Oakville kayakers looking to make a splash at upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games


Published July 12, 2021 at 8:17 pm


Oakville residents will want to have a keen eye on kayaking when this year’s Tokyo Olympic Summer Games begin on Friday, July 23.

Two local athletes are among the 16 paddlers named to Canada’s national canoe/kayak sprint team.

Alanna Bray-Lougheed will compete in the women’s kayak, while Simon McTavish will take to the water in the men’s kayak.

“I believe we have an extremely strong team going to Tokyo,” said Canoe Kayak Canada’s Chief Technical Officer, Graham Barton. “We have been able to keep our athletes on the water throughout a challenging 18 months and while our Olympic nominees have not been able to compete internationally during that time, our assessments at Olympic Team Trials and throughout our preparation indicate that we are on track in each of our events.

“Tokyo will just be one more bubble experience that we have become accustomed to, so it won’t be a distraction. I know they are looking forward to the start of competition on August 2 and will proudly represent the maple leaf.”

Bray-Lougheed had been pondering retirement after not making Canada’s World Cup team in 2019, but that changed after earning a spot in the Lima 2019 Pan Am Games.

There she and Andréanne Langlois would race to a gold medal in the K-2 500m and then helped the women’s K-4 500m team paddle to a third consecutive gold.  

The 28-year-old, who started paddling at the age of 10, first took to the water in a national competition as a member of the Burloak Club at the age of 15 and won the War Canoe (C-15) race at the 2009 Canadian Championships.

She’s built an impressive resume in national and international competitions.

Bray-Lougheed won three national titles in 2016 in C-4 200m, K-4 500m, and K-2 1000m and then her and teammate Madeline Schmidt made the A final in the K-2 500m at the

2016 U23 World Championships.

The following year she teamed up with Natalie Davison for multiple distances competing in ICF World Cup events for the first time.

She and Davison made their first A final together in the K-2 200m in Serbia. The Oakville athlete raced to another A final that same year, this time with Courtney Scott, in the K-2 1000m at the senior world championships.

In 2018, Bray-Lougheed had two more World Cup stops and another A final appearance as a member of the K-4 500m crew.

She would place seventh with Davison in the K-2 1000m at the world championships and collected her first international medals at the Pan American Championships, paddling to gold with Langlois in the K-2 200m and silver with the K-4 1000m.

McTavish, who followed his brother into kayak and started paddling at the age of 15, represented Australia for seven years (2012-2018) even though he was born in Oakville.

The 24-year-old took to the water in international competition for the firs time at the 2012 Olympic Hopes regatta in Hungary, before competing at the 2014 World Junior Championships.

For McTavish, 2018 would prove to be a big year. He would win a sliver medal in the K-1 100m at the U23 World Championships, capture a pair of gold medals at the FISU World University Championships and make his World Cup debut.

In 2019, McTavish would place first in both the K-1 1000m and K-4 500m events at national trials, before placing fourth with the K-4 500m crew in his World Cup debut for Canada in Poznan, Poland. The Oakville native would help Canada’s K-4 500m team qualify for Tokyo 2020.

Team Canada’s most recent Olympic medals in canoe/kayak sprint came at London 2012 where Oakville’s Adam van Koeverden won his fourth Olympic medal in men’s kayak.

Canoe/kayak sprint will take place August 2-7 at the Sea Forest Waterway.



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