Plattling, Germany – The 2011 International Canoe Federation Freestyle Kayak World Championships could be called Dane’s party, for US teen Dane Jackson who not only was the first and only person to ever compete in all four freestyle disciplines but also took top honors in three of the four and one bronze in the other.
The 17-year-old won gold in the Squirt, Canoe (C1) and Kayak (K1) classes and a bronze in Open Canoe (OC1).
Asked after his final competition if he was tired at all, Jackson said he was feeling pretty full of energy and pretty happy with his performance. “I felt pretty consistent in K1 and was fired up about the high scores in C1 and definitely didn’t expect such a high score in squirt,” Jackson said. Though not an official part of the ICF-sanctioned event, Jackson also won the stand up paddle downriver race held here yesterday.
Plattling, Germany – Freestyle kayaking is alive and well and growing.
Every two years when the World Championships are held, the spotlight shines on the relatively new paddlesports discipline, providing an excellent opportunity to reflect on the progress of the sport.
All signs from this year’s event, about to start here this week, are that freestyle is on a healthy trajectory. From internal affairs and infrastructure to outward participation and attention to the sport, freestyle kayaking shows all the signs of maturing on the global stage.
This year alone, three new countries are making their debut on the freestyle kayaking global stage as canoe and kayak federations in Slovenia, India and Argentina send their first athletes to this World Championships. In all, some 250 athletes representing 30 countries will participate in the event.
ICF Freestyle Kayak Committee Chair Luis Rabaneda of Spain touted a number of other milestones for the sport since the last World Championship in Thun, Switzerland two years ago.