2024 Oceania Champs and Olympic Qualifier Wrap up

The NZ Canoe Racing team returned from the 2024 Canoe Sprint Oceania Championships in Penrith, Australia with some shiny new Oceania Championship medals and more importantly some quota places for the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympic Games. This could result in the largest canoe racing Olympic team ever, but there are a busy few weeks ahead for both athletes and selectors as the final Olympic crew boat trials will be taking place.

The women’s K2 pair of Aimee Fisher and Danielle McKenzie secured New Zealand a WK2 500m boat in the Paris games by winning their heat which doubled as the Olympic qualifier event. They then went on to win Oceania gold in their 500m final, ahead of Australia’s top K2 crews. Aimee followed the K2 race with a second gold and Oceania title in the WK1 500m final.

This, in addition to the 4 spots already qualified, means NZ could have the maximum 6 female quota spots allowed per nation, a spectacular achievement given that it was only in 2008 that the first New Zealand female paddler Erin Taylor competed at the Olympics.

6 female athletes mean that New Zealand could field up to 5 boats at the Games- two K1 crews, two K2 crews and a K4 crew.

In the men’s racing, two-time Paralympian Scott Martlew had some great racing and results in the Paracanoe categories, coming away with a gold, silver and bronze in his K1 and V1 events. Scott enjoyed strong racing against current para canoe world champions Curtis McGrath and Dylan Littlehales, as his build up to the Paris 2024 Paralympics continues.

Max Brown and Kurtis Imrie were successful in earning NZ a Men’s K2 500m boat Olympic spot, Quaid Thompson earned NZ one quota place for Paris in the MK1 1000m race, and the new C2 crew of James Munro and Kacey Ngataki succeeded in earning a MC2 500m boat qualification.

However, ICF rules state an NOC can qualify for a maximum of two athlete quota places in each category, that is kayak per gender, at the Continental Qualification Competitions, so Canoe Racing NZ selectors will have to decide whether to accept the 2 athlete quota places from the K2 or the 1 athlete quota place from the K1.

CRNZ will nominate crews to the NZOC selectors as soon as crew boat trialing concludes in March.

It is important to note that the qualification of a place in any event by an athlete or crew does not guarantee that the athlete/crew will be nominated or selected to compete in that event at Paris 2024.

The New Zealand Olympic Committee is the final decision-maker in respect of Selection for Paris 2024.

CRNZ’s primary purpose through the Olympic selection process is to in nominate athletes who are capable to win medals and produce outstanding performances for New Zealand; and to provide development opportunities for athletes who display championship capabilities ahead of the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games.

Congratulations to the NZ athletes on their Oceania results and good luck to all athletes involved in the upcoming Olympic selection trials.


NZ Results- 2024 Oceania Canoe Sprint Championships

Gold- Aimee Fisher, WK1 500m
Gold- Aimee Fisher & Danielle McKenzie, WK2 500m

Gold- Kasey Ngataki & James Munro, MC2 500m

Gold – Scott Martlew- Para Canoe MK1 500m

2nd – Scott Martlew, Para Canoe MV1 200m

3rd – Scott Martlew, Para Canoe MK1 200m

4th – Quaid Thompson, MK1 1000m

4th – James Munro, MK1 500m

4th – Max Brown & Kurtis Imrie- 4th MK2 500m

4th– Kasey Ngataki, MC1 1000m

5th – Kasey Ngataki & Zach Ferkins –  MK2 500m

8th – Danielle McKenzie, WK1 500m


Photos: thanks to JKR Images