Kayak Star Montemayor Paddles Canoe for Olympic Shot

Kayak champ Maricela Montemayor ditches kayak for canoe in last-ditch effort to qualify for Olympics alongside teammate in Sarasota qualifiers. The winner-take-all race adds a unique twist to her journey to Paris 2024.

Kayak Star Montemayor Paddles Canoe for Olympic Shot
Maricela Montemayor, in a canoe, goes for her pass to Paris 2024 in the Olympic Qualifier in Sarasota, Florida. Credit: CONADE

The K4 500 meter kayak world medalist, Maricela Montemayor Rodríguez, will seek her ticket to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, in the C2 500m canoe modality, alongside Ana Cecilia Martínez González, in the Olympic Qualifier and Pan American Canoe Championship, which will take place from April 23 to 25, in Sarasota, Florida, United States.

“This came about because the International Federation limits to two quotas per country in each modality, so, even though there are K2 and K1, in this Sarasota Qualifier only two people can qualify and there was the opportunity to do the C2, the Opportunities are there to be taken, and I hope for the best,” shared Maricela Montemayor.

The Santiago 2023 Pan American champion in K4 500m, recalled that her international debut in this modality was at the 2022 World Cup in Halifax, Canada. “When we won the bronze medal in K4, there I competed in C4, with Nicol Guzmán, Stephanie Guzmán and “Lucero Mendoza.”

Regarding her expectations in this modality, in which she recently ventured, the winner of the 2022 National Sports Award, she highlighted:

“I am excited, I am excited to know how much I have improved after the Pan American Games in Chile, which was when I dedicated myself to canoeing, so I am eager to take it if the opportunity arises. To qualify for Paris we have to arrive in first place, it is a direct final, and we compete on the first day of the Qualifier.”

The Nuevo León native pointed out that, if she does not get her Olympic pass, she will resume her kayak training.

“I feel calm, happy, I have had fun, I have had a good time doing this new challenge, of course, it brings commitment and responsibility on my part to represent Mexico as best I can in this competition and I hope for a good result,” she concluded.

Colorful canoes race on a clear lake surrounded by palm trees.
The Sarasota sunshine awaits Maricela Montemayor and her quest for Olympic glory. Credit: CONADE

On Tuesday, in addition to the duo of Maricela Montemayor and Ana Cecilia Martínez, the kayak couples made up of Karina Alanís and Beatriz Briones, in women's and Alberto Briones and Roberto Eguía in men's, as well as the men's canoe double, will compete in direct finals with Guillermo Quirino and Gustavo Eslava.