On June 6 and 7, 2015, four Belizean paddlers - Chris Guydis, Wilberto Daniels, Bayron Cruz and Amado Cruz - from the Belize Canoe Association competed in the Puerto Rico Olympic Cup and managed to place in two competitions fairly new to them.
The Puerto Rico Canoe/Kayak Association hosts this grand event annually, which incorporates Kayak Sprint Races of distances of 200M, 500M, and 1000M in K1, K2 and K4 Categories. This year, the event was attended by Belize, Guatemala, Guadeloupe and Puerto Rico. Usually more countries are represented; however, due to the upcoming Pan-American Games in Toronto, Canada this summer, many countries were not represented.
A first of its kind for Belize, the guys struggled to master the art of the kayaks due to their slender style. After only 2 days of practice, all four men raced and even though they did not medal in the K1 or K2 events, they managed to place 2nd in the K4 1000 m and 3rd in the K4 200 m events. Working together, Belize managed to bring home silver and bronze medals from their first ICF sanctioned event. Mr. Amado Cruz also placed 9th overall in the 5000 M race with a time of 26 minutes 16 seconds. The top time was 22 minutes, 30 seconds.
Belize Canoe Team, K4 Team with Silver Medals
This opportunity marks a major development in the sport of canoeing for Belize, as it introduces a new type of racing – sprint racing – to Belizeans and it paves the way to other regional and international events, including the coveted Olympic Games.
The Belize Canoe Association would like to thank the Belize Olympic Committee for their assistance, coach, Mr. Bob Kary for volunteering his time to help prepare the team and a special mention and thank you to the kind sponsors who generously contributed to making this trip a possibility.
Belize Canoe Team Amado Cruz and Chris Guydis (K1, 200 M)
Belize Canoe Team - Bayron Cruz, Wilberto Daniels, Chris Guydis and Amado Cruz