Aussies scoop up the gold at world canoe championships

Curtis McGrath raising a fist in triumph after claiming his 11th world championships gold.

Curtis McGrath raising a fist in triumph after claiming his 11th world championships gold. Photo: AAP

The Australian team has bagged three gold medals among a haul of five at the 2023 ICF canoe sprint and paracanoe world championships in Germany.

Two-time Olympic champion Curtis McGrath won his 11th world championships gold medal of his career, taking out the men’s KL2 200 final at the Regattabahn Duisburg course.

McGrath crossed the line in a time of 40.200 seconds, 0.495 seconds faster than Wednesday’s heat, to record another world-best time.

“It’s pretty special, especially after a year off, just to prove myself and come back amongst a really strong field,” McGrath said.

Bound for Paris

“And even more stoked because it gives us a quota spot for the Paris Games, which is great.”

Ben Sainsbury stormed to gold in the men’s KL1 200 final, claiming back-to-back medals after also taking out the title last year.

Dual Paralympian Dylan Littlehales won his first world title, bringing home gold in the men’s KL3 200 final.

Jean van der Westhuyzen added his name to the medal tally, winning silver in a red-hot men’s K1 500 final.

Dual Paralympian Susan Seipel then returned to the world championships podium, with a bronze medal in the women’s VL2 200 final.

The men’s K4 500 crew of Riley Fitzsimmons, Pierre van der Westhuyzen, Noah Havard and Jackson Collins came agonisingly close to a top-three finish, missing the podium by 0.274 seconds.

Consolation prize

However the team could still celebrate with the result confirming a spot on the start-line for the boat at the Paris Olympics next year.

In the women’s K4 500 field, the Australian boat of Ella Beere, Aly Bull, Ally Clarke and Yale Steinepreis also confirmed a spot for the boat in Paris, finishing fifth in the final.

In other results, young guns Kailey Harlen and Natalia Drobot finished fifth in their first-ever world championships final, competing in the women’s K2 200.

Australia now sit atop of the medal tally, with three gold, one silver and one bronze.


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