Great Britain, Brazil and Spain all picked up two more world titles while there were also wins for Ukraine and Chile on a busy final day of competition at the ICF Paracanoe World Championships in Szeged, Hungary, on Saturday.

Great Britain’s Charlotte Henshaw continued her merry romp through the garden of world titles with a 10th crown while Brazil’s Fernando Rufino de Paulo, Ukraine’s Vladyslav Yepifanov and GB’s Laura Sugar all successfully defended their 2023 championship wins.

Yepifanov showed his win in the highly competitive VL3 last year was no fluke, once again holding off a crack field to take the title.

“This confirms for me that I deserve this title, I have worked really hard for it,” Yepifanov said.

“If I can win in Paris it will mean a lot for Ukraine.”

Chile Paracanoe Katherinne Wollerman Szeged 2024

24 hours after winning her ninth world title, Great Britain’s Charlotte Henshaw chalked up her 10th, this time in the women’s KL2. The late withdrawl of British teammate Emma Wiggs relieved some of the pressure for Henshaw, but she once again showed she is the athlete to beat in Paris.

“I couldn’t have imagined getting to that number or anywhere close to it when I took up this sport in 2017, I’m just incredibly grateful that I’m still able to be here amongst the best in the world,” Henshaw said.

“It’s always tricky when there’s a last minute name change, but we prepare for all sorts of eventualities. I was racing out there with both of us in mind and doing it for the team.”

British teammate Laura Sugar is also on track to defend her Paralympic crown in the women’s KL3, holdoing out her teammate Hope Gordon.

Ukraine Yepifanov Paracanoe Szeged 2024

“You don’t know what to expect when you come into the first race of the season, and there’s been a bit of up and down training, so it was great to get out there and race,” Sugar said.

“For me, even in my previous sports of athletics, I was always good at tapering and good at peaking, I thrive with racing, so I’ve just got to try and build each day.”

Brazil looks set for another successful Paralympics, with Fernando Rufino de Paulo taking gold in the men’s VL2, and teammate Luis Cardoa da Silva returning to the top of the podium in the men’s KL1.

“I feel so happy to be back on the podium again, the last time I got a gold medal was 2019, and now I’m back with a gold,” da Silva said.

“I’ve been training a lot, I’m so happy to give my country back a medal.”

Great Britain Charlotte Henshaw Szeged 2024

Chile’s Katherinne Wollerman has been knocking on the door for a win in the women’s KL1 for several years, and on Saturday finally broke through for an emotional win over Ukraine’s multiple world champion Maryna Mazhula, and German Paralympic champion Edina Mueller.

“I know Maryna and Edina will always be good, so I have to keep working hard,” Wollerman said.

“I want to devote this win to my mother.”

Spain’s Juan Valle had a valuable pre-Games win in the men’s KL3, while in the non-Paralympic VL1 it was fellow Spaniard David Gonzalez who got the win.

Pics by Bence Vekassy

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