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2023 Freestyle World Championships

Published on octobre 14th, 2023 | by Kayak Session https://www.kayaksession.com/img-current-issue/upload-your-video.png

Inside the 2023 Freestyle Worlds – Day 6 Junior Finals, Men & Women Quarters

By: Kathy Holcombe / Photography: Peter Holcombe

The competition is definitely heating up her at the Freestyle Kayak World Championships down here on the Chatahoochee River in Columbus, GA!  The women’s K1 class raised the bar toady with several women adding high scoring moves like big airscrews and donkey flips into their routines during the quarter final round. Ottilie Robinson-Shaw (GBR) finished the round with a sizable lead of 398.33 points over the other competitors.

Former junior women’s World Champion Abby Holcombe (USA) holding her own in the women’s class as she secures her spot in the semi-final heat. ©Peter Holcombe/kayaksession.com
Hitomi Takaku (JAP) throwing a massive airscrew during her quarter final ride. ©Peter Holcombe/kayaksession.com
Emily Jackson (USA) getting vertical in the preliminary rounds and is one to watch as we move into the final women’s competition. ©Peter Holcombe/kayaksession.com

The men’s K1 class dialed up the heat as well as they flew high over GoodWave with massive arial airscrews, pistol flips and blunt-mcnasties.  The feature wrapped the paddle out of Kalob Grady’s (CAN) hands mid ride, but he managed to finish a few more tricks, sans paddle, and secure a spot in the semi-final round tomorrow.  Dane Jackson (USA) finished at the top of the leaderboard with a 465 point lead over the other competitors.

Hayden Voorhees (USA) makes his way into the men’s semi final round. ©Peter Holcombe/kayaksession.com
Kalob Grady (CAN) doesn’t sweat the small stuff (like losing his paddle during his ride) stop him from moving on to the semi-final round in the K1 Men’s class. ©Peter Holcombe/kayaksession.com

The juniors were the big story today with several noteworthy accomplishments.  Makinley Kate Hargrove (USA) won the gold in the junior women’s class.  Sophie Gilfillan took the silver, winning the first ever medal for Canada in the junior women’s class.  The big upset was Eleanor Knight (USA) taking the bronze medal with more than double the score of the other competitors.

Makinley Kate Hargrove’s (USA) gold medal ride on her home feature in Columbus, GA. ©Peter Holcombe/kayaksession.com
Sophie Gilfillan’s (CAN) second ride earned her the silver, and Canada’s first medal in the junior women’s class. ©Peter Holcombe/kayaksession.com
Eleanor Knight (USA) was the dark horse of the competition who laid down a beautiful final ride, securing her the third place position on the podium. ©Peter Holcombe/kayaksession.com
Junior Women’s Podium: Sophie Gilfillan CAN silver, Makinley Kate Hargrove (USA) gold, Eleanor Knight (USA) bronze ©Peter Holcombe/kayaksession.com

The junior men’s class was a heated battle to the finish as reigning World Champion Tim Rees (GER) defended his title and became the first to win back to back gold in the Junior Men’s class.  (Ottilie Robinson-Shaw (GRB) was the first to with back to back junior women’s titles in Sort in 2019.)  Onni Eronen (FIN) finished in second bringing home the first medal in a World Championship event for Finland.  Timmy Hill (GBR) won the bronze during a flurry of big tricks on his final ride.

 Tim Rees laid down a huge first ride that no one else in the junior men’s class could touch. ©Peter Holcombe/kayaksession.com
– Junior Men’s Podium:  Omni Eronen (FIN) silver, Tim Rees (GER) gold, Timmy Hill (GBR) bronze ©Peter Holcombe/kayaksession.com

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