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de Jonge wins World Cup kayaking gold in the Czech Republic

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According to Callum Ng of the Canadian Olympic Committee on Tuesday, Mark de Jonge of Calgary, Alberta won a gold medal in the men's 200m kayaking race at a World Cup event in Racice, Czech Republic this past weekend. De Jonge, who won a bronze medal in the men's 200m kayaking sprint race at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, posted a winning time of 35.183 seconds.

De Jonge's time was .033 seconds faster than silver medalist Liam Heath of Great Britain who won the silver medal with a time of 35.216 seconds. Petter Menning of Sweden won the World Cup bronze medal with a time of 35.273 seconds.

De Jonge's time of 35.183 seconds was over a second faster than his 36.657 time he posted when he won his Olympic bronze medal two years ago. According to Michael Gorman and Monty Mosher of the Chronicle Herald, de Jonge won in cold and rainy conditions.

De Jonge led a very successful weekend in Canadian canoeing. On Saturday, Olympic bronze medalist Mark Oldershaw of Burlington, Ontario won the silver medal in the men's 1000m canoeing event, while Ben Russell of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and Gabriel Beauchesne-Sevigny of Trois-Rivieres, Quebec won the bronze medal in the men's C-2 1000m race.

Interestingly, there is only one more World Cup race for the best men's canoers in the world. It will take place in Szeged, Hungary this weekend. De Jonge, Oldershaw, Russell, and Beauchesne-Sevigny will then prepare for the 2014 World Canoeing and Kayaking Championships that will take place in Moscow, Russia from August 20-24. De Jonge won the bronze medal in the men's 200m kayaking race at the 2013 World Championships in Duisburg, Germany.

The major focus for De Jonge, Oldershaw, Russell and Beauchesne-Sevigny is the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. De Jonge and Oldershaw will try to repeat as Olympic medalists.

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