Van Koeverden, Oldershaw earn Canada two more medals in canoe-kayak - InfoNews

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Van Koeverden, Oldershaw earn Canada two more medals in canoe-kayak

Canada's Adam va Koeverden celebrates his silver medal in the men's 1000-metre Kayak single (K1) final at Eton Dorney during the 2012 Summer Olympics in Dorney, England on Friday, August 8, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
August 08, 2012 - 11:05 AM

LONDON - Canada's march to the medal podium started early Wednesday thanks to a pair of longtime friends.

Kayaker Adam van Koeverden of Oakville, Ont., raced to silver in the K-1 1,000 metres and paddler Mark Oldershaw of Burlington, Ont., followed it with a bronze in the C-1 1,000 metres about 15 minutes later.

They've trained together out of the Burloak Canoe Club in Oakville since they were teenagers.

"Oh man, I'm happy for him," van Koeverden said of Oldershaw.

For van Koeverden, it was his fourth Olympic medal. He won gold and bronze at the Athens Games in 2004 and a silver in Beijing four years ago.

After setting the pace with a blazing start, van Koeverden lost gold to friend and longtime training partner Eirik Veras Larsen of Norway in the final stretch.

"I started the way I wanted to," said van Koeverden. "I was super-comfortable. Going through the 500 I had tons of energy. It's not a case of a screwed-up race plan, this is a case of one guy in the whole world being better than me. And I can live with that.

"Seven billion people, one guy's better. It's OK."

Oldershaw delivered his famous family its first medal after 64 years and eight Summer Games. He was a full second out of fourth place with 250 metres remaining but powered his way onto the podium.

What made it extra special for the third-generation Olympian was that almost his entire family was at Dorney Lake to share his joy.

"My mom, my dad, my sister, my girlfriend, cousins, uncles, aunts. Everyone is here," Oldershaw said, before breaking off to give his mother, Connie, a big hug.

"I'm so happy to be a Canadian and to be an Oldershaw. To represent both is a great feeling."

The medals boosted Canada's total at the London Games to 13 — one gold, four silver, eight bronze. That was five shy of what the country managed in Beijing.

A pair of wrestlers were looking to add to the total later Wednesday, with Calgary's Carol Huynh and Martine Dugrenier of Laval, Que., both having a chance at bronze medals.

Elsewhere, it was a good morning on the track as Cam Levins of Black Creek, B.C., advanced to the semifinals in the men's 5,000-metres while North Vancouver's Jessica Smith moved on in the women's 800.

Levins built off his impressive 11th-place finish in the 10,000 metres earlier in the Games and set a personal-best time 13 minutes 18.29 seconds to advance out of the heats.

"I'm glad to have made it through," said Levins. "I was more confident in the 5K than the 10K. I knew I just needed to get to the last lap and go."

Smith advanced by finishing second in her heat. It was a slow group and came down to a sprint for the finish.

"I just stuck in there," she said.

In individual show jumping, 10-time Olympian Ian Millar of Perth, Ont., finished tied for ninth while defending gold medallist Eric Lamaze of Schomberg, Ont., failed to make the final round.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2012
The Canadian Press

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