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World titles for Eyers and Wiggs on day 2 of Paracanoe & Sprint World Champs

Jack Eyers and Stuart Wood produced the second British 1-2 in as many days as they brought home gold and silver in the men’s VL3.

Their triumph came minutes after Emma Wiggs secured her ninth World Championship title as she defended her VL2 crown.

In the canoe sprint, Katie Reid advanced to the women’s final of the C1 200m after coming through her semi-final. 

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Tokyo bronze medallist Stuart Wood (Bath) and Jack Eyers both went into the final of the men's VL3 after having strong heats the day before. It was Wood who led for much of the race before Eyers had his trademark strong second half of the race to claw back the advantage to pip Wood on the line and claim the world crown.

The pair were separated by only 0.12 seconds at the finish line as Eyers secured his first World Championship gold medal. 

“It had a very strange atmosphere coming in for me,” Eyers said.

“Watching the guys compete in Tokyo, I had a couple of emotions. One was real disappointment of not being there, but the other was excitement for the seven medals.

This is awesome, I’m buzzing, it hasn’t really sunk in.

– Jack Eyers
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Their gold and silver emulates Charlotte Henshaw and Hope Gordon achieving the same feat in the women's VL3 yesterday, and Woods commented on the strength of British paracanoe.

Taken in the context of the whole year, I am really happy with how it has all gone and it is just a good end to a really good year.

– Stuart Wood

"Obviously it is always a bit frustrating to lose at the very end, but I am happy to be coming away with a silver. 

"In a few categories, we have managed to get 1-2s and I think the internal competition really helps to push us on.

"I don't think either of us would be going as fast as we are if we weren't constantly watching each other and pushing each other forward."

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Eyers followed where Emma Wiggs had led as she dominated the field to defend her women's VL2 title for the second time.

In heavy rain, Wiggs came home over seven seconds ahead of the Russian Canoe Federation’s Mariia Nikiforova in silver, as Brazilian Debora Benevides finished in third. 

Off the back of winning Paralympic gold in Tokyo just two weeks ago, Wiggs said: “I'm really happy with my delivery I think the rain caught me out somewhat which is quite surprising when we're really used to training in the rain. 

It really threw it down and my boat was filling the waters, I was like ‘oh this is really interesting’, but I'm just really happy with the delivery and to come away with a win is brilliant.

– Emma Wiggs

“We haven't had our usual prep into it because of the Paralympic Games, so I was a bit nervous about whether we could deliver with not ideal preparation but it just feels incredible to have been able to deliver it for Matt my coach.

“And actually to have some of my family out here was really amazing because obviously, they couldn't come to Tokyo, so I feel like it's rounded off the year quite nicely.” 

In the afternoon semi-finals, Forth's Katie Reid was the only British athlete to advance to an A final as she made it through in the women’s C1 200m having finished third in her semi-final.

"It was pretty tough out there, we were looking at the start list and it was definitely all killer, no filler," Reid said.

I'm really happy, it's been a long season for everyone with the Olympics and the World Cups at the start of the year.

– Katie Reid
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"We were really aiming to peak for this, so to make it to the A final which is my first A final at Worlds is exciting."

Chelmsford’s Dan and Matt Johnson missed out by just one place in their men’s K2 1000m semi-final, while a similar fate befell Emily Lewis (Worcester) in the women’s K1 200m.

In the last race of the day, Dan Atkins (Reading) and Trevor Thomson (Ealing) made it into the B final after finishing sixth in the men’s K2 500m.

The pair will race another B final as part of the men’s K4 500m with Charlie Smith (Leighton Buzzard) and Philip Miles (Royal Leamington Spa) after the quartet came home in seventh.

Leaside's Noah Dembele reached the B final in the men’s K1 200m on his senior world championship debut after finishing sixth in his semi-final. 

Earlier in the day, Dembele had put in a strong performance to qualify in third for the semis and will race again tomorrow morning.

Deborah Kerr (Strathclyde) was desperately close to making the showpiece event of the women’s K1 500m but has to settle for the B final after finishing in fourth place in the second semi-final.

Reid came through a tight turnaround after her C1 race to join up with Isabel Evans of Lincoln in the women’s C2 200m, their fifth place in the semi-final was not enough to advance.

The morning session saw plenty of British boats qualify for the afternoon semi-finals with Dan Johnson set to compete in the men’s K1 500m semis tomorrow and the women’s K4 500m of Enya Dale (Falcon), Anoushka Freeman (Richmond), Florence Duffield (Norwich) and Zoe Clark (Royal) also advancing to their semi-final on Saturday.  

How can you follow?

British Canoeing Channels - Follow all the action from across the week on www.britishcanoeing.org.uk/live as well as round ups of each day and social media channels

Live Stream - Live coverage of the racing will be available on the ICF website https://www.canoeicf.com/canoe-sprint-world-championships/copenhagen-2021

Start lists and results - To find all the up-to-date start lists and results from across the weekend, visit http://copenhagen2021.spotfokus.com/index.php?gmt=1&gmt2=-60

New to paddling?

If you have been inspired by watching canoe sprint and paracanoe this summer, check out our Go Paddling website to find out everything you need to know to start your own paddling adventure, or visit Paddle, Perform, Podium, an initiative looking for individuals to join the Paracanoe Talent Pathway, with the aim of competing at the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games and beyond.