Sport Week: Five storylines in para-canoe

Here are possible storylines to follow ahead of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. 13 Mar 2016
Fernando Fernandes

Fernando Fernandes

ⒸBrazilian Canoe Federation
By Laura Godenzi and IPC

Editor’s note: Each sport on the Rio 2016 Paralympic programme will have a dedicated week of featured content published on the IPC’s website. The IPC begins this series with six months to go until Rio 2016 (7 March) and will run until September’s Games, helping the public understand more about the 22 sports being contested in Rio.

1. Markus the man in the KL2 category

Prior to the sport’s debut at Rio 2016, Austria’s Markus Swoboda has won every 200m KL2 major title available. But Australian war veteran Curtis McGrath and Brazil’s Fernando Rufino de Paulo are possible contenders for the top of the podium.

2. Former swimmer vs. former wheelchair basketball player

While para-canoe will feature for the first time in Rio, Germany’s Edina Muller and Great Britain’s Jeanette Chippington are no strangers to the Paralympics. The two are possible podium finishers in the women’s KL1 and carry over previous Games experiences. Muller was part of the German women’s wheelchair basketball gold medal team at London 2012. Chippington won 12 medals over five Paralympics as a swimmer and is the defending KL1 world champion, while Muller took silver.

3. Australian presence

Australia’s Amanda Reynolds is among the medal contenders in the women’s KL3 200m, while compatriot McGrath will vie for the men’s KL2 200m title. Meanwhile Susan Seipel will try to reach the podium in the women’s KL2. Seipel won the VL2 category, but va’as will not be contended in Rio.

4. Brazilian bunch

The local crowd may get a show in the men’s KL1 200m category, with former professional dancer Luis C. Cardoso Da Silva and Fernando Fernandes De Padua posing a potential top-two finish. Poland’s Jakub Tokarz, who took silver behind Cardoso in the World Championships, couldpossibly spoil the fun.

5. Para-canoe’s Paralympic debut

The sport will feature six medal events in the kayaks, and the events could help shape out how the sport may look in Tokyo 2020, with potential new faces such as Australian youngster Dylan Littelhales. Depending how the sport develops post-Rio, va’a competitions might be considered for the 2020 Games.