Reigning champs take a back seat on final day of World titles

Upsets were the order of the day on the final day of competition at the ICF Wildwater Canoe World Championships in Switzerland on Sunday, with reigning world champions in all but one sprint category defeated on the picturesque Muotathal course.

Frenchwoman Manon Hostens took the gold in the women’s K1, relegating Czech Martina Satkova, a four-time gold medallist on the opening two days of competition, to the silver, while fellow Frenchwoman and defending world champion, Claire Bren, took third.

“This is so amazing, in 2016 and 2017 I finished second and this is my first world title in K1,” Hostens said.

“It’s so amazing. Martina has had such a wonderful world championships, so I’m very very happy."

France Manon Hostens wildwater Switzerland

In the men’s C1, Slovenia’s Blaz Cof finished ahead of Czech pair Marek Rygel and Ondrej Rolenc, denying the latter a fourth world title, but a first ever title for the Slovenian.

“It’s pretty amazing, I still can’t believe it,” Cof said.

“I was really struggling over the past couple of days down the course, the water level is really low down the river. I changed my course after yesterday so I really didn’t know what to expect.

“When I saw the result at the end, I knew it was enough for a medal, but I wasn’t sure which one.”

Slovenia Nejc Znidarcic wildwater Switzerland

Anze Urankar of Slovenia went into the K1 as the defending world champion, but he also had to settle for third. He was denied gold by fellow Slovenian and former world champion, Nejc Znidarcic, with another Slovenian, Vid Debeljak, second.

“This meant a lot to me, it’s my third world title, I’ve wanted it for six years now,” Znidarcic said.

“I’ve been five time second, every time I’ve made a little mistake. So now I’m really emotional. I usually aren’t, but this time it means a lot.

“I’m not disappointed when I finish second, if I put in a good run. And today was a good run.”

And in the women’s C1, France’s defending world title holder, Claire Haab, finished eighth, with gold going to Italy’s Cecilia Panato, silver to Czech Marie Nemcova, and bronze to the Czech paddler Satkova.

“I’m very satisfied with my race, I’m very tired but very happy,” Panato said.

“I won the C2 race with my sister, but this was my first individual title.

Italy Cecilia Panato wildwater world championships

The only defending world champions to hold on to their titles were the C2 pair of Stephane Santamaria and Quentin Dazeur of France. They headed a French trifecta of Ancelin Gourjault and Lucas Pazat, and Tony Debray and Louis Lapointe.

France Santamaria Dazeur wildwater Switzerland 

While the Czechs were unable to win any individual sprint titles, they did pick up team gold in the women’s K1 and the men’s C1. Slovenia took the gold in the men’s K1 teams event.

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