Dolle lives up to reputation with world championship win
After two months of nerves and sleepless nights, French teenager Tom Dolle has lived up to expectations with a world junior title at the 2017 ICF Freestyle Kayak World Championships in San Juan, Argentina.
17-year-old Tom Dolle started the shortest of short-priced favourites in the five-man junior final, and had set himself the goal of cracking 1700 in the title decider.
He achieved his goal with his first ride, pumping his fists after judges awarded him 1718.33. It turned out to be the winning score.
“I’m so excited, I can’t really believe it,” Dolle said.
“I felt good after the first ride, but I knew the other guys could still do better so. But I was less nervous for my second and third ride after that.”
Great Britain’s Alex Walters took the silver medal with 1496.67 points, with fellow Brit Harry Price third with 1216.67.
Dolle has had to carry the mantle of the next big thing in freestyle kayak, and admitted it had weighed heavy in the lead-up to San Juan.
“I’ve been nervous for the past two months, and I didn’t sleep much last night,” he said.
“This morning I just watched videos of creek boating, so it was a bit different.”
With the gold safely in his keeping, Dolle has already set himself a new goal.
“2000 points I guess,” he said.
“It’s hard, I don’t know if I can do that.”