“I feel exhausted from the race, but I feel happy for para-canoe sport because the field comes closer and closer together."
Austrian Mendy Swoboda successfully defended his world title in a competitive K1 men’s 200m TA final at the ICF Para-Canoe World Championships on Thursday (29 August) in Duisburg, Germany.
The 23-year-old got off to a quick start in the kayak trunk and arms race, but was pushed hard by newcomers Victor Potanin of Russia and Pier Alberto Buccoliero of Italy, who finished second and third, respectively.
Talking after the race Swoboda said, “I feel exhausted from the race, but I feel happy for para-canoe sport because the field comes closer and closer together."
It has been a difficult season for the disciplines front-runner who suffered illness over the winter and was unable to return to a full training regime until late spring.
Despite this he remains the one to beat; but the gap is getting smaller, or as Swoboda puts it “more exciting.”
In the K1 men’s 200m LTA, Brazilian Caio Ribeiro De Carvalho showed strength and focus to win his nation’s first gold of the Championships. He out -printed former champion, and Tahiti’s sole representative in Duisburg, Patrick Viriamu. Bronze went to Poland’s Tomasz Mazdzierski.
“I tried to stay focused the whole time and not to get lost because of the pressure,” said Ribeiro De Carvalho.
Underlining the continual increase in the calibre of para-canoe athletes, he continued, “Some countries arrived here with more than what I expected.”
However, it is clear the 27-year-old is not yet feeling the expected advantages of host-nation support before the sport makes its debut at Rio 2016.
“Compared to other first-world countries we still struggle a lot. You always notice changes in the city, but the athletes are always forgotten.”
Canada’s Christine Gauthier became a multiple world champion despite a bad start in the K1 women’s 200m LTA.
The veteran performer eased out Great Britain’s Anne Dickens and France’s Cindy Moreau, who finished second and third, respectively.
K1 men’s 200m TA
1. Mendy Swoboda (Austria)
2. Victor Potanin (Russia)
3. Pier Alberto Buccoliero (Italy)
V1 men’s 200m LTA
1. Caio Ribeiro De Carvalho (Brazil)
2. Patrick Viriamu (Tahiti)
3. Tomasz Mazdzierski (Poland)
K1 women’s 200m LTA
1. Christine Gauthier (Canada)
2. Anne Dicken (Great Britain)
3. Cindy Moreau (France)