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.
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.
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.
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.