Meet our AUS Paddle Team – Olympic & Paralympic Disciplines

Meet our Paddle Australia Olympic and Paralympic sprint and slalom paddlers and follow our AUS Paddle Team as the team prepares for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, now to be held in 2021, as well as Paris 2024 and beyond.

We are proud to have all our AUS Olympic Team canoe slalom and canoe sprint paddlers already confirmed and selected for Tokyo 2020+1 with all quota spots for Australia locked in as well.

While our current Paracanoe squad has also already secured Australia the maximum number of quota spots for the Tokyo Paralympic Games, the final team is yet to be selected in 2021.

Find out more about the team on this page, including all the news around athletes as well as useful information about our Olympic and Paralympic paddle disciplines.

You can also get our monthly news directly to your inbox by subscribing to our “Paddle to Tokyo Newsletter” here:

Want to have a go and become an Olympic or Paralympic paddler as well? Follow the links below for further information.

We are looking forward to sharing our paddling journey with you, make sure you follow us via @auspaddleteam on social media and thank you for your support!

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Competition Schedule

Keep and eye on the competition schedule so you can settle in to watch the action live (note: the times are in Japan standard time so adjust to your local time so you don’t miss out).

For the Paralympic Competition Schedule click HERE

For the Canoe Sprint Competition Schedule click HERE

Meet the Athletes

Amanda Jennings

Dylan Littlehales

Curtis McGrath

Susan Seipel

The Discipline

About Paracanoe

What is Paracanoe?

Paracanoe is the canoeing discipline for athletes with an impairment and races are contested by two types of boat, kayak (K) and va’a (V).

The kayak is propelled by a double-blade paddle, while the va’a is an outrigger canoe which has an ama (second pontoon) as a support float and is used with a single-blade paddle. Both kayak and va’a have three different classes of event for men and women, depending on the classification of an athlete’s impairment, with KL1, KL2 and KL3 for kayak and VL1, VL2 and VL3 for va’a. At international level all paracanoe races are individual events and competed at a distance of 200m.

Paracanoe began as an initiative by the International Canoe Federation (ICF) to allow athletes with an impairment to compete in the sport. The discipline featured with exhibition status under the name paddleability at the 2009 Canoe Sprint World Championships in Dartmouth, NS, Canada, and was given official status as paracanoe at the following year’s edition in Poznan, Poland. Later in 2010, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) announced at a meeting in Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China, that paracanoe would make its debut at the Paralympic Games in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro. There were six medal events at the Games (three men, three women), all in the kayak category.

In 2020 in Tokyo Va’a will make its Paralympic debut, with three medal events – two for men, one for women – taking to nine races overall on the paracanoe programme.

Australia secured all four quota spots for paracanoeing at Tokyo 2020 with athletes able to double up in more than one event.

Paddle Australia’s paracanoe squad secured Paddle Australia nomination in 2020, but will have to confirm Paralympics Australia Team selection in 2021.

International competition exists in Kayak and Va’a events:
K-1 & V1 200 Metre (KL1)
K-1 & V1 200 Metre (KL2)
K-1 & V1 200 Metre (KL3)

K-1 & V-1 200 Metre (KL1)
K-1  & V-1 200 Metre (KL2)
K-1 & V-1 200 Metre (KL3)

Paralympic Medallists

Rio 2016

Gold – Curtis McGrath, KL2 Men 200

Silver – Amanda Reynolds, KL3 Women 200

Bronze – Susan Seipel – KL2 Women 200


Rio 2016

Jocelyn Neumueller (SA)

Curtis McGrath (QLD), Gold Medal

Amanda Reynolds (VIC), Silver Medal

Susan Seipel (QLD), Bronze Medal

Dylan Littlehales (NSW)

Colin Sieders

Meet the Athletes

The Discipline

About Canoe Slalom

What is Canoe Slalom?

Canoe slalom is a timed event where competitors navigate a whitewater course by passing through a combination of upstream and downstream gates. Each course is different but can be a maximum of 300 metres in length and contain a maximum of 25 gates, with a minimum of six upstream gates. The type of gate is designated by colour, red for upstream and green for downstream. Courses are designed so the leading athletes will complete them in a time of between 90 and 110 seconds, though time penalties can be incurred for touching a gate (two seconds) and missing a gate (50 seconds).

