News

Kayaker Brent aims for podium in China

Alex Brent of Dewdney and partner Eric Fast competed in the K2 1000 event at the junior world championships in Hungary, finishing 18th overall. - BALINT VEKASSY PHOTO
Alex Brent of Dewdney and partner Eric Fast competed in the K2 1000 event at the junior world championships in Hungary, finishing 18th overall.
— image credit: BALINT VEKASSY PHOTO

When Alex Brent arrived in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia at the end of May for the Canoe Kayak Canada national team trials, he was rather anonymous.

Case in point: After the junior men’s K1 1,000-metre race, he overheard two spectators discussing what had transpired.

One observer asked what the order of finishes had been. The other replied with the names of the gold and silver medalists – both well-established paddlers from Eastern Canada.

“And some random guy from B.C. got third,” he added.

That would be Brent, the 17-year-old Dewdney native who had just won his first junior national kayaking medal.

“I was like, ‘Uh, that’s me,’” he recounted with a chuckle.

They surely know his name now – Brent went on to win gold the next day in the junior men’s K2 1000 with partner Eric Fast of Burnaby, winning by a dominant 4.8-second margin. There was so much open water between the Brent/Fast boat and the second-place crew, they started celebrating 100 metres before the finish line because they knew they had the race in the bag.

Those breakthrough performances paved the way to a memorable summer for Brent, as he was named to the junior national team.

In mid-July, he traveled to Szeged, Hungary for the Junior/U23 World Championships, and made the B final in the K2 1000 with Fast, finishing 18th overall.

This week, he hops on a plane for Nanjing, China, where he’s part of the Canadian contingent for the Youth Olympics.

“This may sound a tad cliche, but I’m just happy to be paddling for Canada,” enthused Brent, who is going into Grade 12 at Abbotsford’s St. John Brebeuf Regional Secondary.

Brent got his start in kayaking 11 years ago when he attended a camp hosted by the Ridge Canoe and Kayak Club on Whonnock Lake. He’s been a member of the club ever since.

He attributes his breakthrough summer to a terrific winter of training that preceded it. He spent hours upon hours lifting weights, and sharpened his technique during a six-week training camp in Florida.

Brent’s goal at the Youth Olympics is to finish in the top 10, but “the dream would be to win a medal.”

“That would be phenomenal, to bring it home and show my coach,” he said.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

B.C.-only wines to come to some grocery stores
 
Hunters protest shift favouring non-residents
 
Carly Rae Jepsen surprises Christmas at the Clarke fans
Mission hockey team serves Hope Central
 
Aerobatic jet team added to 2015 Abbotsford International Airshow lineup
 
Door-to-door mail service being eliminated in Mission
Holiday displays light up the night
 
Surrey boy, 3, struck and abandoned
 
Surrey murder victim identifed as Jaylen Sandhu, 17

Community Events, December 2014

Add an Event


Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Dec 19 edition online now. Browse the archives.