Press Release: Tough Conditions Bring Out the Best in Paracanoe Paddlers

Ukrainian paracanoe world champion Mykola Syniuk tamed the wild weather conditions in Poznan on Thursday to qualify straight through to this weekend’s finals.

Strong winds forced a two-hour delay to the competition on Thursday afternoon, with only two of a planned four paracanoe races able to be completed before the break.

After the break Spain’s Juan Antonio Valle posted the quickest time in the men’s KL3.

Reigning KL2 world champion and Tokyo Paralympic silver medalist Mykola Syniuk could not have been more impressive in setting the fastest heat time in the KL2.

And 12 months after losing both his legs in a scooter accident, Italian Christian Volpi had his first race in a paracanoe in Poznan on Thursday, finishing a close second behind Syniuk.

“I kayaked when I was a child, so now I see this as a new opportunity,” Volpi said.

“Paddling is my life. My dream now is the Paralympics in Paris.”

Valle was in the last event of the day and posted a winning time of 40.98, while Australia’s Dylan Littlehales crossed first in his heat.

Littlehales said the decision to delay racing for two hours was the right one.

“It’s been a long day, we had a few setbacks with the weather this afternoon, but I think the officials made the right call,” he said.

“I have been looking at the weather forecast, I think it’s meant to be worse on Saturday which is when our final is. I have faith that if it’s dangerous officials will call it off, but I’ve been training for this so I’ll race in whatever we get.

“I’m in a pretty good space. After the last cycle I sat down with my coaches and re-evaluated everything, and I think I’m in a good spot now. I took a bit of time off, and I’ve come back now feeling pretty good and looking forward to the next three years of this cycle.”

The ICF Paracanoe World Cup continues in Poznan on Friday.

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