Canoe slalom is contested by two types of boat, canoe (C) and kayak (K). In canoe, a single-blade paddle is used by an athlete who is strapped into the boat with their legs bent at the knees and tucked under their body, in contrast to the double-bladed paddle used in a seated position in kayak. At international level there are four individual events (K1W, K1M, C1W, C1M). The C1W event will make its debut at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, replacing the men’s C2, which had been part of the Olympic program in 1972 and then from 1992 until 2016.

The decision to replace the men’s C2 with the women’s C1 for the 2020 Olympics was taken to ensure slalom met the IOC’s gender equity criteria.

Canoe slalom originated in Switzerland in 1933 as a summer alternative to slalom skiing, and was initially competed on a flatwater course. Switzerland hosted the first world championships in Geneva in 1949 and the discipline made its Olympic debut as an introduction sport at the 1972 Games in Munich, when all four gold medals were won by East Germany. It was a further 20 years before canoe slalom returned to the Olympic Games, but this time as a core sport.

France (57) has won the most world titles in canoe slalom, but combining Czechoslovakia (33), Czech Republic (30) and Slovakia (25) would both exceed that total. Paddle Australia’s Jessica Fox is the most successful female as well as individual (male and female) canoe slalom paddler in the world with 10 world titles to her name. Slovakia’s Michal Martikán (SVK, 15) has won the most world titles in the discipline (individual and team events).

Things you need to know
  • Canoe slalom is a race against the clock through a combination of up and downstream gates on a whitewater course.
  • The course length and number of gates varies with a maximum of 25 gates and length of 300 meters.
  • The course is set with a mix of upstream and downstream gates; each presents a unique challenge for the athlete, significantly testing their ability to read and work with the water flow whilst maintaining their trajectory, balance and speed.
  • The direction the athlete must travel through each gate is indicated by colour: red for upstream and green for downstream.
  • There are a minimum of six upstream gates on each course.
  • Course designers set the gate patterns with the aim of utilising the water features – eddies, waves and stoppers – to create a competitive course. No two courses are the same.
  • The course is designed so that the fastest athletes will stop-the-clock between 90 to 110 seconds.
  • Athletes can incur time penalties with two-seconds added for a gate touch and 50-seconds for missing a gate.
  • International competitions have a qualification round followed by a semifinal and final with only 10 athletes in the final.
  • There are six events within canoe slalom with both men and women contesting the kayak and canoe singles (K1W, K1M, C1W, C1M); there is also mixed canoe doubles.
  • The Olympic Programme currently consists of four classes K1M, K1W, C1M and C1W.
  • The difference between a kayak and a canoe is simple; it’s the number of blades on the paddle and the athlete’s position in the boat.
  • In kayak, the paddler is seated and uses a double-bladed paddle pulling the blade through the water on alternate sides to propel the boat forward.
  • In canoe, the paddle has a single-blade and the athlete is strapped into the boat with their legs bent at the knees and tucked under their body.
Key milestones
  • Canoe slalom, which was originally modelled on ski slalom, began in Switzerland in 1933 on flatwater, but soon switched to whitewater rapids.
  • The first Slalom World Championships were held in 1949 in Geneva under the auspices of the International Canoe Federation (ICF) and were a biannual event until 1999.
  • Since 2002, the senior World Championships are run every non-Olympic year with Junior and U23 age categories contested annually since 2012.
  • In the 1960’s canals began to be diverted from rivers to create dedicated man-made competition runs.
  • Canoe slalom was an introduction sport at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, and became a core sport at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.
  • The Augsburg Eiskanal course that was used for the Munich Games was the first artificial whitewater course constructed and set the blueprint for modern day competition courses.
  • The women’s C1 class was introduced at the 2010 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships and will make its Olympic debut in 2020 at the Tokyo Games.
  • Boat design has changed dramatically since the sports inception with canvas folding canoes replaced by fiberglass and now carbon fiber.

