Inside the 2023 Freestyle Worlds – Day 7 Men & Women Finals
By: Kathy Holcombe / Photography: Peter Holcombe
And that’s a wrap for the ICF Freestyle Kayak World Championships here in Columbus, GA. Today was the final competition for the K1 Men and Women. Dreams were made and hearts broken in a roller coaster competition all the way to the finish.
The women’s division had a huge upset when Sage Donnelly (USA) took the gold, followed by Ottilie Robinson-Shaw (GBR) winning silver, and Emily Jackson (USA) taking the bronze. The men’s competition was boom or bust with numerous athletes flushing and then coming back with huge scoring rides. Dane Jackson (USA) took the gold, with Nick Troutman (CAN) coming in a close second, followed by Tom Dolle (FRA) with the bronze. Team USA took the team award for winning six of nine gold medals.
The venue was packed as everyone gathered for the closing ceremonies. Athletes consoled and congratulated each other, and it was all smiles and cheers for the athletes on the podium. There was a big family style dinner following the awards that seemed fitting for an event that brings friends together from around the world.
It is always sad as the stands clear after the event and everyone scatters back to their home countries, but the one shining light is that we get to do it all again in two years at the next World Championships in Plattling, Germany in 2025. We are already counting down the days until we all come together again!