Preliminary rounds of the men’s senior and junior kayak surface competition saw high scoring rides from many of the world’s top athletes, and another exciting performance from Japanese junior Nanase Okazaki.

Okazaki finished almost 450 points ahead of Matteo Williams (NZL) followed by Finnish paddler Onni Eronen, the top three medalists of the previous World Cup.

The men’s preliminaries saw three athletes posting scores of more than 3000, with reigning American world champion Dane Jackson in the lead followed by Canada’s Nick Troutman and local paddler Mason Hargrove scoring again the highest rides of the day.

Hargrove started kayaking seven years ago, growing up just on the other side of the river in Phenix City, Alabama. It was his father who first discovered the sport, watching paddlers heading down the river in Columbus.

A young Mason thought what his father was doing was pretty “cool”, and pretty soon his whole family got involved in the sport and started running non-profit coaching lessons on the river.

Now the Hargrove family get to welcome the world to their backyard, and Mason is super excited to show off what can be done on the incredible features on the Chattahoche River.

Younger sister  15-year old Makinley-Kate Hargrove is competing in the K1 junior women’s class and won gold at the opening world cup this week.

USA Mason Hargrove freestyle Columbus 2022

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