Olympic Medallists

Australia’s whitewater slalom canoeists first competed at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona where Danielle Woodward won the silver medal in the women’s K1 event.

In Beijing 2008, Robin Bell bettered his fourth from Athens, winning bronze in the men’s C1. Teammate Jacqueline Lawrence was a surprise silver medallist in the women’s K1 event.

In 2012 at just 18 years of age, Youth Olympic Champion Jessica Fox shocked the London field to finish with the silver medal in the women’s K1 event. She followed-up with a bronze medal in the women’s K1 event in Rio.

At Tokyo 2020, Jessica Fox will represent Australia in both the women’s K1 as well as the women’s C1 event.

Rio 2016 Bronze Jessica Fox K1 Women
London 2012 Silver Jessica Fox K1 Women
Beijing 2008 Silver Jacqueline Lawrence K1 Women
Beijing 2008 Bronze Robin Bell C1 Men
Barcelona 1992 Silver Danielle Woodward K1 Women


Ian Borrows Rio 2016
Lucien Delfour Rio 2016
Jessica Fox Rio 2016 Bronze
Jessica Fox London 2012 Silver
Robin Jeffery London 2012
Kynan Maley London 2012
Warwick Draper London 2012
Jacqueline Lawrence Beijing 2008 Silver
Robin Bell Beijing 2008 Bronze
Mark Bellofiore Beijing 2008
Warwick Draper Beijing 2008
Lachlan Milne Beijing 2008
Mark Bellofiore Athens 2004
Warwick Draper Athens 2004
Lachlan Milne Athens 2004
Louise Natoli Athens 2004
Robin Bell Athens 2004
Robin Bell Sydney 2000
Andrew Farrance Sydney 2000
Kai Swoboda Sydney 2000
John Wilkie Sydney 2000
Danielle Woodward Sydney 2000
Justin Boocock Alanta 1996
Mia Farrance Alanta 1996
John Felton Alanta 1996
Richard Macguire Alanta 1996
Matthew Pallister Alanta 1996
Andy Wilson Alanta 1996
Danielle Woodward Alanta 1996
Peter Eckhardt Barcelona 1992
Matthew Pallister Barcelona 1992
Andy Wilson Barcelona 1992
Danielle Woodward Barcelona 1992 Silver

Meet the Athletes

The Discipline

About Canoe Sprint

What is Canoe Sprint?

Canoe sprint takes place on a flatwater course and races are contested by two types of boat, canoe (C) and kayak (K). In a canoe, the paddler competes in a striding position using a single-blade paddle, in contrast to the double-bladed paddle used in a sitting position in a kayak. At Olympic level, canoe sprint events are contested over 200m, 500m (both men and women) and 1000m (men) both individually and in teams of up to four.

Olympic History

Canoe sprint made its debut at the Olympic Games in Berlin in 1936 with nine men’s events, with that number reduced to eight years later in London 1948 to accommodate the first women’s race at the Games, the K1W 500m. Canoe sprint has featured in every Games since,

For London 2012, flatwater changed its name to canoe sprint and introduced the 200m distance for the men’s and women’s K1 as well as the men’s C1 events.

The canoe sprint program for the 2012 London Olympic Games and 2016 Rio Olympic Games consisted of 12 events, eight for men and four for women. Tokyo 2020 will see an equal number of events and quotas for men and women for the first time.

Australia has been presented in canoe sprint at every Games, with Hungary (77) having claimed the most medals in canoe sprint at the Olympic Games,

