8 Janvier 2024

Athletes have expressed their satisfaction in the staging of the 2023 International Canoe Federation Canoe Freestyle World Championships in Columbus, USA despite disruption caused by drought, a survey has found. 

About 80 per cent of respondents gave their overall opinion of the event a rating between a seven and a 10 out of 10 with nine giving it full marks and 18 scoring it a nine. 

Columbus in the state of Georgia played host to the ICF Canoe Freestyle World Championships from October 9 to 14 last year. 

With water levels affected by extreme drought conditions, the ICF Board of Directors approved a proposal to cut the number of heats from four to three to maintain a fair competition following the reduction of water release hours. 

A survey has since been conducted by the ICF Canoe Freestyle Committee to collect the views of those involved in the event. 

A total of 94 people responded to the poll, including 66 athletes as well as coaches, team representatives, support crew and families of athletes and judges. 

Freestyle judges Columbus 2023

The competition facilities were roundly praised with 52.3 per cent rating them between an eight and a 10 and 27.2 per cent giving them either a six or a seven. 

The majority of those participating in the survey gave 10 out of 10 for the location of the event, local facilities, results service and social/side events. 

There was also positive scoring for areas such as the event schedule, the site layout, the quality of judging and the communication before and during the tournament. 

Streaming services and graphics were particularly well received with 72.6 per cent polling between an eight and a 10, while 64.5 per cent rated the social media coverage between a seven and a 10. 

Accommodation, boat storage and on-site facilities were among the other areas that scored highly in the survey, while the majority gave top scores to the Host Organizing Committee. 

The training schedule received the lowest marks with 21.8 per cent giving it a score of just one, while respondents were given the opportunity to highlight areas in which they were really disappointed about and suggested improvements for the future. 

ICF Canoe Freestyle Committee Chair Terry Best said he was pleased with the overall outcome of the satisfaction survey. 

“Under the circumstances, given the challenges we were confronted with, I think the Host Organizing Committee and the ICF pulled off a pretty seamless, exciting event,” said Mr Best. 

“It could have been cancelled due to the lack of water, but instead succeeded to the extent where most people were barely aware of the problems. 

“The Columbus Host Organizing Committee need to be thanked for all of their tremendous behind-the-scenes work, in providing us with the water that we had." 

The full survey can be read here


Recap of the 2023 ICF Canoe Freestyle World Championships

Canoe Freestyle