Great Britain has a new canoe sprint world champion after Reading Canoe Club’s Dan Atkins powered his way to gold on day three of the ICF Junior and U23 Canoe Sprint World Championship in Pitesti, Romania.
Having dominated the heats and semi-finals of the Junior K1 Men’s 200m, Atkins had a tough race in a very close final faced an agonising wait to find out if he was victorious.
But with his characteristic fast start, he maintained his form and speed over the back end of the race to push on and take gold in 36.835, just 0.062 seconds ahead of Germany’s Tom Maassen (36.897) and Spain’s Gabriel Martinez, who was third in 36.907.
Having just missed out on selection last year, Daniel has spent much of the winter training alongside the reigning Olympic Champion over the same distance, Liam Heath MBE. This impact on his first international season has been quite something as Daniel adds World Championship gold to the European title he won last month.
“I feel amazing, I didn’t know if I had it but then I saw the scoreboard and heard the cheers from the crowd and I knew I’d won,” he said. “It was a great race, everyone really stepped up so it was really close. I’m just so happy to have won it.
“I have learnt a lot this year training with Liam and Eric (Farrell MBE). Liam is so calm and focussed. He knows what needs to be done and I’m learning a lot about how he operates. Every time I start against him in training I'm chasing him so I’ve learnt to get out quickly. I’ve also been working on the back end of my race with Eric and he has given me the confidence to just keep pushing.”
Daniel was back on the water this afternoon in the Junior Men K4 500m alongside Philip Miles, Andras Kereszturi and Fred Kemp. They made it safely through to the semi-finals which take place tomorrow after finishing in 7th place in 1.36.443.
Lucy Lee Smith showed great progress this morning, qualifying for her first ever international A Final. After placing in the top three in her semi-final of the K1 U23 Women’s 200m in 45.145, the Norwich paddler finished an excellent seventh place overall crossing the line in 43.302.
Ealing's Trevor Thomson powered to victory in the B Final of the K1 U23 Men's 200m. Having been pipped to the line in his semi-final to finish fourth, the Ealing athlete came back and dominated his B Final race to finish in 36.705.
Enya Dale was second in her B Final of the K1 Junior Women. A strong start by the Oxford Falcons youngster saw her cross the finish in 44.355.
Emily Hewitt backed up a good day on the water yesterday where she made the final of the C1 U23 Women’s 500m event. She raced again this morning in the semi-final of the C1 U23 Women’s 200m, progressing through to the B Final, where she finished fifth in 52.658.
A terrific B Final performance from Alex Aitchison saw her in the mix for the top placings after a strong start. Unfortunately, she was just overtaken on the line to finish in fourth place in the C1 Junior Women 200m.
Lee Valley’s Thomas Lambert was eighth in his semi-final of the C1 Junior Men’s 200m this morning in 45.501
Bethany Gill and Anna Palmer were seventh in their semi-final of the C2 U23 Women's 200m event in this morning’s session. They were back in action in the 500m distance this afternoon and finished sixth in their heat in choppy conditions with a time of 2.31.171.
This afternoon's 500m heats session was a successful one for the Brits who featured in eight races with everyone progressing through to the next round.
Zoe Clark was second in her heat of the Junior K1 Women’s 500m and she is safely through to the semi-finals tomorrow with a time of 2.00.917.
Alix Aitchison and Charlotte Carey were fifth in the semi-finals of the C2 Junior women's 500m in a time of 2:12.835
The K4 squad of Max Littlewood (Nottingham Kayak Club), Noah Dembele (Leaside Canoe Club), Samuel Glover (Falcon Canoe Club) and Peter Quittenton (Lincoln) were fifth in their heat in 1:29.895 to qualify for the semi-finals.
Emma Russell is safely through to the semi-finals of the K1 U23 500m after clocking 2:05.308, finishing third in her heat.
Enya Dale and Zoe Clark were in fine form in the Junior Women's K2 500m heat. They started strongly and maintained their position throughout to finish third place in 2.04.140.
