Tuesday, July 5, 2011

4 U.S. Gold Medals at Freestyle Worlds

Team USA Shines at Freestyle Worlds
US Paddlers Wins 4 Golds, 8 Total Medals

The 2011 International Canoe Federation (ICF) Freestyle World Championships concluded this past weekend in Plattling, Germany with USA Canoe/Kayak athletes taking Gold Medals in four of the eight categories. Led by the record-setting performance of Dane Jackson (Rock Island, Tenn.), the U.S. Freestyle Team emerged as the top national team at the World Championships.

Jackson, 17, grabbed a total of four medals, taking gold in Men's Junior Kayak, Men's Kayak Squirt, and Men's Canoe followed by a bronze in Men's Open Canoe. Jackson's three gold medals at a single Freestyle World Championships surpass the previous record of two.

"Dane's performance on the water will be recognized by the international paddling community as one of the top individual performances of any ICF World Championships in 2011," said USA Canoe/Kayak Chief Executive Officer Joe Jacobi. "But the great thing about Dane is that as outstanding an athlete he is on the water, he's an even more impressive individual and ambassador off the water."

Lauren Burress (Evansville, Ind.) continued Team USA's momentum winning gold in Junior Women's Kayak in her first appearance at a World Championships. Other medal winning results for USA Canoe/Kayak athletes included 2009 World Champion Emily Jackson (Rock Island, Tenn.) placing second in Women's K-1, Stephen Wright (Rock Island, Tenn.) taking third in Men's Kayak and Devon Barker (McCall, Idaho) placing third in Women's Kayak Squirt.

Joining Team USA in Plattling were members of the Nantahala 2013 Organizing Committee, the site for the next Freestyle World Championships on the Nantahala River in Bryson City, NC. Sutton Bacon, Chief Executive Officer of the Nantahala Outdoor Center and Chairman of Nantahala 2013, and Lee Leibfarth, Chief Operating Officer of the Nantahala Outdoor Center and Nantahala 2013 Committee Member joined Jacobi to promote the 2013 event and receive the ICF banner which will be displayed at the Worlds venue on the Nantahala River over the next two years.

"We learned a lot from our friends in Plattling and commend the German Canoe Federation for hosting a great event," Bacon said. "We are honored to host the world's top freestyle athletes, build stronger partnerships between competitive and recreational paddling and help move Freestyle closer to the Olympic program."

Click HERE for complete results at the World Championships. For more information on the US Freestyle Team, visit http://usafreestylekayak.com/.

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