The incredible balancing act that American teenager Sage Donnelly has been undertaking all year will come to a head in San Juan, Argentina, on Saturday, when she starts favourite in the women’s junior K1 final at the 2017 ICF Freestyle World Championships.

17-year-old Donnelly qualified first for the final with a score of 620, ahead of Great Britain’s Ottilie Robinson-Shaw on 546.67.

“I’m really stoked with my run,” Donnelly said.

“I’m really stoked to have put things together, and San Juan has been amazing and I can’t wait for the finals.

“It’s definitely been especially nerve-wracking this year, because I am coming here to defend my title.”

Donnelly has had a busy 2017, a regular on the canoe slalom circuit, competing in extreme slalom, and somehow squeezing in some freestyle training.

“I’ve been training in slalom all year, so I haven’t been going into freestyle super hard, but I got here a month and a half ago, I’ve been training really hard and just working through all those doubts that I did have and getting more and more confident,” she said.

Donnelly has also had to fit in an education, undertaking an online-college course. She’s been getting A’s and B’s, so it would seem she has been able to get the balance right.

Pics by Peter Holcombe

<a href='/webservice/athleteprofile/60119' data-id='60119' target='_blank' class='athlete-link'>Sage Donnelly</a> USA Freestyle World Championships San Juan

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