Freestyle showdown on the Ottawa River

Freestyle action started yesterday Monday 31st August on the Ottawa River with the Squirt Boat Men and Women categories. Claire O'Hara from Great Britain dominated again confirming her status at the top of the discipline. Followed by the 2 japanese athletes Takatu and Ishida. Ishida also in good shape 2 years after her 2nd rank at the 2013 ICF World Championships.

 In the men category, Clay Wright (USA) who won the title in 2013 this time ended up 2nd right after his compatriot Stephen Wright who, by the way, competed in Squirt Boat Category for the 1st time "I was an ultimate for the team, not even planning on competing but the other guy dropped out and it was all about having fun" he said. Benjamin White from GBR clinched bronze.

Second day of the Championships continued with heats from 3 categories : Open Canoe Men, K1 Junior Women and K1 Junior Men.

The 3 medalists from last ICF Freestyle World Championships in 2013 in Nantahala Gorge in the OC1 category (in order, Jordan Poffenberger from the USA, his teammate Dane Jackson and Jez Jezz from Australia) will show off their best moves again this year and try to outscore their oponents to climb on the podium for another time. 100% success for the USA as the 3 teammates, in order, Jordan Poffenberger followed by Dane Jackson and Brad McMillan won their ticket directly for the finals. Also qualified for the finals is national athlete Andrew Hill and Jonas Unterberg from Germany.

As for the K1 Junior Women, winners from 2013 (Stuart from USA, Fontane from Spain and Aldred from Great Britain) are competing this year in the senior category and will then leave their spot to brand new defenders. 10 out of the 12 participants will go for the SemiFinals, including the young and promising Sage Donnelly (USA) as she led the group and finished 1st of the qualification round. Only Claire Parrot (CAN) and Madi Wilson (AUS) were unfortunate on their run and finished their competition there at the preliminaries.

Finaly, in the K1 Junior Men category, Alec Voorhees (USA) will defend his 3rd place from 2013 whereas Hunter Katich (USA) who finished 1st two years ago in Nantahala Gorge will now compete in the senior category. Great Britain and USA again stroke strongly as they qualified 100% of their athletes to the semi-finals. The 10 athletes qualified for the next step are, in order, Hugo Scott (GBR), Alec Voorhees (USA), Kalem Kenedy directly followed by his brother Quinton (CAN), Hugo Anthony (GBR), Charlie Brackpool (GBR), Raphael Scheu (GER), Hayden Voorhees (USA), Michael Roemer (USA) and Fabien Lanao (FRA).

Semis-finals for K1 Junior both Men and Women will be held on friday 4th and finals for Open Canoe on Saturday 5th.

Tomorrow  Wednesday 2nd will continue with the preliminaries in the K1 Men category.

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Bridgitte Hartley (RSA)
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