Tauranga kayaker Claudia Paterson secured a top-20 finish at canoe slalom’s under-23 and junior world championships in Bratislava, Slovakia, overnight.
The 18-year-old Bethlehem College paddler bowed out in the semifinals of the junior K1 division, with a flurry of gate touches ending her hopes of progressing to the top-10 final.
But she wasn’t alone, as the Čunovo Water Sports Centre bared its teeth. Paterson’s 137.90sec run – including 10secs’ worth of penalties – was still good enough for 19th in the 30-boat semifinals.
“I definitely wish I gave myself a little more room in the gates today,” she lamented. “The course was tricky and that was seen in the number of girls making big mistakes on the river – I didn’t have an amazing run today but overall I’m pretty happy with a top-20 finish. For my first time at a big competition, and therefore my first time with real pressure, I’m proud of the runs I laid down.”
Czech Antonie Galuskova won the junior K1 final in a time of 104.27, with Slovakia’s Eliska Mintalova second in 105.15, and another Czech, Lucie Nesnidalova third in 105.72.
Meanwhile, Central Otago’s Kensa Randle had a run to forget in her under-23 semifinal, finishing 30th after coming unstuck in the first section and missing gate 9. She recovered well in the last third of her run to finish in 188.39.
Australia’s Jessica Fox bounced back from heartbreak 24 hours earlier to win another gold at her final individual appearance at the agegroup championships, finishing in 101.21, ahead of Brazil’s Ana Satila in 102.69 and Poland’s Klaudia Zwolinska in 103.61.
A day earlier, Fox, a London silver medallist and Rio bronze medallist, was left devastated after a 50-second penalty robbed her of a certain gold medal in the final of the under-23 C1.
The 16-strong New Zealand team will all be in action on the final day, racing the team competition in both K1 and C1.