Things you need to know
  • Canoe sprint is a race to the line on a flatwater course with international competition set over four distances: 200, 500, 1000 and at World Cup or World Championships additionally also over 5000 meters.
  • Races are contested as individuals and teams with up to four athletes in a boat.
  • Both canoes and kayaks compete in the sprint discipline and are distinguished on the results sheet by their initial letter C and K followed by the number of competitors in the boat, the gender and then the distance. For example, K1M 200m is kayak men’s singles over 200 meters.
  • In a kayak, the paddler is seated and uses a double-bladed paddle pulling the blade through the water on alternate sides to propel the boat forward.
  • In a canoe, the paddle has a single-blade and the athlete uses a striding position with one knee on the deck and the other foot forward allowing room to pull the paddle down their preferred side of the canoe.
  • In international competition races are split into nine lanes that are allocated randomly in the initial heats; subsequently lane positions are set by qualification time: five being the fastest to qualify, then six, four, three, two, seven, eight, one and nine.
  • The Olympic Games is an exception, with races comprising of eight athletes with the fastest two occupying lanes four and five after the initial preliminary shakeout.
Key milestones
  • Following the approval of the International Olympic Committee on the 16th May 1934, canoe sprint became an Olympic discipline and debuted at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games.
  • The modern International Canoe Federation (ICF) was established in 1946.
  • The 1948 London Olympic Games saw the introduction of the first women’s medals with the K1W 500m class.
  • The 2010 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships was a significant milestone for the sport, with the introduction of C1W 200m, an exhibition C2 W500m race and the inclusion of seven Paracanoe events.
  • The 200m distance was introduced at the 2012 London Olympic Games for the K1M, K1W and C1M.
  • The programme for the 2012 London Olympic Games and 2016 Rio Olympic Games consisted of 12 events, eight for men and four for women.
  • Tokyo 2020 will see an equal number of events and quotas for men and women for the first time. Women’s C1 200 and C2 500 will be introduced, while the men’s C1 200 and K2 200 will not be held.

Olympic Medallists

Australia first competed in canoe/kayak in Melbourne in 1956 with Dennis Green and Wally Brown winning a bronze medal in the now discontinued K2 10,000m event on the Olympic course in Ballarat. Green ultimately competed in five Olympic Games and carried the Australian flag in the Opening Ceremony at Munich 1972.

The second Australian canoe/kayak medal came in Moscow 1980 when John Sumegi finished second in the K1 500m. He also finished a close fourth in the 1000m.

Australia’s first gold medal in the sport almost went to Grant Davies in the K1 1000m at Seoul 1988. Initially it was thought that Davies had won the event and he even signed to collect the gold medal. On closer inspection of the finish, the officials reversed the initial result, giving the gold medal to Greg Barton of the United States by a victory margin of .005 seconds. Davies was gracious in accepting the result when he said words to the effect, “If that’s the worst thing that will happen to me in my life, then I won’t be too badly off.”

Clint Robinson wrote history, when he won Australia’s first gold medal winning the K1 1000m in Barcelona 1992. With a bronze medal in the K1 1000m at Atlanta 1996 and a silver medal, with Nathan Baggaley, in the K2 500m at Athens 2004, Robinson is Australia’s most-decorated Olympic paddler. Three medals made 1996 Australia’s best Olympic Games results so far for Canoe Sprint Racing.

In Atlanta 1996, Katrin Borcher and Anna Wood (Cox)won Australia’s first women’s Olympic canoe sprint medal, a bronze in the women’s K2 500. In Sydney 2000 Borchert added another bronze in the same class.

In 2008 Ken Wallace emerged as Australia’s new flatwater champion, winning gold in the K1 500m and bronze in the K1 1000m. The women’s K4 500m also secured bronze.

London 2012 again saw Australia take home gold when the Aussie team of Murray Stewart, David Smith, Tate Smith and Jacob Clear took out the K4 1000m. In a near-perfect race, the Australians held a 0.09 second lead at the halfway mark before going on to claim victory by 0.61 seconds ahead of Hungary at the Eton Dorney course.

At Rio 2016 Ken Wallace and Lachlan Tame took home the bronze medal in the K2 500m.

