Russell qualifies for Olympics; dream still alive for Spence

Michelle Russell in competition. (JPM Lamontagne photo)

Cheema’s Sloan MacKenzie makes history competing in first-ever C1-200metre race

WAVERLEY: The Olympic ticket has been punched by at least one Cheema athlete, while it remains alive for another following qualification trials in Burnaby, B.C. last weekend.

Michelle Russell of Fall River had a perfect race card.  She placed first in every heat, semi and final she raced in across the K1-200M, K1-500M and K4-500M disciplines.  

Russell punched her ticket to Tokyo with the results.

“Cheema could not be prouder of her accomplishment,” said Cheema in a release to The Laker News.

“Congratulations also to Mike Kerrivan, Michelle’s coach who has worked hard to get Michelle to this point in her paddling career.”

In Tokyo, women’s canoe will be represented for the first-time ever.  

Windsor Junction’s Sloan MacKenzie made history as a competitor in the first ever C1-200M qualification race for the right to compete for Canada at the event this August.  

Sloan missed the final by less than a second and at the young age of 18 is the seventh fastest female canoeist in the country.

“Her future is bright,” said Cheema in the release.

Craig Spence of Waverley and teammate Drew Hodges placed second in the Men’s C2-1000M competition. It was nail biter in both finals.  

The dreams for the Olympics are still alive for Spence in the C1-1000M discipline.  

CanoeKayak Canada had to implement their COVID-19 protocols when some athletes became ill, said Cheema in the release

Spence will get to race later this spring.