A strong second day at the 2021 Junior & U23 Canoe Slalom World Championships saw all nine athletes progress through to their semi-finals in Ljubljana – Tacen, Slovenia.
Having not competed internationally for nearly two years, the team looked like they had never been away, delivering some impressive times and performances to ensure Britain are well represented in the latter stages of the competition, with the women’s C1 U23 still to come on Thursday.
After the team events yesterday, the women’s K1 U23 trio of Lois Leaver, Phoebe Spicer and Nikita Setchell kicked off day two of the competition.
Phoebe was the first of the Brits to take on the Slovenian course and posted a time of 84.53 to safely progress through to the semi-finals. The Lee Valley paddler was posting a strong and clean run, but a two second penalty of gate 19 pushed her down to 14, which was still more than enough to qualify.
Nikita Setchell too posted a strong run to see her safely through to the semi-finals. The junior European Champion had a similar run to Phoebe, going quick on the early part of the course, but a touch on the upstream gate 15 put her alongside her fellow Brit in 15th place.
Ensuring all three athletes will compete again on Friday was Lois Leaver, who came seventh during the heats after a fantastic clean run of 81.68 in what was a stacked field of U23s.
The men’s K1 U23 followed shortly after and it was Holme Pierrepont’s Ben Haylett who finished in British top spot with a brilliant run of 72.53 which saw him finish seventh after spending a good amount of time at the top of the leaderboard. The clean run was more than enough to see him into the next round of the event.
Going into the event with a huge amount of senior team experience, Chris Bowers joined Ben with a clean run of 74.46 to finish in 20th place with the top 30 progressing.
Jonny Dickson, who is making his first mark on an U23 competition, was just one place behind the Stafford and Stone paddler with a time of 75.09, after being one of the first athletes to go down in the event.
The men’s C1 U23s concluded Britain’s involvement in the day, with two of the athletes progressing directly through in Peter Linksted and Kurts Adams Rozentals.
Both paddlers again posted clean runs with Peter finishing in eighth place with a time of 78.18, whilst Kurts finished just within the top 20 needed after a solid run of 81.32 in his first U23 event.
Vittorio Pezzaioli ensured all nine athletes so far will compete in the semi-finals after requiring a second run. His first run of 86.26 with two touches took him out of contention, but he regrouped a delivered a quicker time of 85.81 which was enough to get into Saturday’s semi-final.
Tomorrow will be the turn of the Women’s C1 U23’s who get underway at 12.15
Lois Leaver – K1 Heats 7th in the first 1st run and qualifies for the semi-finals
Phoebe Spicer - K1 Heats 14th in the 1st run and qualifies for the semi-finals
Nikita Setchell – K1 Heats 15th in the 1st run and qualifies for the semi-finals
Ben Haylett - K1 Heats 7th in the 1st run and qualifies for the semi-finals
Chris Bowers – K1 Heats 20th in the 1st run and qualifies for the semi-finals
Jonny Dickson – K1 Heats 21th in the 1st run and qualifies for the semi-finals
Peter Linksted – C1 heats 8th in the 1st run and qualifies for the semi-finals
Kurts Adams Rozentals – C1 heats 19th in the 1st run and qualifies for the semi-finals
Vittorio Pezzaioli– C1 heats 8th in the 2nd run and qualifies for the semi-finals