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Canoe Slalom World Cup Series Resumes in Markkleeberg

The ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup series resumed today in Markkleeberg, Germany, after an eight week break. And with the senior British team opting to focus on final preparations for the vital Olympic selection events coming up next month, it gave many of the up and coming young paddlers a chance to gain further experience on the international stage. 

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Tom Abbott qualifies for third successive World Cup semi final in Men's C1

Today’s heats in all four boat classes saw representation from the 12-strong British team. Acquitting themselves well against world-class opposition, an impressive eight boats progressed to the semi finals over the weekend.

In the men’s canoe single (C1) Tom Abbott (Mold) secured his third successive World Cup semi final place with an excellent first run performance. He posted a clean 101.52 seconds to finish in 16th place and go straight through to tomorrow’s semi final.

Both William Smith (Winchester & District) and William Coney (Llandysul Paddlers) just missed the top 20 cut on first run to finish 22nd and 24th respectively. However, with more experience now at this elevated level, they improved on previous World Cup performances this season to both qualify for the semi final with faster second run times in 9th and 10th.

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Megan Hamer-Evans also qualifies for her third successive World Cup semi final

Megan Hamer-Evans (Seren Dwr) also showed she was making her exposure to international competition count and also qualified for her third successive World Cup semi final in the women’s kayak single (K1). A good clean run of 105.84 seconds saw her secure an excellent 12th place the first time down the course.

18-year-old Nikita Setchell (Holme Pierrpont) from Hailsowen made her World Cup debut today and had a rollercoaster first run. Going off second, she was up a huge 15.22 seconds on the second split time despite a touch on gate 8, however she then came unstuck on the bottom of the course to miss gate 19 and finish in 44th place. Unphased by the experience she quickly got things back on track and impressively snatched a semi final place in 8th, leaving a number of hardened internationals in her wake.

Similarly, Amber Maslen (Independent) also missed a gate on first run to finish 32nd,  however she fared less well on second run and a 14th place was not enough to see the Scot go through.

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Ellis Miller qualifies for the Women's C1 semi final on her World Cup debut

The afternoon session started with the women’s C1 heats, with the British trio all from Lee Valley Paddlesports Club, giving a significant nod to the Lee Valley Olympic legacy from London 2012.

Despite Bethan Forrow being the athlete with the senior pedigree from 2018, it was World Cup debutant Ellis Miller who made an immediate impact. The junior paddler from Hoddesdon put together an accomplished first run, to finish 16th in 119.96 seconds and claim a semi final place.

However Bethan Forrow soon bounced back from a 50 second penalty on her first run to dominate the second and take the win, some 3.67 seconds ahead of Austria's Viktoria Woolffhardt to join Ellis in the semi final. Phoebe Spicer unfortunately couldn’t improve on her first run time and finished in 36th place overall, but she will have undoubtedly learnt from the experience.

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Veteran paddler, Huw Swetnam qualifies for Men's K1 semi final

The men’s K1 heats concluded the day’s racing and there was good news for veteran paddler, Huw Swetnam (Eye Tee), who clinched the last semi final spot after two consistent, clean runs down the course.

There was disappointment however for Ciaran Lee Edwards (Llandysul Paddlers) who was unable to make it three World Cup semi finals in a row. He missed the first run cut by less than a second and then a touch, coupled with a slower run time, nudged him out of proceedings in 15th. Extreme Slalom specialist, Etienne Chappell also just missed out, despite improving significantly on his second run to finish 14th.

The action continues tomorrow (Saturday 31 August) with semi finals and finals in the Men’s C1 and Women’s K1 starting at 0800hrs UK time.


Men’s C1 Heats

Tom Abbott (Mold) – 1st run 16th and qualifies for semi final

William Smith (Winchester & District)) – 1st run 22nd; 2nd run 9th and qualifies for semi final

William Coney (Llandysul Paddlers) – 1st run 24th; 2nd run 10th and qualifies for semi final

Women’s K1 Heats

Megan Hamer-Evans (Seren Dwr) – 1st run 12th and qualifies for semi final

Nikita Setchell (Holme Pierrepont) – 1st run 44th; 2nd run 8th and qualifies for semi final

Amber Maslen (Independent) – 1st run 32nd; 2nd run 12th to finish 32nd overall

Women’s C1 Heats

Ellis Miller (Lee Valley Paddlesports) – 1st run 16th and qualifies for semi final

Bethan Forrow (Lee Valley Paddlesports) – 1st run 36th; 2nd run 1st and qualifies for semi final

Phoebe Spicer (Lee Valley Paddlesports) – 1st run 29th; 2nd run 16th to finish 36th overall

Men’s K1 Heats

Huw Swetnam – (Eye Tee) 1st run 37th; 2nd run 10th and qualifies for semi final

Etienne Chappell – 1st run 57th; 2nd run 14th to finish 46th overall

Ciaran Lee-Edwards (Llandysul Paddlers) - 1st run 34th; 2nd run 15th to finish 45th overall


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British Canoeing LIVE Blog:

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Live stream and VOD also available from: