It took Reading Canoe Club’s Dan Atkins just 36.835 seconds to power down the 200 metre course at Pitesti in Romania and win Gold and World Champion title in sprint kayaking. Over the previous two days he had dominated both his heat and semi final and was one of the favourites to win. Still it was a very close race, with 2nd place going to Germany’s Tom Maassen just six hundreths (.062) of a second behind him and Spain’s Gabriel Martinez in 3rd place just one hundredth of a second behind that.
Dan said “I didn’t know if I’d won it, but then I saw the scoreboard and heard the cheers from the crowd (the home team and rest of the GB squad) and knew I’d won it. It was a great race.”
He was back in a boat in the afternoon, racing K4 (four-man boat) with Reading’s Freddie Kemp, plus Andras Kereszturi and Philip Miles. They were delighted to finish 11th overall in the 500 metre K4 event.
Dan and fellow Club sprinter Freddie have been lucky enough to train this year alongside the UK’s reigning 200-metre Olympic Champion Liam Heath MBE and his coach Eric Farrell. In fact, this is the second title Dan has won in the space of two weeks – he took Gold and European Champion in Czech Republic just 14 days earlier.
Reading Canoe Club was proud to have four of their paddlers at the World Sprint Canoeing and Kayaking competition this year – an event which saw entries from 63 countries and the world’s very top Under 18 and Under 23 sprint canoeists. Besides Dan and Freddie, there was Sam Glover in the U23 500-metre K4 and Anna Palmer in C1 and C2 canoe events.
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