The 2012 ICF Junior & U23 Canoe Slalom World Championships wrapped up on Sunday in Wausau, Wisconsin with 18yr old Jessica Fox (AUS) winning her third gold medal of the Championships.
The Australian retained the Junior Women’s K1 World Champion title she had won in Foix, France at the 2010 Junior Championships.
The Junior Women’s K1 gold medal adds on to the two other medals she won yesterday; a gold in the Junior Women’s C1 event and another one in the U23 Women’s C1 Team event. Winning three gold medals makes Fox the most successful paddler at the Championships.
The Czech Republic continued to pile up the medals as Katerina Kudejova (CZE) won the U23 Women’s K1 final ahead of Rosalyn Lawrence (AUS) who was the other favourite to win the event but finished in 6th place. Kudejova who was the 2009 U23 European Champion can now add this world title to her list of achievements.
"I was very nervous before my run," said Kudejova. "I didn’t feel so good before but once I got started it was good!"
Also missing out on a medal was Caroline Queen (USA) who will be flying to London tonight to begin her preparations for the Olympic Games.
"There was a lot of good stuff in there," said the reflective Queen. "My big mistake was I went for a direct in gate 10 which I did not do in the semi-final, but I figured it’s the final. The gate itself was not bad but it made me late for another gate."
Cindy Poeschel (GER) who was a bronze medallist at the Cardiff World Cup finished in 2nd place whereas France picked up their second individual medal when Nouria Newman won the bronze medal.
While most athletes begin to paddle at a very young age, some like Sebastian Rossi (ARG) begin a bit later in age but still manage to produce great results. The Argentinean only began to paddle 4 years ago but today clocked the fastest time when he crossed the finish line. The 18 year old then waited in his boat in the finish area until the 6 other boats came through. He was eventually relegated from a place on the podium into 4th place by Franz Anton, the last paddler to come down the course to win the silver medal.
Roberto Colazingari (ITA) could not contain his excitement at winning the U23 Men’s C1 final; his first win this year, the Italian said that everything just seemed to fall into place.
"I was good, the feeling was good, everything was good, the day is just perfect," exclaimed Colazingari.
Also in a similar position to Rossi was Great Britain’s Kimberley Woods who was the second paddler down the course in the Junior Women’s C1 final. The 15yr old held that number 1 position until Karolina Galuskova (CZE) gave her tremendous run to win the silver medal. Woods said:
"I knew once I was in 3rd place and Jess was coming down, that I was going to finish in 4th because she is an amazing paddler.
"But just holding that 1st place for so long and coming 9th in the semis, it’s just so surprising and I didn’t expect it…but it was a good run and I am happy."
Viktoria Wolffhardt (AUT) had a disappointing day yesterday. After having consistently finishing in the top 3 in almost all her runs at the Championships the Austrian placed 4th in the Junior Women’s C1. Today Wolffhardt salvaged an otherwise very good week at the Championships by demonstrating her strength in the flatter areas of the course. The bronze medallist said:
"I am really happy because yesterday I was kind of disappointed and sad coming in 4th place but I had a lot of time with my family and it was really nice, and we talked a lot and tried not to focus all the time on paddling but on something else.
"I think it’s important not to think all the time about your performance at races because there is also a life out of this competition and that’s very important."
Cedric Joly (FRA) won France’s first individual gold medal of the Championships when he won the Junior Men’s C1 final. The entire team was down at the finish line to celebrate the win and Joly’s coach even ended up in the water himself.
After several photo sessions with and another dip in the water, the out of breath Joly said, "I have been waiting in the boat for 14minutes to see the other boats coming down, it was so hard."
Assessing his overall performance at the Championships Jolly said, "We had two days between the semi-finals and the finals and it was very very hard. I had the best time in the qualifications but too much penalties, but I believed in me."
Dennis Soeter (GER) continued his fine form this week finishing in 2nd place with Marek Cepek won another medal for the Czech Republic.
Next up are the Olympic Games in London with the Canoe Slalom competition kicking of the Canoeing programme at the Games on the 29th July.
|ICF Photo Gallery|
Use our classifieds to find a job or promote a vacancy
Your local club can help you improve your paddling
Let us help you with the first steps
Join our Newsletter to get the latest news and info