Rio 2016 Bronze Lachlan Tame

Ken Wallace

K2 Men 1000
London 2012 Gold Murray Stewart

Jacob Clear

Dave Smith

Tate Smith

K4 Men 1000
Beijing 2008 Gold Ken Wallace K1 500 Men
Beijing 2008 Bronze Ken Wallace K1 1000 Men
Beijing 2008 Bronze Chantal Meek

Lisa Oldenhof

Lyndsie Fogarty

Hannah Davis

K4 500 Women
Athens 2004 Silver Nathan Baggaley

Clint Robinson

K2 500 Men
Sydney 2000 Silver Daniel Collins

Andrew Trim

 K2 500 Men
Sydney 2000 Bronze Katrin Borchert K1 500 Women
Alanta 1996 Bronze Katrin Borchert K1 500 Women
Alanta 1996 Bronze Daniel Collins

Andrew Trim

K2 500 Mem
Alanta 1996 Bronze Clint Robinson K1 1000 Men
Alanta 1996 Bronze Katrin Borchert

Anna Wood (Cox)

K2 500 Women
Barcelona 1992 Gold Clint Robinson K1 1000 Men
Barcelona 1992 Bronze Ramon Andersson

Ian Rowling

Kelvin Graham

Steven Wood

K4 1000 Men
Seoul 1988 Silver Grant Davies K1 1000 Men
Seoul 1988 Bronze Peter Foster

Kelvin Graham

K2 1000 Men
Los Angeles 1984 Bronze Grant Kenny

Barry Kelly

K2 1000 Men
Moscow 1980 Silver John Sumegi K1 500 Men
Melbourne 1956 Bronze Walter Brown & Dennis Green K2 10,000 Men


