Australia’s future canoe slalom stars have arrived in Krakow, Poland to contest the 2019 ICF Canoe Slalom Junior and U23 World Championships this week. Racing commences today, Tuesday, 16 July 2019 with the team events up first.
Individual events will commence on Wednesday with the U23 heats in the men’s and women’s C1 and K1, while the heats in the Junior events are scheduled for Thursday.
Noemie Fox (NSW) and Steven Lowther (WA) have joined the eight-paddlers strong U23 team after competing at the first three ICF Canoe Slalom World Cups in June as part of the Senior squad and are looking forward to the next round of racing.
Last year’s U23 bronze medallist Noemie Fox has been juggling a double load of University studies and competitions over the last few weeks and after completing her degree, she is looking forward to focus on paddling only for these World Championships.
“The first three world cups were quite challenging. I finished my degree last week so I do feel as though a big weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I’ve caught up on a lot of sleep and I’ve been able to just focus on enjoying and improving my paddling which has been very refreshing for me,” Noemie Fox said.
“U23 Worlds is always one of the most exciting races of the year for me. I won a bronze medal last year so I’m definitely coming into this competition hoping to make a final and race competitively. The C1W class is very competitive with only a few big names missing from the U23 start list so it’s definitely a hard race. I’ve had two solid weeks of training here in Krakow so I’m feeling strong and ready to race,” Fox added.
Noemie Fox and Kate Eckhardtwill be contesting both the women’s K1 and the women’s C1 as well as the team events. In the K1, the pair will be joined by Georgina Collin(WA) and in the women’s C1 Demelza Wall(WA) completes the Australian line-up in the individual as well as in the team events.
“The team environment with the U23s and Juniors has been really fun and the women’s group is looking good out on the water. The U23 girls Kate (Eckhardt), Melzi (Wall) and Genie (Collin) did a race not too long ago here in Krakow so they are coming into the competition well prepared,” Fox said about the women’s U23 squad.
And about the juniors Fox added: “My NSWIS team mate Sophie (Wilson) is gearing up for her first Junior worlds so it will be really exciting to watch her race and live through a big ICF competition. Alex (Choate) who is doing both classes made a final last year in the C1W category. It’s always refreshing and fun to be on a team with young paddlers.”
Western Australian Steven Lowther is also coming off the back of the Senior World Cup series to Krakow, an experience he believes will be beneficial for his U23 World Championships campaign.
Lowther – Photo Kim Jones
“Doing the senior world cups this year has been really beneficial, they have given me a lot of quality race experience and helped me to refine my own race strategy. Coming off the world cups, I’ve been really trying to push my raw speed and test how tight I can take my lines in training to hopefully put down some very competitive times over the coming days of racing,” Lowther said.
“I’m really looking to break into the final this year. Once I’m there, anything is possible and I will be pushing for that podium,” Lowther added about his goals.
Fellow Western Australian Brodie Crawford and Victorian Tristan Carter will join Lowther in the men’s C1 with the trio also contesting the team event. Angus Thompson will be the sole Australian representative in the K1.
The world championship combines both under 23 as well as the under 18 junior classes with Melbourne Canoe Club paddler Mark Crosbee the youngest members on the seven-paddlers strong Junior team at only 15-years of age. It will be the first world championship for both Crosbee as well as Penrith paddler Sophie Wilson, who only turned 16 in June.
Wilson will be lining up in the K1 at her first Junior world championships after winning the national title at the junior national championships in January.
At the most recent European Canoe Slalom Cup in Augsburg, Wilson also made the final of the U16 K1 and is looking forward to the world champs next.
“The preparation has been really good and I had a great experience doing the ECA cup at Augsburg where I enjoyed the preparation and was pretty happy with my racing. For the worlds I would be happy to make the semis but trying really not to put too much pressure on myself, to enjoy the experience and learn,” Wilson said.
Wilson – Photo Scott Moorhen Photography
Alexandria Choate returns to the team after finishing a strong fifth in the Junior women’s C1 at last year’s world championships. In Krakow, Choate will be contesting both the K1 and C1 events.
“Junior Worlds are a great experience and it’s an amazing thing to compete against the best and to see how you compare and watching everyone else who is amazing and just loving the sport as much as I do,” Choate said.
Brother and sister Jack and Alexandria Choate are both on their second Junior World Championships team with Alexandria crediting the sibling rivalry for the pair’s success.
“There’s always a bit of sibling rivalry, but also I get to learn a lot from him (Jack), to see how he does things and we just push each other to make ourselves go better,” Alexandria Choate said about making the team together with her brother.
Like his sister, Jack Choate will also be competing in both the men’s C1 and K1, as well as in both the C1 and K1 team events later today. Choate returns to the team after consistently placing as the top paddler at Junior nationals and other selection relevant racing in both classes.
“I was very excited to make the Junior team again this year. I want to improve as much as I can and get as much experience overseas as possible and come back and make the team again,” Jack Choate said about the goals ahead.
