Kazakhstan has enjoyed a strong day out on the opening day of the Asian canoe sprint Olympic qualifiers in Pattaya, Thailand, earning Tokyo quotas for three boats during a thrilling day of racing.

The country’s success follows a solid performance at last weekend’s canoe slalom qualifiers, also in Pattaya, when it picked up two Olympic quotas.

The flatwater quotas came in the men’s C2 1000, the women’s C2 500, and the women’s K1 500. Kazakhstan came within less than a second of picking up a fourth quota, edged out in the men’s K2 1000 by China.

Brothers Timofey and Sergey Yemelyanov, who were crowned ICF U23 C2 1000 metre world champions in 2016, held on by a fingernail to win Wednesday’s Olympic qualifier, with Japan’s Kaiki Oshiro and Takanori Tome the unlucky runners up.

The winner’s time was 3.37:608, with Japan posting 3.37:780. Uzbekistan’s Vladlen Denisov and Gerasim Kochnev finished third.

Two-time Olympian Natalya Sergeyeva locked away the women’s K1 500 Olympic quota for Kazakhstan. 45-year-old Sergeyeva made her Olympic debut in Athens in 2004, and also competed in London in 2012.

She posted a time of 1.53:711, with Singapore’s Jiexian Stephenie Chen second in 1.54:649. Japan’s Hideka Tatara finished third in 1.54:896.

The third Olympic quota for Kazakhstan came in the women’s C2 500, one of the new events at the Tokyo Games. Svetlana Ussova and Margarita Torlopova finished in 1.59:250, ahead of Indonesia’s Riska Andriyani and Nurmeni Nurmeni in 2.00:300.

Iran’s Parisa Mohammadzadeh Nargesi and Atena Raouf Balgouri finished third.

The final quota on Wednesday went to China’s Congkan Wang and Tingkai Bu in the men’s K2 1000. They posted 3.11:344, with Kazakhstan’s Ilya Golendov and Andrey Yerguchyov second in 3.11:562. Chinese Taipei’s Yong-Bo Lin and Yung-Chieh Lin were third in 3.15:612.

Five more Olympic quotas will be on offer on Thursday in Pattaya, with racing in the men’s and women’s K1 200, the women’s C1 200, and the men’s K1 and C1 1000 metres.

Kazakhstan Timofey and Sergey Yemelyanov canoe sprint

Canoe Sprint
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