Frenchman Charles Ferrion continued his incredible wildwater season with another title, Slovenia’s Ana Steblaj broke through for the biggest result of her career, and Czech Maria Nemcova won three final day gold medals at the ICF World Championships in the Czech Republic on Saturday.

22-year-old Ferrion has already collared the world and European wildwater canoe sprint titles this year, and on Saturday added the world U23 title to his collection. He also won silver in the U23 canoe classic race earlier in the week.

Slovenia’s Ana Steblaj caused something of a boilover by winning the women’s U23 wildwater kayak sprint title, relegating the Czech Republic’s reigning world and European champion, Marie Nemcova, to the silver medal. Steblaj finished second behind Nemcova at the European titles, but she could not be denied on the Roudnice and Labem course.

Nemcova did not need to wait long to find herself back on the top podium, causing a boilover of her own by relegating France’s reigning world and European canoe sprint title holder, Laura Fontaine, to second in the women’s wildwater canoe sprint final.

The Czech finished third behind Fontaine at the world titles, and could only manage fifth in the European competition, but with the home crowd behind her on Saturday Nemcova got the chance to take the top position.

Nemcova’s gold was one of 13 won by Czech athletes on Saturday, including a team sweep of the team sprint titles, where Nemcova won another two gold medals.

Anna Retkova got the final day of competition off to a winning start for the host nation with gold in the junior women’s kayak sprint final.

Alva Beier kept the gold medals coming by winning the junior men’s canoe sprint, while Matyas Novak saluted first in the men’s junior kayak. There was also gold for Mikulas Zapletal in the men’s U23 kayak sprint, the biggest win in the career of the 22-year-old so far.

Czechs Hynek Mika and Tomas Cardoselli followed up their victory in the junior men’s C2 classic race with gold in the C2 sprint race on Saturday, rounding out the success of the host nation on the final day.

France’s Eve Vitali-Goubert finished ninth in the women’s canoe sprint at both this year’s World and European championships, but on Saturday turned in the best race of her career so far to take the world junior title.

In canoe double races, Manoel and Tanguy Roussin from France won the men’s U23 canoe sprint, while Switzerland’s Hannah Mueller and Mona Clavadetschier won the women’s U23 C2 title.

In team sprint racing, the Czech hosts won all seven gold on offer. Maria Nemcova picked up another two gold medals as part of the triumphant U23 women’s canoe and kayak sprint victories, while there were also Czech wins in the men’s U23 and junior kayak and canoe.

Alva Beier picked up his second gold of the day as part of the Czech junior men’s canoe sprint team.

The powerful Czechs finished the competition with victory in the men’s U23 C2 teams competition.

You can find all the results from the 2023 ICF Junior and U23 Wildwater World Championships here.


Wildwater Canoeing