso Da Silva will be hoping to join him on the podium, although look for Jakub Tokarz to try and play spoiler in the KL1 classification.

KL2 may have an even more certain favorite as the Austrian Markus Swoboda has won every title available in the classification but is quickly facing a fight from Australia’s Curtis McGrath. The local hope will be Fernando Rugino de Paulo, who could well on the podium but anyone other than Swoboda would likely be the biggest upset of any sport in the Games

Australia has put together a strong canoe squad as they target the new event for an opportunity to add to their medal tally. Amanda Reynolds is a strong medal contender in the KL3 while Susan Seipel is a big hope in the KL2 having won the VL2 in the World Championship but VL classifications are not in Rio.

Despite the sport making its debut at the Paralympics there will be one Paralympic champion in the squad pool. German Edina Muller comes in as a possible KL1 gold medallist after she won gold in Wheelchair Basketball in 2012. She will have a tough fight for that medal against another Paralympic medallist in Great Britain’s former swimmer Jeanette Chippington who comes in as the defending champion.


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