Megan Hamer-Evans (Seren Dwr) achieved a sixth placed finish on day three of the Junior and U23 Canoe Slalom ECA European Championships in Liptovsky Mikulas, Slovakia.
The only finalist of the day, U23 women’s K1 paddler Megan was third to go down the course and did take the lead after posting the time of 104.55 including a two second penalty.
Megan, who achieved back to back semi-finals at World Cups 2 and 3 with the senior team earlier in the season, had the long wait to see if her time was good enough for a podium finish.
Unfortunately for the Welsh athlete, her time put her in sixth place, but a solid weekend for the U23 athlete who has been really pleased with her performance and will now look ahead to the U23 World Championships in two weeks time.
Reflecting on her weekend, Megan said:
I am really happy with how I have paddled the last few days here in Liptovsky. If you had told me I would come sixth this morning before the racing I would have definitely taken that. I was just taking each race as it comes and I wasn’t expecting to necessarily reach the final.– Megan Hamer-Evans
“I was really pleased to make the final, and I just wanted to put a solid run down which I feel I did. So I am very happy overall.”
“The two World Cups going into this competition did give me plenty of confidence. I made the semi-finals at both and had to do two runs in the heats at both too so I had plenty of start line experience which was really helpful.
“My coach Mark Proctor has been excellent. I’ve really enjoyed working with him this winter and my new training group. Now I am looking ahead to the U23 World Championships in a couple of weeks time.”
Nikita Setchell (Holme Pierrepont) was excruciatingly close to joining Megan in the final, but a touch on gate nine meant the 2018 junior European Champion finished just outside final positions in eleventh, with a time of 109.62, 1.3 seconds off the top ten. The 18-year-old will take confidence from her performance after making her first steps into the U23 events after competing as a junior last year.
In the U23 men’s canoe single (C1) Sam Ibbottson (Holme Pierrepont) made his first international semi-final of the season, whilst Will Smith (Winchester & District) backed up his senior experiences at World Cups 2 and 3 to reach another semi-final.
Sam, who achieved a 5th place finish at the U23 World Championships in Ivrea last year, was on course for a strong time and was close to the race leader on the first split, but a touch on gate 15 took the Nottingham paddler away from a top 10 finish needed to make the final with a time of 102.06.
Will Smith, who came 22nd overall at World Cup 3 in Tacen, went down the course clean, but he couldn’t quite put down the pace of the leading pack and came just behind his teammate in 18th place.
After a storming performance during the junior women’s K1 heats on Thursday, Bethan Forrow was in her first semi-final of the weekend having also qualified into the C1 semis tomorrow. The Lee Valley athlete, who was part of the gold medal team that won the C1 senior World Championships in 2018, lost time between gates 10 and 11, before a touch on upstream gate 14 pushed Beth away from the race leaders and ended up in 17th with a time of 119.72.
British teammate Lois Leaver (Edinburgh Schools) picked up four gates during her semi-final run, accumulating to an extra eight seconds onto her time, meaning she came in at 20th place and will now turn her attentions to the junior World Championships in Krakow, Poland.
Stafford and Stone athletes, Kurts Adams-Rozentals and Alfie Boote made the semi-finals on their first outings on the junior international team in the men’s C1.
An early two-second penalty for Kurts, who nicked gate two, meant he had to make up time elsewhere on the course to make a top ten finish, but finishing with a time of 110.99, he ultimately occupied 13th.
Alfie Boote, along with Kurts, will be happy to make his first international semi-final, but he couldn’t put down the pace that the race leaders did and ended the day 18th overall.
You can keep an eye on all the live results of the final day of the competition on http://siwidata.com/canoelive/#/live/eca/1489
U23 Women’s K1
Megan Hamer-Evans (Seren Dwr) – 6th in final
Nikita Setchell (Holme Pierrepont) – 11th in semi-final.
U23 Men’s C1
Sam Ibbotson (Holme Pierrepont) – 17th in semi-final
Will Smith (Winchester & district) – 18th in semi-final
Junior Women’s K1
Bethan Forrow (Lee Valley) – 17th in semi-final
Lois Leaver (Edinburgh Schools) – 20th in semi-final
Junior Men’s C1
Kurts Rozentals (Stafford and Stone) – 13th in semi-final
Alfie Boote (Stafford and Stone) – 18th in semi-final