McGrath snaps Swoboda’s Worlds winning streak

Australian Curtis McGrath was crowned the new men’s KL2 world champion after an exciting 2016 Para Canoe Worlds finals in Duisburg. 19 May 2016
Man in canoe on the water

Australia's Curtis McGrath captured the gold medal in the men’s KL2 at the 2016 International Canoe Federation (ICF) Para Canoe World Championships.


Putting down his paddle before he crossed the finish line, Austria’s Markus Swoboda knew his World Championship winning streak was over. The six-time world champion finished second in the men’s KL2 200m finals at the 2016 International Canoe Federation (ICF) Para Canoe World Championships on Thursday (19 May) in Duisburg, Germany.

Australian rival Curtis McGrath captured the gold medal, finishing in 42.043 seconds, about a second ahead of Swoboda (43.068). Great Britain’s Nicholas Beighton (44.572) took the bronze medal.

“I knew before the finish line that I was going to be second, so [I am feeling] the pain of the race mixed with slight disappointment,” Swoboda said. “But I’m still happy because second place does not mean I am too bad, I see it as motivation for the Paralympic Games.”

It was a swap of last year’s World Championships in Milan, Italy, where McGrath had taken second. But during an earlier heat in Milan, McGrath had defeated Swoboda, which snapped the Austrian’s winning streak in the event itself.

“He is an amazing athlete and the sport would not be the same without him, so to be able to overcome his performance and his streak, it’s quite an achievement, so I’m quite happy to win the World Champs,” McGrath said.

Surprise from China

After finishing eighth in last August’s World Championships, China’s Xiaowei Yu came back to upset Brazil’s defending champion Luis Carlos Cardoso Da Silva and win the gold medal in 50.596. Yu is the second non-Brazilian to take the men’s KL1 world title; Hungary’s Andras Rozbora did that two years ago in Moscow, Russia.

Poland’s Jakub Tokarz was not too far behind Yu, finishing second in 50.855, followed by Cardoso (52.233).

Hosts Germany gets double gold

Germany’s Edina Muller and Great Britain’s 10-time gold medallist Jeanette Chippington were neck-in-neck in the final few metres. But Muller (56.846) successfully outsprinted defending world champion Chippington (57.037). Russia’s Alexandra Dupik (58.209) completed the podium.

“I really filtered everything out, and all I heard was my coach yelling,” Muller said. “I knew how fast [Jeannette] is and the others too. These types of close races, they’re the greatest wins.

“I knew where my weaknesses are [after Milan] and we tried to work on that, and we changed a lot of things in the set up. I think everything is just coming together.”

Compatriot Tom Kierey shouted in triumph after he crossed the finish line, successfully defending his men’s KL3 world title. It was the tightest race of the day, with all three podium finishers – Ukraine’s Serhii Yemelianov and Russia’s Leonid Krylov – crossing the line in 40 seconds; Kierey took the winning time of 40.430, followed by Yemelianov (40.474) and Krylov (40.636).

“Not perfect, good enough to win, but I’m really sure I can do better. I have to do better if I want to win in Rio,” Kierey said. “They [Yemelianov and Krylov] were right behind me, and they all want to win in Rio.”

British women occupy podiums

Despite both women’s KL3 top contenders Anne Dickins and Amanda Reynolds not competing in full strength, the duo still kept spectators on the edge of their seats.

Great Britain’s Dickins (51.246) was able to hold off Australia’s 2015 world champion Reynolds (51.686) for the top prize; Romania’s Mihaela Lulea (52.525) captured the bronze.

“I got a virus back in January, so I’ve been doing very slow, under a 120 heart rate stuff until end of April, so I can’t believe I’ve done a World Championships,” Dickins said. “Maybe I should take the next four months off.”

“We both had our issues, so this does not in any way dictate what is going to happen in Rio,” Dickins added.

Great Britain had a one-two finish in the women’s KL2, with Emma Wiggs having no trouble retaining her title in 53.691. Teammate Nicola Paterson took silver in 56.533, followed by Australia’s Susan Seipel (57.032).

Twenty-two spots (11 male, 11 female) were available in Duisburg for nations to qualify for Rio 2016. The top four finishers in each medal event qualified their nations for one slot. A subsequent slot would be allocated to the next highest ranked nation not yet qualified.

Complete results from the 2016 ICF Para Canoe World Championships, including a replay of the live stream can be found on the ICF’s website.

KL1 M 200m

Gold – Xiaowei Yu (CHN) 50.596

Silver – Jakub Tokarz (POL) 50.855

Bronze – Luis Carlos Cardoso Da Silva (BRA) 52.233

KL1 W 200m

Gold – Edina Müller (GER) 56.846

Silver – Jeanette Chippington (GBR) 57.037

Bronze – Alexandra Dupik (RUS) 58.209

KL2 M 200m

Gold – Curtis McGrath (AUS) 42.043

Silver – Markus Mendy Swoboda (AUT) 43.068

Bronze – Nicholas Beighton (GBR) 44.572

KL2 W 200m

Gold – Emma Wiggs (GBR) 53.691

Silver – Nicola Paterson (GBR) 56.533

Bronze – Susan Seipel(AUS) 57.032

KL3 M 200m

Gold – Tom Kierey (GER) 40.430

Silver – Serhii Yemelianov (UKR) 40.474

Bronze – Leonid Krylov (RUS) 40.636

KL3 W 200m

Gold – Anne Dickins (GBR) 51.246

silver – Amanda Reynolds (AUS) 51.686

Bronze – Mihaela Lulea (ROU) 52.525