While Jack Choate, Mark Crosbee and Sophie Wilson still have a couple Junior years ahead of them, it will be the last Junior World Championships for Victorians Bradley McLaughlan and Josh Montalto, who return to the team in the men’s K1 after their debut last year. The pair will also contest the men’s junior kayak team event together with Jack Choate.
“Last year didn’t work out too well for me, I made it there but my runs didn’t go that well so I’m really happy to go back this year and hopefully do a bit better for my last year of Juniors,” Brad McLaughlan said.
Like McLaughlan, Melbourne Canoe Club mate Josh Montalto is also thankful for the second chance and to represent Australia for the second year in a row.
“I was really stoked to make the team again and I will use the experience from last year and hopefully go better. Going last year definitely helped a lot in my preparation mentally and physically for this year and I’m looking forward to giving it another go,” Montalto said.
Montalto – Photo Scott Moorhen
Fellow Victorians Mark Crosbee and Daniel Shamieh complete the Australian team and will contest the men’s C1 as well as the men’s junior C1 team event together with Jack Choate.
Racing starts in Krakow today, Tuesday, 16 July with the team events. Wednesday will see the heats in the U23 men’s and women’s K1 and C1 events, while the heats in the Junior events are scheduled for Thursday.
The first round of semi-finals and finals are scheduled for Friday, 19 July in the U23 and Junior men’s C1 and women’s K1 events.
On Saturday, 20 July, the slalom events conclude with the semi-finals and finals in the U23 and Junior women’s C1 and men’s K1 events.
The World Championships conclude on Sunday, 21 July with the Extreme Slalom finals.
See the Australian race times below and the schedule HERE.
Follow results here: https://www.canoeicf.com/canoe-slalom-world-championships/krakow-2019/results
Watch racing live via www.canoeicf.com or via youtube HERE.
2019 ICF JUNIOR & U23 CANOE SLALOM WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS, Krakow, Poland
See the 2019 Junior & U23 Team profiles here: https://paddle.org.au/canoe-slalom-athlete-profiles/
C1M: Steven Lowther (WA), Tristan Carter (VIC), Brodie Crawford (WA)
K1W: Noemie Fox (NSW), Kate Eckhardt (TAS), Georgina Collin (WA)
C1W: Noemie Fox (NSW), Kate Eckhardt (TAS), Demelza Wall (WA/TAS)
K1M: Angus Thompson (NSW)
C1M: Jack Choate (WA), Mark Crosbee (VIC), Daniel Shamieh (VIC)
K1M: Jack Choate (WA), Brad McLaughlan (VIC), Josh Montalto (VIC)
K1W: Alexandria Choate (WA), Sophie Wilson (NSW)
C1W: Alexandria Choate (WA)
Tuesday, 16 July – Team Events
MC1 – Men’s U23 Canoe Team
09:15 (17:15 p.m. AEST) Australia: Steven Lowther, Tristan Carter, Brodie Crawford
MC1 – Men’s Junior Canoe Team
9:45 (17:45 p.m. AEST) Australia: Jack Choate, Mark Crosbee, Daniel Shamieh
WK1 – Women’s U23 Kayak Team
10:42 (18:42 AEST) Australia: Noemie Fox, Kate Eckhardt, Georgina Collin
WC1 – Women’s U23 Canoe Team
13:20 (21:20 AEST) Australia: Noemie Fox, Kate Eckhardt, Demelza Wall
MK1 – Men’s Junior Kayak Team
15:32 (23:32 AEST) Australia: Jack Choate, Bradley McLaughlan, Joshua Montalto
Wednesday, 17 July – U23 Heats
MC1 – Men’s U23 Canoe
9:24 (17:24 AEST) Tristan Carter
9:26 (17:26 AEST) Steven Lowther
9:35 (17:35 AEST) Brodie Crawford
WK1 – Women’s U23 Kayak
10:19 (18:19 AEST) Georgina Collin
10:36 (18:36 AEST) Noemie Fox
10:42 (18:42 AEST) Kate Eckhardt
WC1 – Women’s U23 Canoe
14:21 (22:21 AEST) Demelza Wall
14:32 (22:32 AEST) Kate Eckhardt
14:42 (22:42 AEST) Noemie Fox
MK1 – Men’s U23 Kayak
15:37 (23:37 AEST) Angus Thompson
Thursday, 18 July – Junior Heats
MC1 – Men’s Junior Canoe
9:17 (17:17) Mark Crosbee
9:25 (17:25) Daniel Shamieh
9:27 (17:27) Jack Choata
WK1 – Women’s Junior Kayak
10:18 (18:18 AEST) Sophie Wilson
10:29 (18:29 AEST) Alexandria Choate
WC1 – Womens Junior Canoe
14:12 (22:12 AEST) Alexandria Choate
MK1 – Men’s Junior Kayak
15:15 (23:15) Bradley McLaughlan
15:16 (23:16) Joshua Montalto
15:17 (23:17) Jack Choate