Maxime Richard shows speed at Wildwater Worlds
Canoe Sprint paddler Maxime Richard (BEL) returned to his wildwater roots to win double gold at the 2016 ICF Wildwater Canoeing Championships that were hosted in the spectacular location of Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The 28-year-old missed out on making the Olympic Games in K1M 200m Canoe Sprint last season in Milan by zero-point-nine-of-a-second.
“I realised I was not a happy athlete on the flatwater and I had to come back to the discipline that I love,” said Richard.
It’s clear that the additional speed gained from Richard’s time focused on the 200m dash paid off as he out sprinted a quality entry to win two gold medals on the white stuff.
The Belgian continued, “I haven’t completed in a flatwater race since the Milan World Championships. I have been fully focused on the wildwater worlds and now I feel at peace with myself.”
France’s Paul Graton collected silver ahead of Slovenian Vid Debeljak in the sprint, whilst Tobias Bond (GER, silver) and Remi Pete (FRA, bronze) followed the Belgian in the K1M Classic.
Britain’s Hannah Brown collected her second world title in the K1W Sprint, in a far tighter race than the men’s contest, where less than half-a-second split the top three.
But it was the Brown, the 2013 champion, who stopped the clock quickest at 52.63.
France was again pushed into second with Manon Hostens winning silver (58.94, +0.02) ahead of Melanie Mathys (SUI) who posted a time of 59.14 (+0.22).
Hostens then went on to take the top step of the podium in the K1W Classic.
The Czech Republic dominated the canoe events winning eight medals, six of which were gold.
Martina Satkova (C1W) won gold in the sprint then silver in the classic behind compatriot Anezka Paloudova.
Ondrej Rolenc followed with gold in the sprint then bronze in the classic. Rolenc was also part of the three-man sprint crew that took gold in the C1M Sprint team.
C2W Classic duo of Radka Valikova and Terezo Brozova also won, as did the Czech’s C2M Classic team.
Croatia’s Emil Milihram broke the Czech’s dominance with gold in the C1M Classic.
Meanwhile France won both the classic and sprint C2M events and the K1W and C2M Sprint Team races.
The Slovenian trio of Nejc Znidarcic, Anze Urankar and Vid Debeljak each posted times quick enough to secure gold in the K1M Sprint team event.
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