Good finish for NZ team boats

Photo courtesy of Pavol Uhrin/

New Zealand’s campaign at canoe slalom’s under-23 and junior world championships in Bratislava, Slovakia, ended in style with a classy finish in the under-23 team boat final.
Alex Hawthorne, Finn Butcher and Callum Gilbert finished seventh, one spot ahead of the host nation, after a 114.81sec run, which featured just one penalty touch and left them only 9.53secs adrift of winners Germany.
Under the team competition, three paddlers from each nation have to complete the course, with the time taken from when the final paddler crosses the line. Even if just one paddler touches or misses a gate, the entire team is penalised.
The Kiwis didn’t have it all their own way, with Gilbert rolling near the top but they recovered superbly.
“It definitely didn’t go to plan at the top but I ended up having a quick individual run trying to catch the others!” Gilbert laughed. “It was heaps of fun and a great way to finish the race, with not a bad placing either.”
Butcher joked that his teammate merely got distracted, looking for local aquatic life, but the trio had adapted well and shown they were a tight unit.
“It’s a different mental state for teams – you have to deliver individually and also be able to think about what position in the gate is best for the next person coming in.”
The K1 junior men’s team finished 10th in their final, matched by the under-23 and junior women’s teams, while the junior men’s C1 team was ninth and the under-23 C1 team 16th.
Germany dominated the teams competition, winning four out of a possible eight titles, while the Czech Republic was the most successful nation for the entire championships, winning the Nations Cup ahead of host nation, Slovakia, with Germany third.


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