Fiona Wylde, 2021 ICF World Champion. | Photo courtesy: International Canoe Federation
BALATONFÜRED, Hungary - American Fiona Wylde led from start to finish and New Caledonia’s Titouan Puyo fought off countryman Noic Garioud to win long distance gold medals in perfect racing conditions at the ICF stand up paddling world championships in Hungary on Friday. Wylde could not have been more impressive in winning the women’s 18 kilometer title by more than 30 seconds from Spain’s Esperanza Barreras, with Russian SUP champion Elena Prokhorova finishing third.
Wylde, who has to manage type one diabetes during her races, adds her gold medal to two bronze medals she won at the 2019 ICF world championships.
“Really in terms of today, if I was to have a dream race, I think that would have been it,” she said. “I’m super proud of the way I paddled today, and controlling my blood sugars, and all the preparation that went into it, it’s really special. We all have our challenges, we all have our challenges when we go out there, it’s just about learning how to manage them and not getting down about it. I guess I never give up.”
Men's Distance Race start. | Photo courtesy: International Canoe Federation
It took Puyo until the final sprint to the finish to shake off Garioud, with only six seconds separating the teammates at the finish. Hungarian Daniel Hasulyo finished third.
“We got some bumps out there for two sections, so it was a bit like New Caledonia for the two of us,” Puyo said. “When I saw the bumps on the first lap I thought we could do something, but then when I saw the guys working together behind I knew we would have to push harder.
“The first lap we worked together, but I saw the rest were coming back to us. Sometimes when you work together you can lose a bit of time, so on the second lap I tried to stay in front, I especially wanted to be in front on the last buoy. Noic is a great finisher.”
Reigning world champion Michael Booth of Australia was part of a chasing pack during the men’s race, eventually finishing fifth. The 2021 ICF Stand Up Paddling World Championships continue on Saturday on Lake Balaton, with medals to be decided in sprint and inflatable boards.
Titouan Puyo, Men's Distance World Champion. | Photo courtesy: International Canoe Federation
RESULTS – 18KM
- Puyo Titouan (FNC) 1.46.49:62
- Garioud Noic (FNC) 1.46.55:97
- Hasulyo Daniel (HUN) 1.47.04:60
- Wylde Fiona (USA) 2.05.41:43
- Barreras Esperanza (ESP) 2.06.12:24
- Prokhorova Elena (RUS) 2.10.30:75
About International Canoe Federation
The International Canoe Federation is responsible for the global sport of canoeing and has 167 affiliated National Associations and 13 disciplines - Sprint, Slalom, Paracanoe, Wildwater, Marathon, Canoe Polo, Freestyle, Ocean Racing, Dragon Boat, SUP, Rafting, WaveSki and Canoe Sailing. Canoeing has two Olympic disciplines, with sprint introduced at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games and slalom at the Munich 1972 Olympic Games; Canoeing also made its debut at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games with Paracanoe. Find out more about the International Canoe Federation at canoeicf.com