American Dane Jackson and Japan’s Hitomi Takaku are the athletes to beat when the first finals of the ICF Canoe Freestyle World Cup in Sort, Spain, get underway.

Jackson, a two-time K1 World Champion, finished well clear of a quality field on Tuesday on a score of 1225.00, with Poland’s Tomasz Czaplicki (876.67) finishing second and Japan’s Kazuya Matsunaga (720.00) third.

Spain’s Joaquim Fontane, the current World Champion who relegated Jackson to silver in San Juan last year, qualified in fourth place with 666.67 points.

Japan’s Hitomi Takaku continues to impress, qualifying first for today’s final in the women’s K1 with a score of 483.33, ahead of Poland’s Zofia Tula on 436.67 and Germany’s Anne Huebner on 267.67.

Takaku won bronze at last year’s World Championships in Argentina. France’s Marlene Devillez, a silver medallist in San Juan, qualified in fifth place for today’s final. The absence of Great Britain’s World Champion, Claire O’Hara, has thrown the race for gold in Sort wide open.

In the junior men’s event, Frenchmen have dominated the top three positions, although current world champion Tom Dolle had to settle for second place in qualifying.

Valentin Parasme, fourth at last year’s World Championships, posted the highest semi-final score, while Thibaut Amalbert rounded out the top three.

Freestyle World Cup Sort 2018


Canoe Freestyle