Building on the success of the team events, the U23 squad delivered some excellent results in the individual racing to qualify ten boats to Friday and Saturday’s semi-finals.
After his fourth place finish at World Cup 1 in Lee Valley, U23 K1 men’s Chris Bowers (Stafford and Stone) was back in international action in Krakow after putting down a strong run to make it through to Saturday’s semi-final. The senior athlete looked quick from the off and was set for a top five heats finish. However, a couple of touches on gates 19 and 20 took him down to 19th, but still comfortably through to the next round.
Zac Allin will join him after a storming run in the second round of heats. The independent paddler initially went top in 96.91 including a two-second penalty, and eventually finished sixth to secure the necessary top ten finish.
David Paterson (Manchester) unfortunately missed out on semi-final spot after coming 13th in the second run against a stacked field of athletes.
2018 Junior European Champion Nikita Setchell (Holme Pierrepont) and Megan Hamer-Evans (Seren Dwr), who came sixth at the U23 European Championships last week, both qualified directly through to the U23 K1 women’s semi-finals.
Nikita, who has made the step up to the U23s this season, delivered a strong time of 108.10, including a touch on gate 15 to finish in 14th and progress to the next round. Megan finished a couple of places above her British teammate in 12th. With a time of 107.77, the welsh paddler nicked gate number 8 but kept a cool head to get down solid time.
Enjoying a successful season so far in the senior team, Sophie Ogilvie (CR Cats) needed a second run in the U23 women’s K1 heats to ensure her progression into Friday’s semi-finals. After a missed gate took her out the reckoning during the first run, she really made amends on her second attempt, putting down a storming time of 106.34 including a touch to progress to her first World kayak semi-finals.
Sam Ibbotson (Holme Pierrepont) and Peter Linksted (Stirling & Falkirk) put down solid second run performances in the U23 C1 men’s heats. Too many penalties, including a 50 for Sam, meant the pair had to go again an hour later, but they certainly made up for it.
Going down early, Peter put down a strong time of 100.17 including a two second touch, and that run kept him near the top for the entirety of the heats to finish third. Sam was one of the last to go down and just pipped his British teammate into second place, also with a two second penalty and a time of 98.77.
It was so close for Will Smith (Winchester & District) who missed out on a semi-final place by an excruciating 0.01 seconds. Three penalties, including a touch on the final gate, meant the Winchester athlete just missed out on a semi-final place by the tightest of margins.
There was a full house of U23 C1 women through to the semi-finals on Saturday, with Sophie Ogilvie qualifying her second boat from the first run. Having already taken on two runs, Sophie kept her composure with just one touch and qualified in the final 20th position to make it through with a time of 118.49.
Phoebe Spicer (Lee Valley) and Hannah Owen (Independent) needed second runs, but the pair both made it safely through to the semis after clean runs. Phoebe finished 5th with a time of 118.36, whilst her British teammate Hannah was four seconds behind in 9th place with a time 122.71.
Tomorrow sees the turn of the juniors take on their individual heats. Follow www.britishcanoeing.org.uk/live for all the action.
U23 Men’s K1 Heats
Chris Bowers (Stafford and Stone) – First run 19th and qualifies for Saturday’s semi-final
Zachary Allin (Independent) - First run 65th, Second run 6th and qualifies for Saturdays semi-final
David Paterson (Manchester) – First run 47th, Second run 13th to finish 43rd overall
U23 Women’s K1 Heats
Megan Hamer-Evans (Seren Dwr) – First run 12th and qualifies for Friday’s semi-final
Nikita Setchell (Holme Pierrepont) – First run 14th and qualifies for Friday’s semi-final
Sophie Ogilvie (CR Cats) – First run 48th, Second run 2nd and qualifies for Friday’s semi-final
U23 Men’s C1 Heats
Sam Ibbotson (Holme Pierrepont) – First run 43rd, Second run 2nd and qualifies for Friday’s semi-final
Will Smith (Winchester & district) – First run 22nd, Second run 11th to finish 31st overall
Peter Linksted (Stirling & Falkirk) – First run 25th, Second run 3rd and qualifies for Friday’s semi-final
U23 Women’s C1 Heats
Phoebe Spicer (Lee Valley) - First run 28th, Second run 5th and qualifies for Saturdays semi-final
Sophie Ogilvie (CR Cats) – First run 20th and qualifies for Saturday’s semi-final
Hannah Owen (Independent) - First run 35th, Second run 9th and qualifies for Saturdays semi-final