Daniel Bowker Rio 2016
Alyssa Bull Rio 2016
Alyce Burnett Rio 2016
Riley Fitzsimmons Rio 2016
Ferenc Szeksardi Rio 2016
Lachlan Tame Rio 2016
Jordan Wood Rio 2016
Martin Marinov Rio 2016
Jacob Clear Rio 2016
Ken Wallace Rio 2016
Stephen Bird Rio 2016
Murray Stewart Rio 2016
Stephen Bird London 2012
Jo Brigden-Jones London 2012
Jake Donaghey London 2012
Naomi Flood London 2012
Lyndsie Fogarty London 2012
Alex Haas London 2012
Rachel Lovell London 2012
Sebastian Marczak London 2012
Alana Nicholls London 2012
Jesse Dean Phillips London 2012
Murray Stewart London 2012 Gold
Jacob Clear London 2012 Gold
Hannah Davis London 2012
Dave Smith London 2012 Gold
Tate Smith London 2012 Gold
Ken Wallace London 2012
Jacob Clear Beijing 2008
Hannah Davis Beijing 2008 Bronze
Lyndsie Fogarty Beijing 2008 Bronze
Torsten Lachmann Beijing 2008
Tony Schumacher Beijing 2008
Dave Smith Beijing 2008
Tate Smith Beijing 2008
Ken Wallace Beijing 2008 Gold
Clint Robinson Beijing 2008
Chantal Meek Beijing 2008 Bronze
Lisa Oldenhof Beijing 2008 Bronze
Kate Barclay Athens 2004
Paula Harvey (Sparling) Athens 2004
Martin Marinov Athens 2004
Chantal Meek Athens 2004
Lisa Oldenhof Athens 2004
Amanda Rankin Athens 2004
David Rhodes Athens 2004
Susan Tegg Athens 2004
Daniel Collins Athens 2004
Clint Robinson Athens 2004 2 x Silver
Nathan Baggaley Athens 2004 Silver
Nathan Baggaley Sydney 2000
Ross Chaffer Sydney 2000
Amanda Simper Sydney 2000
Shane Suska Sydney 2000
Luke Young Sydney 2000
Daniel Collins Sydney 2000 Silver
Kerri Randle Sydney 2000
Clint Robinson Sydney 2000
Andrew Trim Sydney 2000 Silver
Anna Wood (Cox) Sydney 2000
Katrin Borchert Sydney 2000 Bronze
Cameron McFadzean Sydney 2000
Brian Morton Sydney 2000
Yanda Nossiter Sydney 2000
Shelley Oates-Wilding Sydney 2000
Peter Scott Sydney 2000
Katrin Borchert Alanta 1996 Bronze
Natalie Hunter (Hood) Alanta 1996
Grant Leury Alanta 1996
Paul Lynch Alanta 1996
Cameron McFadzean Alanta 1996
Brian Morton Alanta 1996
Yanda Nossiter Alanta 1996
Shelley Oates-Wilding Alanta 1996
Peter Scott Alanta 1996
Jim Walker Alanta 1996
Ramon Andersson Alanta 1996
Daniel Collins Alanta 1996 Bronze
Lynda Lehmann (Payne) Alanta 1996
Clint Robinson Alanta 1996 Bronze
Andrew Trim Alanta 1996 Bronze
Anna Wood (Cox) Alanta 1996 Bronze
Ramon Andersson Barcelona 1992 Bronze
Daniel Collins Barcelona 1992
Denise Cooper Barcelona 1992
Lynda Lehmann (Payne) Barcelona 1992
Gayle Mayes Barcelona 1992
Kerri Randle Barcelona 1992
Clint Robinson Barcelona 1992 Gold
Ian Rowling Barcelona 1992 Bronze
Andrew Trim Barcelona 1992
Anna Wood (Cox) Barcelona 1992
Kelvin Graham Barcelona 1992 Bronze
Martin Hunter Barcelona 1992
Steven Wood Barcelona 1992 Bronze
Grant Davies Seoul 1988 Silver
Peter Foster Seoul 1988 Bronze
Paul Gilmour Seoul 1988
Kelvin Graham Seoul 1988 Bronze
Martin Hunter Seoul 1988
Bryan Thomas Seoul 1988
Steven Wood Seoul 1988
Grant Kenny Seoul 1988
Elizabeth Blencowe (Thompson) Los Angeles 1984
John Doak Los Angeles 1984
Rob Doak Los Angeles 1984
Peter Genders Los Angeles 1984
Grant Kenny Los Angeles 1984 Bronze
Raymond Martin Los Angeles 1984
Martin Ralph Los Angeles 1984
Scott Wooden Los Angeles 1984
Barry Kelly Los Angeles 1984 Bronze
Crosbie Baulch Moscow 1980
Barry Kelly Moscow 1980
Robert Lee Moscow 1980
Keneth Vidler Moscow 1980
John Sumegi Moscow 1980 Silver
Graham Gillies Montreal 1976
Helen Jacobson Montreal 1976
John Sumegi Montreal 1976
John Trail Montreal 1976
Susanne Anderson (Whitebrook) Montreal 1976
Adrian Powell Montreal 1976
John Southwood Montreal 1976
Dennis Heussner Montreal 1976
Rodney Fox Munich 1972
Dennis Heussner Munich 1972
Graham Johnson Munich 1972
Dennis Green Munich 1972
Adrian Powell Munich 1972
Gordon Jeffery Munich 1972
John Southwood Munich 1972
John Southwood Mexico 1968
Dennis Green Mexico 1968
Barry Stuart Mexico 1968
Phil Coles Mexico 1968
Adrian Powell Mexico 1968
Gordon Jeffery Mexico 1968
Margaret Buck Tokyo 1964
Gordon Jeffery Tokyo 1964
Vid Juricskay Tokyo 1964
Lynette Wagg (Done) Tokyo 1964
Fred Wasmer Tokyo 1964
Dennis Green Tokyo 1964
Barry Stuart Tokyo 1964
Phil Coles Tokyo 1964
Dennis McGuire Tokyo 1964
Adrian Powell Tokyo 1964
Phil Coles Rome 1960
Dennis McGuire Rome 1960
Cynthia Nicholas (Nadalin) Rome 1960
Adrian Powell Rome 1960
Heidi Beard (Sager) Rome 1960
Dennis Green Rome 1960
Allan Livingstone Rome 1960
Barry Stuart Rome 1960
Max Baldwin Melbourne 1956
Walter Brown Melbourne 1956 Bronze
Edith Cochrane Melbourne 1956
Rue Collins Melbourne 1956
Marc Faulks Melbourne 1956
Dennis Green Melbourne 1956 Bronze
Bryan Harper Melbourne 1956
Keith Jackson Melbourne 1956
William Jones Melbourne 1956
Allan Livingstone Melbourne 1956
Tom Ohman Melbourne 1956
Barry Stuart Melbourne 1956

Whether you participate for pure enjoyment, the thrill of a challenge or you have ambitions of becoming an Olympic or Paralympic champion, paddling may well be the sport for you!

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