Canoe: 5 questions to be answered

Canoe will debut at the Paralympics in Rio. Here are five questions to think about as the Games come closer. 19 Jan 2016
Young canoeist in aciton

At just 15 years old, para-canoeist Dylan Littlehales is already competing at the World Championships in his sport.

ⒸAustralian Canoeing
By Laura Godenzi | For the IPC

Who will win the sport’s first Paralympic gold medal?

The sport will be taken to a new level as athletes prepare to perform on an international stage outside the World Championships. Canoe will premiere at the Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, bringing a different excitement and level of competition for athletes. For athletes such as Austria’s Markus Swoboda, who have been performing at the Worlds for years, the addition of canoe to the Paralympics is special. A Paralympic gold medal would be a lot.

Who can beat Swoboda?

Speaking of Swoboda, the Austrian has been dominating the KL2 category since his first appearance at the World Championships in Poznan, Poland, in 2012. He won every world title so far. Australia’s Curtis McGrath was the first one to beat Swoboda in any race in five years at the first in the heats at the 2015 World Championships in Milan, Italy. The Australian ended up taking second in the final, but he will be one of Swoboda’s main rivals at the Paralympics in Rio.

Is Jeanette Chippington going to win her 13th Paralympic medal?

Before starting her successful career in canoe in 2011, the British star had already competed as a swimmer in five consecutive Paralympic Games: Seoul 1988, Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004, winning a total of 12 medals. The outstanding athlete has continued her strike in para-canoe by claiming 10 world titles in the KL1 category since 2012. In Rio, she will have the chance to add the 13th Paralympic medal to her list.

Is the Brazilian team going to take home advantage?

The young Brazilian team had a strong appearance at the World Championships in Milan, finishing second on the medals table behind Australia. The 2016 Paralympics host won three gold medals and four bronzes in Milan. The question now is if they can take advantage of competing in their home country in front of their crowd, and turn the third places into gold medals in Rio 2016.

What will change for the sport after Rio?

Athletes such as Germany’s Edina Muller switched para-sports for a new challenge and chance at competing on the Paralympic stage. The sport may see a rise in athletes switching up, but there are other young athletes who have shown promise and are targeting Tokyo 2020, such as Daniel Littlehales. Time will tell the impact of the sport’s debut at Rio 2016.

Sport fans from around the world can now buy their Paralympic tickets for Rio 2016 from authorised ticket resellers (ATRs).

The IPC’s Global ATR is Jet Set Sports, and Rio 2016 tickets and packages can be purchased on the CoSport website.

Residents of Brazil can buy 2016 Paralympics tickets directly from the Rio 2016 website.