Five athletes all put on a strong showing in finals on day five of the Junior and U23 World Championships in Krakow, Poland.
Jonny Dickson (Independent) was closest to getting on the podium, finishing fourth in the junior men’s K1 final, with two fellow Brits, Ben Haylett (Holme Pierrepont) and Etienne Chappell (Seren Dwr) also lining up amongst the strong field of international juniors.
Putting down a fantastic clean run of 89.87, Jonny looked to be heading towards the medals, but two storming runs from Anatole Delassus of France and Jakub Krejc of the Czech Republic, which would have gold in the U23 race, pipped him and meant he finished in fourth place.
Ben put down the pace worthy of the top three, but two penalties on upstream gates 8 and 15 added four seconds to his total time and down into sixth position.
Looking at the positives of the week in Poland and vowing to fight back, Ben said:
The final didn’t go according to plan for Etienne. After showing his raw speed in the semi-finals despite touched gates, Etienne was extremely quick again on the tough Krakow course and was looking at fantastic time. Unfortunately for the Welsh paddler, a 50-point penalty was added to his finals time and came down in 9th place.
Speak after the race he said:
Four gate touches from Bethan Forrow (Lee Valley) meant she finished seventh in the women’s junior C1 final. Going down the semi-final in storming fashion to finish second, Beth went down the course second to last, but clipped 1, 3 and 8 to take her away from the medals, despite her speed being worthy of the top three.
Chris Bowers (Stafford and Stone) has reasons to be positive after finishing sixth in the U23 K1 men’s final against a stacked line-up of athletes. Qualifying through the semi-finals in ninth, Chris picked up two penalties on upstream gates 8 and 15 to take him out the running for a podium place.
Another final to back up his fourth place finish at the Lee Valley World Cup earlier in the season, Chris’ time of 92.19 and the week just gone gives the Stafford and Stone athlete a few thoughts as he looks to take on World Cup Final and the World Championships later in the season.
Elsewhere in the same event, Zac Allin (Independent) failed to make the top 10 needed to progress to the final. He picked up a 50-point penalty for missing gate 7 and required a paddle back to gate 11, which unfortunately dashed his hopes of qualifying to the next stage, finishing in 154.59.
Ellis Miller (Lee Valley) was extremely close to joining Beth Forrow in the junior C1 women’s final, but three gate touches, including 1 and 3, left her on the brink of qualification in 11th place with a time of 120.13.
Ailsa Gourlay (Strathallan) finished 24th on her international semi-final. One of the first athletes in the round to take on the course, the Scot endured a tricky start by touching the first three gates. She kept her composure to put down a time of 141.80.
The U23 C1 women’s trio of Sophie Ogilvie (CR Cats), Phoebe Spicer (Lee Valley) and Hannah Owen (Independent) all missed out on the morning’s final.
After coming seventh in the U23 K1W final the day before, Sophie Ogilvie was the highest finishing Brit in the event, coming 17th. The CR Cats paddler was quick in terms of pace, and was fast enough for a top five finish, but she clipped four gates on her way down, adding eight seconds to her 113.91 total which took the Scot out the running.
Lee Valley’s Phoebe Spicer and Hannah Owen finished 26th and 27th respectively, both the pair picking up a two-second penalty a piece.
U23 Men’s K1
Chris Bowers (Stafford and Stone) 6th in final
Zac Allin (Independent) 40th in semi-final
U23 Women’s C1
Sophie Ogilvie (CR Cats) – 17th in semi-final
Phoebe Spicer (Lee Valley) – 26th in semi-final
Hannah Owen (Independent) – 27th in semi-final
Junior Men's K1
Etienne Chappell (Seren Dwr) – 9th in the final
Jonny Dickson (Independent) – 4th in the final
Ben Haylett (Holme Pierrepont) – 6th in the final
Junior Women's C1
Bethan Forrow (Lee Valley) – 7th in final
Ellis Miller (Lee Valley) - 11th in semi-final
Ailsa Gourlay (Strathallan) – 24th in semi-final