Aaron Rublee of Kamloops has qualified for the World Cup canoe circuit and has taken a major step toward earning a spot at the 2012 London Olympics.
Rublee, 27, finished first in the C1 men’s 200 metres at the Canadian Sprint Team Trials in Lake Lanier, Ga. Rublee’s victory was determined by a photo finish — he finished in 41.07 seconds, with Jason McCoombs of Dartmouth, N.S., only 0.051 seconds behind and Halifax’s Richard Dalton third in 41.37.
“I don’t think I could have done much better,” Rublee said in a news release.
The victory means Rublee, who now trains in Ontario, has qualified for the World Cup tour, which will include events in Poznan, Poland, from May 18-20, and Duisburg, Germany, from May 25-27.
It also means that Rublee is a step closer to qualifying for the London Olympics, which start in August. The Europe World Cup events will be used as part of the selection process for the Canadian Olympic team, according to a news release, and CanoeKayak Canada’s final Olympic nominations will be officially announced following the National Team Trials 2 in Montreal.
The competition for the spot on the Olympic team is between Rublee and McCoombs, and will be determined by World Cup results.
According to CanoeKayak Canada, “Rublee will need to place as the top Canadian in one of those races, while McCoombs will need to beat Rublee at both World Cups to take the (Olympic) spot.”