Birthday arrives early for Czaplicki at freestyle world cup

Poland’s Tomasz Czaplicki caused a minor boilover on the final day of the opening ICF Freestyle World Cup event in Sort, Spai, beating two-time world champion Dane Jackson in the final of the men’s K1 event.

And France’s Marlene Devillez took the gold in the women’s K1, adding to her world championship silver from Argentina last year.

Czaplicki, who will turn 30 this weekend, gave himself an early birthday present in Wednesday’s final.

The Pole has long been considered one of the most exciting paddlers on the world tour, and got a chance to show what he is capable of in Wednesday’s K1 final by posting a score of 1000, to finish a full 200 points clear of USA’s Jackson.

Spain’s Joaquim Fontane, the reigning world champion, posted 745 to finish third.

Marlene Devillez won silver at last year’s ICF Freestyle World Championships in Argentina, but in the absence of British gold medallist Claire O’Hara was able to secure her K1 World Cup title on Wednesday afternoon.

Devillez finished on 520 points, ahead of Poland’s Zofia Tula on 466.67, with world championship bronze medallist Hitomi Takaku in third place. Takaku had led through the qualifying stages of the competition, but was unable to finish off in the final.

In the men’s C1, Jean-Yves Moustrou headed a French trifecta that saw junior world champion, Tom Dolle, win silver, and Tom Lay take the bronze.

Moustrou finished with a score of 513.33, Dolle earned 340, with Lay just a shade behind on 336.67.

There were two gold medals for British canoeists, with Ottilie Robinson-Shaw winning the women’s junior K1 final, and Alex Edwards winning the men’s squirt final.

Robinson-Shaw, the current junior world champion, showed the form that took her to gold in posting 270 points, well ahead of Spanish duo Ona Baro Regue (90) and Arbolo Rafel Olivo (20).

Edwards dug deep to win the squirt final, his 823.33 points too much for Polish duo Tomasz Czaplicki (650) and Bartosz Czauderna (560).

And in the women’s squirt final, it was a Japanese quinella with Yoshiko Suematsu taking gold with 770 points, and Hitomi Takaku taking her secondmedal of the day, a silver, with 597.

Poland’s Izabela Fidzinska took bronze with 336.67.

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