And finally Stuart Bristow was the last of the Brits in action on a packed day of racing. He was out in lane one in the heats of the U23 K1 men’s 500m, but pushed on to finish in fourth in 1.54.540.
Day 3 Results
K1 Junior Men 200m A Final Daniel Atkins (Reading CC) GOLD - 36.835
K1 U23 Women 200m A Final Lucy Lee-Smith (Norwich) 7th - 43.302
K1 U23 Men 200m B Final Trevor Thomson (Ealing CC) - 1st- 36.705
K1 Junior Women 200m B-Final Enya Dale (Oxford Falcon CC) - 2nd - 44.355
C1 Junior Women 200m B-Final Alix Aitchison (Independent) 4th - 52.841
C1 U23 Women 200m B Final Emily Hewitt (Southampton CC) - 5th - 52.658
C2 U23 Women 200m 1st Semi-final Bethany Gill (Holme Pierrepont CC) and Anna Palmer (Longridge) - 7th - 52.838
C1 Junior Men 200m 1st Semi-final Thomas Lambert (Lee Valley) - 8th - 45.501
K4 Junior Men 500m Heat 3 Andras Kereszturi (Ealing), Frederick Kemp, Daniel Atkins (Reading CC) and Philip Miles (The Royal Leamington Spa CC) - 7th – 1.36.443. Progress to semi-finals
K1 Junior Women 500m Heat 3 1330 BST Zoe Clark (Royal Canoe Club) 2nd - 2.00.917 Progress to semi-finals
C2 Junior Women 500m Heat 1 1342 BST Alix Aitchison (Independent) / Charlotte Carey (Independent) 5th - 2:12.835 Progress to semi-finals
K4 U23 Men 500m Heat 2 1400 BST Max Littlewood (Nottingham Kayak Club), Noah Dembele (Leaside Canoe Club), Samuel Glover (Falcon Canoe Club) and Peter Quittenton (Lincoln) – 5th - 1:29.89 Progress to semi-finals
K1 U23 Women 500m Heat 1 1412 BST Emma Russell (Chemlsford) 3rd – 2.05.308 Progress to semi-finals
C2 U23 Women 500m Heat 2 1636 BST Bethany Gill (Holme Pierrepont CC) and Anna Palmer (Longridge) 6th 2.31.171 – Progress to semi-finals
K2 Junior Women 500m Heat 2 1524 BST Zoe Clarke (Canoe Club) and Enya Dale (Falcon Canoe Club) 3rd 2.04.140 – Progress to semi-finals
K1 U23 Men 500M Heat 2 1554 BST Stuart Bristow (Royal CC) 4th - 1.54.540 Progress to semi-finals
Day four schedule
K4 Junior Men 500m semi-final 2 0654 BST Andras Kereszturi (Ealing), Frederick Kemp, Daniel Atkins (Reading CC) and Philip Miles (The Royal Leamington Spa CC)
C2 Junior Women 500m Semi-final 0700 BST Alix Aitchison (Independent) / Charlotte Carey (Independent)
K1 Junior Women 500m semi-final 0718 BST Zoe Clark (Royal Canoe Club)
K4 U23 Men 500m semi-final 0730 BST Max Littlewood (Nottingham Kayak Club), Noah Dembele (Leaside Canoe Club), Samuel Glover (Falcon Canoe Club) and Peter Quittenton (Lincoln)
K1 U23 Women 500m semi-final 0748 BST Emma Russell (Chelmsford)
C2 U23 Women 500m semi-final 0754 BST Bethany Gill (Holme Pierrepont CC) and Anna Palmer (Longridge)
K2 Junior Women 500m semi-final 0818 BST Zoe Clarke (Canoe Club) and Enya Dale (Falcon Canoe Club)
K1 U23 Men 500M semi-finals 0845 BST Stuart Bristow (Royal CC)
For more information, please visit the official website: https://www.canoeicf.com/canoe-sprint-world-championships/pitesti-2019
The races will be live streamed here: https://www.canoeicf.com/canoe-sprint-world-championships/pitesti-2019
The live results can be found here: http://pitesti2019.spotfokus.com/