Canoe sprint duo Vincent Lapointe, Vincent advance to 500m semifinals

Canadian canoe sprint duo Laurence Vincent Lapointe and Katie Vincent are through to the 500 metres semifinals.

Canadian pair wins quarter-final race in debut of Olympic event

Canada's Laurence Vincent-Lapointe, right, and Katie Vincent, left, compete during the women's canoe sprint 500-metre heats at the Tokyo Olympics on Friday in Japan. (Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Canadian canoe sprint duo Laurence Vincent Lapointe and Katie Vincent are through to the 500 metres semifinals.

The two-time world champions took the long route on Friday morning in Tokyo, placing third in their first heat of the night to miss automatic qualification by less than one second. But the Canadians rebounded to win their quarter-final less than two hours later to surge into the next round.

The semis begin Friday at 8:30 p.m. ET, with the final at 10:30 p.m. ET.

After posting a time of two minutes 2.170 seconds in their first race at Sea Forest Waterway, Vincent Lapointe and Vincent crossed the finish line in 2:02.259 to win their quarter-final sprint.

WATCH | Vincent Lapointe, Vincent paddle into semifinals:

Laurence Vincent-Lapointe makes history winning silver and her fight for sport equity

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Laurence Vincent-Lapointe has maintained her position as a world class canoe sprint athlete, winning silver in Tokyo and inspiring the next generation of athletes. Olympic Moments presented by Visa.

They set the world record at 1:51.428 at the world championships in 2018.

On Thursday, Vincent Lapointe, 29, snagged silver in her debut Olympic event, the individual 200-metre canoe sprint. Vincent, 25, placed eighth in the final.

"I've never cried on a podium. It hit me like a brick wall. I've done it. I've done it," Vincent Lapointe told CBC Sports. "Two years. I don't know what to say. I don't know how I did it." 

The Trois-Rivieres, Que., native endured a two-year legal battle just to get to Tokyo after proving a failed drug test was the result of second-hand contamination.

Tokyo 2020 marks the first time women's canoe sprint was contested in the Olympics, making the sport gender-equal.

WATCH | Vincent Lapointe's historic medal a win for sport equity:

For Laurence Vincent Lapointe, family comes first

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Laurence Vincent Lapointe, from Trois-Rivières, Quebec, says growing up in the small town was like having a big family.

Meanwhile, Canada's Connor Fitzpatrick reach the men's canoe 1,000m semifinals after placing second in his quarter-final race with a time of 4:09.622.

The 22-year-old from Dartmouth, N.S., previously posted a time of 4:05.577 to narrowly miss automatic qualification in heats.

Fellow Canadian Roland Varga failed to advance after placing sixth in his quarter-final.

Canada's men's kayak four also moved on after placing fifth in their quarter-final, while the Canadian women failed to grab one of six qualifying spots in their eight-boat race on Friday.

Canoe sprint events wrap up with the remaining medal races on Saturday in Tokyo.

WATCH | Vincent Lapointe takes silver in 200m sprint:

Sport Explainer: Canoe Sprints

2 years ago
Duration 2:57
Need a refresher on canoe sprints? Get to know the sport before the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

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