Van Koeverden happy with K-1 gold

Adam Van Koeverden celebrates his victory in the men's K-1 1000m event during the ICF Canoe and...

Adam Van Koeverden celebrates his victory in the men's K-1 1000m event during the ICF Canoe and Kayak Sprint World Championships in Szeged, Aug. 19, 2011. (BERNADETT SZABO/Reuters)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:23 PM ET

Being in a happy place allowed Adam van Koeverden to strike gold at the world canoe and kayak championship.

So sayeth the three-time Olympic medallist, who finished first in the men's K-1 1,000-metre event Friday in Szeged, Hungary.

"I think happiness had a lot to do with the win," van Koeverden said in a press release. "I love my life. I love to train and compete."

Van Koeverden, a 29-year-old from Oakville, Ont., finished in three minutes, 36.194 seconds to beat Anders Gusfstason of Sweden by more than three seconds. Eirik Larsen of Norway was third in 3:39.818.

It was the eighth world championship medal van Koeverden has won in his career but first gold in the K-1 1,000. He's finished second three times in that race at the world championships.

"The win means lot to me," he said. "I had never won a K-1 1,000 race before at worlds or Olympics. All the hard work paid off. There's nothing more beautiful than when you work really hard and see that kind of result at the end.

"I wouldn't have guessed I could beat those guys by that margin."

The win guarantees that Canada will race in the event at the 2012 Olympics in London.

Mark Oldershaw of Burlington, Ont., finished fifth in the C-1 1,000 to sew up an Olympic spot for Canada in the event.

In two other non-Olympic events, Canadian teams finished eighth. Thomas Hall of Pointe-Claire, Que., and Ben Russell of Dartmouth, N.S., were eighth in the C-2 500 and Hall, Russell, Paul Bryant of Richmond Hill, Ont., and Ian Mortimer of Ottawa had the same finish in the C-4 1,000.


Videos

Photos