The British team shone on home waters on day three of the 2022 ICF Canoe Freestyle World Championships, presented by Direct Business Solutions, as the first medals were awarded with GB Freestyle taking a gold and two silver.
Two-time junior World Champion Ottilie Robinson-Shaw got the medal flurry underway, claiming her first senior World title after winning gold in the women’s kayak squirt final.
With three attempts to put down a winning ride, Ottilie scored over 1000 points twice to take the title with a result of 1613.33, which she scored on her final attempt after a dazzling mystery move.
Ottilie was delighted to win her first senior gold medal in front of a home crowd.
Tamsyn McConchie made it a British one-two on the podium after winning silver alongside Ottilie.
Tamsyn started off strongly with an impressive score of 918.33 in her first ride, before topping it in her final attempt to win silver and her first international medal.
Her final score of 994.33 was over 70 points ahead of 2019 K1 World Champion Hitomi Takaku.
Tamsyn couldn't wait to share the podium with her friend and teammate.
In the men’s kayak squirt final, Alex Edwards put down a stunning final performance to claim his third World Championship silver medal.
In what was a stacked final five, including three Brits, Alex went on to score 1444.00 in his third run to push himself onto the podium and into second place, between USA pair Clay Wright, who won his third consecutive World title and Taft Sibley in third.
A strong final run from Sam Wilson did put him top of the leaderboard after posting a 1292.00, which had the 2019 bronze medallist delighted. He narrowly missed out on the top three however, with Alex’s final run putting him down into fourth place.
Jamie Austen too dazzled in the men’s final posting two strong scores over 1000 points, but a top score of 1146.67 during his first run meant he finished in a brilliant fifth place.
The men’s canoe preliminaries kicked off the third day of action, with James Ibbotson the first Brit to take on the course, and he impressed on his home wave.
It was an incredible two displays from James who comes into the competition off the back of a fifth place finish at the 2021 European Championships.
The 28-year-old put down an impressive lunar orbit and back loop to score a whopping 1533.33 and top the leaderboard ahead of Friday’s sermi-finals.
He will be joined by teammate Matthew Stephenson, who also claimed an impressive total score of 1130.00.
Coming fourth at the 2021 European Championships, Matt was consistent in both his runs as he took on the second preliminary, getting 570 in the first and 560 in the second.
It wasn’t to be for Adam Ramadan however as he narrowly missed out on the top ten after finishing in twelfth. A total score of 610.00 did put him second in his prelim, but he was unfortunately 200 points off the required target.
Wednesday also saw the start of women’s kayak prelims, with six British athletes on the water throughout the day.
Ottilie topped her third prelims table of the week, with 34 athletes in action and 20 progressing into tomorrow’s quarter-finals. A final total of 1256.67 was enough to claim first place, after an incredible ride of 700 put her in a good position ahead of tomorrow.
She was closely followed by former European Champion, Lowri Davies. Taking on prelim 4, Lowri posted two consistent rides, including a second run of 626.67 which had her punching the air in celebration, to post 1213.34 and just 43 points behind Ottilie.
Emma Witherford and Jen Leal also made the top ten after scoring over 800 points respectively. Jen was first to put down her score in prelim 3, scoring a total of 823.33 in her first senior competition. The 2021 junior European silver medallist finished tenth overall and will return for tomorrow’s quarter-finals.
Emma Witherford too will be in the quarter-finals after finishing eighth in the prelims. Her score of 875 topped her group of six, with a first ride of 446.67 being her strongest of the two.
Heidi Walsh kicked off the Brits action in the first prelim. She scored 443.33 as she takes on her third senior World Championships, and will be back in action tomorrow after coming 16th
Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be for Kim Aldred who missed out on the top 20 in 27th place. It was two consistent performances of 100 points for Kim, but she was just 90 points off the required target.
Connor Proud just missed on the Open Canoe final after finishing in seventh place during today’s semi-final. The 18-year-old put down a strong top score of 56.67 in his first run which was submitted for his overall score, but it was unfortunately 24 points behind Adria Bosch Roca in fifth place.
Tomorrow sees the men’s junior kayak get underway, alongside quarter-finals for the men’s and women’s senior athletes.
You can follow it all at https://www.canoeicf.com/
Women’s kayak squirt final
Ottilie Robinson-Shaw - GOLD
Tamsyn McConchie -SILVER
Men’s kayak squirt final
Alex Edwards - SILVER
Sam Wilson - 4th
Jaime Austen - 5th
Men’s Canoe Preliminaries
James Ibbotson - 1st and progresses to semi-finals
Matt Stephenson - 4th and progresses to semi-finals
Adam Ramadan - 12th
Women’s Kayak Preliminaries
Ottilie Robinson-Shaw - 1st and progresses to quarter-finals
Lowri Davies - 2nd and progresses to quarter-finals
Emma Witherford - 8th and progresses to quarter-finals
Jen Leal - 10th and progresses to quarter-finals
Heidi Walsh - 16th and progresses to quarter-finals
Kim Aldred - 27th
Open Canoe Semi-final
Connor Proud - 7th