Australians confident ahead of 2018 U23 and Junior Canoe Slalom World Champs

Australians confident ahead of 2018 U23 and Junior Canoe Slalom World Champs in Ivrea, Italy 17 – 22 July 2018

Racing at the 2018 ICF U23 and Junior Canoe Slalom World Championships will kick-off in Ivrea, Italy tonight (17 July 2018) with a team of seven U23 and five Junior athletes representing Paddle Australia.

Australian U23 representatives are regular strong performers in senior World Cup competitions and Daniel Watkins (TAS), Brodie Crawford (WA), Kate Eckhardt (TAS) and Noemie Fox (NSW) just wrapped up the first three ICF Canoe Slalom World Cups of the 2018 season and are looking forward to build on their performances at the U23 Canoe Slalom World Championships.

Noemie Fox had a strong kick-off to the season after finishing seventh in the women’s C1 at the ICF Canoe Slalom World Cups in Slovakia and Poland. At the U23 Canoe Slalom World Championships, she will contest both the women’s K1 and C1 and will be pushing for medals.

Tasmanian K1 and C1 double national champion Daniel Watkins will also race both events in Ivrea and is looking forward to his last U23 World Championships after a strong 2018 season so far.

“I’m feeling pretty confident for the U23’s off the back of the World Cups. I’ve had my best ever selection this year at the start of the year and I was really happy to have been able to build on that success over the last three weeks,” Watkins said.

“I couldn’t really be happier with how the World Cups have gone. One thing I set out to do was lift both my base level of racing and push my highest results at the same time and I was stoked to do this in making every single semi final in both classes as well as making the my first Senior A final in K1 and also be pretty close in C1 in most of the races.”

“Knowing its my last year in U23’s, I really want to be in both finals this year and be able to lay down the runs I know I can do and the best possible outcome is definitely being on both Podiums! I’m coming into this race fully focused on both classes and expecting great outcomes in both.”

Ivrea is regarded as one of the most beautiful canoe slalom venues in the world and after two years on the ICF World Cup circuit, including an Olympic selection event in 2016, this year Ivrea will be front and centre when it hosts the under age World Championships from 17 – 23 July 2018.

“I’m really thrilled that my last (U23) race is on this course hear in Ivrea. It has a great natural feel that I think suits me a lot and I have been having the most fun training here on the water, more fun then I think I’ve had on a course in a while,” Watkins said about the venue.

The U23 World Championships are carried out in conjunction with the Junior World Championships and the joint Australian team has been training and preparing together in Italy over the past two weeks.

“I think the team environment is great this year. It’s been great having the same coaching staff from the World Cups join the team for me personally and it’s always nice to join the junior team and have a younger vibe in the team. Its exciting with a lot of these juniors having their first World Championships and being able to watch this unfold and remember the same feeling I had on my First tour, “ Watkins said about the team atmosphere.

“It is a great team to be around and its also really nice to have the juniors here, most of them are new to the team, which is exciting for them and it’ll be great to see them racing this week,” fellow Tasmanian and U23 team member Kate Eckhardt agreed.

As Watkins, also Eckhardt will double up in the K1 and C1 and is confident ahead of the start of racing after finishing 15th in the women’s K1 at the last World Cup in Augsburg.

“I try not to have to many expectations, but rather goals, and my goals are to be in the final for both categories and to do my best in the finals to see where that places me. I enjoy being in both boats and like each class for different reasons, I just love racing,” Eckhardt said.

“It is going to be a big race and with many U23 paddlers also racing the Senior Circuit it makes it a very tough competition in all categories. Ivrea, it is one of my favourite courses in the world! It’s a really hard course white water wise and it’s right in the middle of an Italian town which give it a great atmosphere,” Eckhardt added about the event.

Racing at the World Championships will kick-off today (Tuesday, 17 July 2018) with the U23 and Junior Team Events.

U23 Heats in the C1M/W, K1M/W are scheduled for Wednesday, 18 July, while heats for Juniors will take place on Thursday, 19 July. Friday will see the Extreme Slalom races, while the C1M and K1 Junior and U23 semi-finals and Finals are scheduled for Saturday, 21 July. The regatta will wrap up on Sunday, 22 July with the C1W and K1M Junior and U23 semi-finals and Finals.

PROGRAMME TUESDAY 17 – Team Race

09:15 (17:15 AEST) C1M U23 & Junior

10:40 (18:40 AEST) K1W U23 & Junior

14:00 (22:00 AEST) C1W U23 & Junior

15:20 (23:30 AEST) K1M U23 & Junior

See event webpage for more info: https://www.canoeicf.com/canoe-slalom-world-championships/ivrea-2018

Follow live results: https://www.canoeicf.com/canoe-slalom-world-championships/ivrea-2018/rankings-results

See Canoe Slalom Team Athlete Profiles here: https://paddle.org.au/canoe-slalom-athlete-profiles/

2018 Paddle Australia – U23 & Junior Slalom World Championships Team

U23 Men

K1M

Daniel Watkins (TAS)

Angus Thompson (NSW)

C1M

Daniel Watkins (TAS)

Brodie Crawford (WA)

Steven Lowther (WA)

U23 Women

K1W

Noemie Fox (NSW)

Kate Eckhardt (TAS)

C1W

Noemie Fox (NSW)

Kate Eckhardt (TAS)

Demelza Wall (WA/TAS)

JUNIOR

K1M

Bradley McLaughlan (VIC)

Jack Choate

Joshua Montalto (VIC)

C1M

Robert Janiszewski (VIC)

Jack Chaote (WA)

C1W

Alexandria Choate (WA)

TEAM EVENTS

C1W U23 Teams:

Noemie Fox (NSW)

Kate Eckhardt (TAS)

Demelza Wall (WA/TAS)

K1W U23 Teams:

Noemie Fox (NSW)

Kate Eckhardt (TAS)

Demelza Wall (WA/TAS)

C1M U23 Teams:

Daniel Watkins (TAS)

Brodie Crawford (WA)

Steven Lowther (WA)

K1M Jnr Teams:

Bradley McLaughlan (VIC)

Jack Choate (WA)

Joshua Montalto (VIC)

Coaches:

Myriam Fox

Julien Billaut

Robbie Jeffery

Warwick Draper

Team Leader: Shaun Stephens

Physio: Tin Kojic

Team Assistant: Laura Montalto

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