Van Koeverden in position for another Olympic medal, track athletes advance | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Van Koeverden in position for another Olympic medal, track athletes advance

Canada's Adam van Koeverden slows his kayak after winning a men's kayak single 1000m semifinal in Eton Dorney, near Windsor, England, at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Monday, Aug. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

LONDON - On a day when Canada wasn't in the hunt for many Olympic medals, a number of athletes put themselves in position to step on the podium later in the week.

Kayaker Adam van Koeverden appears to be on track in the K-1 1,000 metres after winning both his morning heat and semifinal Monday.

"I felt fast and comfortable," he said. "I was just gauging my stroke rate and feeling the wind."

Van Koeverden will race for gold on Wednesday.

The 30-year-old from Oakville, Ont., says he's experiencing nerves despite the fact this is his third Games.

"I didn't sleep very well last night," said van Koeverden, before adding: "I slept well until like 4 a.m. and then I got up. But nerves are good and pressure's a luxury. This nervous energy's got to fuel me somehow."

That wasn't a problem for good friend Mark Oldershaw of Burlington, Ont., who reached the C-1 1,000-metre canoe final by placing second in his semifinal.

Oldershaw failed to make the final in Beijing and blamed a nervy performance. Four years later, he's much more comfortable.

"And whether I win a medal, I just feel like I have done everything I can," said Oldershaw. "And when you have that feeling, it's easier to sleep and it's a lot less nerves."

The only event where Canada was in medal contention Monday was equestrian team jumping. Jill Henselwood of Oxford Mills, Ont., Eric Lamaze of Schomberg, Ont., and Ian Millar of Perth, Ont., were looking to follow the country's silver-medal performance from the 2008 Olympics.

In other events later in the day, Canada faces the U.S. in the semifinals of women's soccer, world champion Tara Whitten of Edmonton opens competition in the cycling omnium and Alexandre Despatie of Laval, Que., is back in action in the preliminaries of the three-metre springboard.

Canada had a number of good performances in the morning session on the track.

Calgary's Jessica Zelinka led the way in the 100-metre hurdles with a second-place finish in her heat to advance to the semifinals. She'll be joined by Phylicia George of Markham, Ont., and Nikkita Holder of Pickering, Ont., in that race on Tuesday.

For Zelinka, Monday's heats marked her return to the track after a disappointing seventh-place finish in the heptathlon.

"I'm just glad I found my legs again and this is just like a reminder saying, 'Body, you're not done, and tomorrow, keep it going even more,"' said the native of London, Ont.

Meanwhile, Geoff Harris of Halifax advanced in the men's 800 metres with a personal-best time of 1:45.97 while Hilary Stellingwerff of Grand Bend, Ont., and Winnipeg's Nicole Sifuentes each moved on in the women's 1,500 metres.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2012
The Canadian Press

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