Lina Augaitis has qualified for the PanAm games next summer. (Photo Contributed: Miguel Angel Rodriguez)

Lina Augaitis has qualified for the PanAm games next summer. (Photo Contributed: Miguel Angel Rodriguez)

Coldstream paddleboarder qualifies for 2019 PanAm games in Peru

Lina Augaitis came third at the Pan American Surfing Games and was the only Canadian to medal at the competition.

Coldstream stand-up paddleboarder Lina Augaitis travelled to Peru to compete in the PanAm Surfing Games last weekend.

She was the only Canadian to medal at the competition, solidifying a spot at the PanAm Games in Peru next summer.

Over 270 athletes from 20 countries across the Americas participated in the competition.

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Organized by the Pan American Surf Association, and taking place in Lima, Peru earlier this month, events included: Shortboard, Longboard, SUP Surfing, and SUP Tech Racing for both men and women. Augaitis was one of 24 females to participate — she had qualified for the event by winning the Canadian Nationals last year.

She earned the bronze medal in the 5km SUP Technical Women’s Race with a time of 28:11 minutes. USA’s April Zilg won the Gold Medal with a time of 27:52 minutes and Puerto Rico’s Maricarmen Rivera won silver with 28:08.

“Now that I’ve officially qualified, the games are my next main focus,” she said. “Hopefully I’ll get to compete and do a couple more big races to train before that to prepare for that because I want to win gold at the Pan American Games. It’s a really exciting opportunity for the sport and I really just want to show Canadians that we have a future in the sport and encourage them to go try paddleboarding.”

The Pan American Games are the second-biggest summer athletic event, second to the Olympics, and 2019 will be the first year that a SUP competition will take place as part of the games.

“It’s pretty amazing to qualify and be part of the first games ever for the sport,” said Augaitis. “It’s also a big step for the sport and to hopefully get stand-up paddleboarding into the 2024 Olympics.”

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