SPORTS

AVK in Action: Kayaker Adam van Koeverden goes for gold in K-1 1,000-metre final

08/07/2012 04:56 EDT | Updated 10/07/2012 05:12 EDT
LONDON - He's one of the faces of the Canadian team and on Wednesday he'll be going for gold at the London Olympics.

Kayaker Adam van Koeverden will be a favourite in the K-1 1,000 metres after looking very impressive in winning his heat and semifinal on Monday.

The reigning world champion from Oakville, Ont., hopes to put down one of the best efforts of his career.

"I've had a few other performances of my life," he said. "But it's new though, it's always new. I'm putting a lot of pressure on myself which is good I think.

"I just want to race fast."

Van Koeverden has won gold, silver and bronze over the last two Summer Games. He's just racing the 1,000 here since the 500-metre race has been replaced with a 200-metre sprint.

His good friend, canoeist Mark Oldershaw of Burlington, Ont., will line up in the C-1 1,000-metre final. Oldershaw said he's confident even though it's an impressive field.

"There's two Olympic champions there, I think two world champions, the current European champion and there's me," Oldershaw said. "I feel like I can beat them, I've beat them all at World Cup. I know I can beat them but I don't have that pressure that they all have.

"I'm not defending anything. So I'm just going out there, having a great time, seeing what I can do and hopefully beat all of them."

In equestrian, defending champion Eric Lamaze of Schomberg, Ont., and Ian Millar of Perth, Ont., will compete in the individual jumping event.

Canadian freestyle wrestlers Carol Huynh of Calgary and Martine Dugrenier of Laval, Que., will also be in action.

Huynh, who won gold at the 2008 Games in Beijing, will take on Thi Lua Nguyen of Vietnam in her opening bout in the 48-kilogram division. Dugrenier will open against Kaori Icho of Japan in her 63-kilo opener.

In diving, Meaghan Benfeito of Montreal and Roseline Filion of Laval, Que., will compete in the women's 10-metre platform preliminary round.

It will be a busy day at the track with several Canadians in action. One athlete to watch is Hilary Stellingwerff of Grand Bend, Ont., who will compete in the women's 1,500-metre semifinals.

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