The 2015 ICF Canoe Sprint and Paracanoe World Championships began on Wednesday with the Paracanoe events taking center stage. Team USA got off to a strong start in these championships with two-time World Championship Medalist Anja Pierce (Pittsford, NY) winning a gold medal in the Women's VL3 200m event.
Starting the day in kayak where she qualified for tomorrow's Women's KL3 200m Final, Pierce switched to her canoe for the afternoon's Women's VL3 200m final. After previously winning World Championship silver and bronze medals in this event, Pierce was able to complete her collection today by winning gold. Joining her on the podium was Frances Bateman (Great Britain) and Aline Souza Lopes (Brazil).
Elsewhere, three-time Paralympian Alana Nichols (Farmington, NM) and Ashley Thomas (Durham, NC) took to the water in the Women's KL2 200m. Thomas, an experienced international competitor and adaptive sports advocate, was able to advance through heats, but a 9th place finish in the semifinal was not enough to push her into the final. After winning a bronze medal at the World Cup earlier this season, Nichols put together a solid performance, finishing 9th in the Final of her first Paracanoe World Championships.
Ann Yoshida (Mililani, HI) finished 2nd in the Women's VL1 200m Final, though no medals were awarded since there were not enough competitors to make it a world championship event.
In the men's canoe races, Danzig Norberg displayed his speed in the Men's VL2 200m where he won the semifinal, advancing to tomorrow's final. Jamey Parks (Forest, VA) finished 4th in the semifinal of the Men's VL3 200m, but was unable to advance to the Final.
With a 7th place finish in the semifinal, Nikiha Miller (Virginia Beach, VA) advances on to the Men's KL3 200m Final C. Meanwhile, Ryan Padilla finished 24th overall in the Men's KL2 200m event.
Tomorrow's schedule features the remaining finals for Paracanoe and the start of competition for the Canoe Sprint events.
For more information, please refer to the links below:
Paracanoe Classification System