Heat waves in the Wildwater Region

Today on the 3rd day of the ICF Canoe Freestyle World Championships we watched a big day of heats for the K1 Men category. 85 of the best athletes from all over the world demonstrated their best combos on the strong and impressive Garburator waves of the Ottawa River.

Contenders to watch are: multiple World Champion Dane Jackson from USA, local stars Joel Kowalski and Kalob Grady, Peter Csonka (SVK), silver medallist in 2013, Tomasz Czaplicki (POL) bronze medallist in 2013. Also, Nick Troutman (CAN), James Bebbington (GBR), Mathieu Dumoulin (FRA) and Joaquim Fontane (ESP)

Team Uganda is the only representative from the African continent with 4 athletes engaged in the K1Men category. Sam Ward (UGA) competing in heat #8 explained "I have mostly been coaching Uganda team since 2009 and now I changed to compete again, it's a time balanced and I've been here for a while." He said. He added about his team "Guys haven't been here for that long because we had such issues with VISAs, they only got here less than a week ago so they had very little practice time." Uganda team is used to train on the Nile River, one of the best freestyle venue in the world and where athletes come from all over the world to share and experiment. He continued "Garburator is quite a specific feature, very narrow with a lot of foam so it's quite a challenge to adapt everything, especially when you have only a few days practice !". And he finished "they're used to this format of competition and even if they haven't competed internationally like this before, they have been competing every year on the Nile River festival doing very well. It's all about experience and fun for them!"

After the first half of the preliminaries, British athlete Brendan Orton performed 2 impressive runs, each scoring over 1100 for a total of 2290 points. 2nd, 3rd and 4th came national stars Devin Scott, Kalob Grady and Joel Kowalski with respectively 1966.66, 1860 and 1766.66 points. 5th was silver medallist from 2013 Worlds, the Slovakian Peter Csonka with 1126.67 points.

Kowalski said "Not that much pressure here and more fun than anything. We have competition here every year so I'm used to the pressure and I approached this competition the same way I do with others.  Normally here in the summer I take people rafting and kayaking, but because of the World Championships my Dad let me take some time off!"

Strong Canadians on home grounds today as the 5 athletes with impressive technic and moves all managed to qualify for the quarters finals. Unfortunately for the polish freestyler Tomasz Czaplicki, he won't be able to renew his previous performance from 2013 World Championships as he didn't qualified the quarters, same ending for James Bebbington (GBR), Clay Wright (USA) or 2013 Junior medallist Hunter Katich (USA).

See official results here: PDF iconmen_k1_prelimimaries_official_results.pdf

20 athletes qualified for the Quarter finals that will be held Friday 4th am.

Canoe Freestyle
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