Published on November 16th, 2023 | by Supworldmagazine
Fired-Up Start To The ICF SUP World Titles In Thailand
Top contenders successfully complete their tasks on a blazing start to the International Canoe Federation Stand Up Paddling World Championships in Pattaya, Thailand, this Wednesday.
Among those to impress were the current men’s world champion, American Connor Baxter, and former world champion Noic Garioud of France. After winning in Hungary in 2021 Garioud finisjed second behind Baxter in Poland last year, having struggled in the lead-up with injury.
He believes he is ready to once again show his best this week.
“I really want it back,” Garioud said.
“I won it in 2021, then lost it in 2022 to Connor, so I’m trying to get it back for sure. I’ve had two surgeries to my knee, so I’m feeling better, but not fully healed. I’m just trying to take it step by step, day-after-day until the final of the sprint, and then I’ll try and cool down a bit before I race over the distance.”
Spain’s Esperanza Barreras has marked herself as one of the athletes to beat in the women’s competition with two solid races on Wednesday. Barreras finished seventh in Poland last year in the sprint.
“I really am enjoying this country, this place is amazing,” Barreras said.
“I’ve been trying to prepare as much as I could, so I can have a good performance here. But everyone will have it, so lets try and fight it in the water and enjoy.
“My main focus like all season is to try and be on top in all disciplines – long distance, technical and sprint – so that’s my goal. I have no more than that. Maybe the flat water is more difficult for me because I am not used to training on that, but it’s also a challenge, and I love challenges.”
In junior races Italy’s Cecilia Pampinella, one of the stand out performers in Poland last year, showed she is well placed to defend her title this week, while the men’s junior competition looks wide open with several athletes impressing on Wednesday.
In masters races, Spain’s Elisabet Llargues and Ukraine’s Artem Avramenkoin the women’s and men’s 40 plus, and Germany’s Peter Weidert in the men’s 50 plus, all looked strong, while France’s Emmanuelle Marcon in the women’s 50 plus will be looking to go one better after winning silver last year.
Full results and event schedule can be found on our official world championship page.