LJUBLJANA-TACEN, SLOVENIA (July 12, 2021) – Canoe Kayak Canada’s young slalom paddlers wrapped up competition this past weekend at the ICF 2021 Junior & U23 Canoe Slalom World Championships in Ljubljana-Tacen, Slovenia. This competition marked a significant milestone for Canada’s four U23 and 4 Junior athletes who battled through cancelled training and team selections due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Alex Baldoni achieved Canada’s best-ever performance at the Junior World Championships in the men’s canoe event placing 6th in the final. While Tacen’s difficult course design proved to challenge the field, Alex Baldoni was very consistent throughout the competition placing 8th in the heats, 5th in the semifinals and 6th in the finals.
“At the beginning of my final I told myself that it was important to enjoy this moment and make the best of it,” said Baldoni. “During my race a few things didn’t go as planned and I tried hard to get back on track and even if I wanted to do better I am still very proud to have finished 6th at my first Junior World Championship, [I am] so happy to be paddling for my country.”
“I’m thrilled to see our junior and U23 athletes gaining valuable international race experience and a few personal best performances come from this event. Our athletes have faced many challenges over the last 16 months and it’s very rewarding to see their perseverance start to pay-off,” said Tyler Lawlor, CKC team leader.
Olivia Norman placed 24th in the women’s kayak event and 31st in Extreme Slalom. Béatrice Olson gained valuable race experience placing 27th overall in the women’s junior canoe event at her first Junior World Championship competition with three more years left as a junior eligible paddler. Béatrice also placed 22nd in the Extreme Slalom event and 34th in kayak.
Alex Baldoni also competed in the men’s kayak event and got off to an impressive start early in the competition placing 3rd in the heats phase and placed 34th after penalties. Teammate Jean-Benoit Lemay finished closely behind in 35th place in the kayak event and 23rd in the extreme slalom event.
In the men’s U23 categories Mark Zielonka placed 11th in Extreme Slalom and 51st in the kayak event, teammates Trevor Boyd placed 23rd in Extreme Slalom 46th in kayak. Mael Rivard narrowly missed the semifinal cut-off and finished 41st in kayak. Léa Baldoni finished 30th in Extreme Slalom and 33rd the kayak event.
Additional final results can be found here.
About Canoe Kayak Canada