August 6-21, 2022
Meridian Credit Union fr


by: Carol Phillips

Fresh off gold at the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championship, Lilley Osende finds the top of the podium in Niagara

Julia Lilley Osende is racing on a buzz.

The 21-year-old from Dartmouth opened the flatwater competition on Tuesday with a gold for Nova Scotia in the women’s C1-500 metres at the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games.

That follows up her gold medal at the world championships in Halifax earlier this month as part of the C4-500m crew with Sophia Jensen, Katie Vincent, and fellow CSG Team Nova Scotia paddler Sloan MacKenzie who takes to the water on Wednesday.

“It sets a really good tone for the rest of our team,” Lilley Osende said. “Nova Scotia has such a strong paddling team. (Four) of us were just on the world championship team so to set a good tone for the rest of the week I think is a good way to start.”

Her win opened the floodgate for Nova Scotia, which ended the first day of competition with five gold medals. Andrew Billard, 20, of Hammond Plains, won the C1-500m, Alex Canning, 21, of Dartmouth, won the K1-500m, Ian Gaudet, 18, and Cole Parsons, 19, both of Dartmouth, won the K2-1000m, and Ava Carew, 19, of Dartmouth, and Jessica Mackay, 21, of Halifax, won the C2-1000m.

Lilley Osende is next on the water Wednesday when she will join forces with MacKenzie, 20, as well as Jacy Grant, 19, and Mackay as part of the Nova Scotia IC4-500m crew. 

“Honestly, I was just as nervous as I was for my race in the world championship,” said Lilley Osende, when asked about how she approached her race on Tuesday. “Every race is a new race and a new opportunity to do your best so I’m just excited to be here and be able to race singles.”

This was Lilley Osende’s only singles race of the Games. She will next compete in the C2-500m, IC4-200m, as well as the IC4-500m.

“My goal was to get a new fastest time, which I did,” she said. “That’s one goal I’m happy to have accomplished this week. Going on, it’s to continue to have good races with teammates and the rest of my crewmates.”

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