Portugal 2018: Larisa Volik takes opening gold
Portugal 2018: Larisa Volik takes opening gold 23.08.2018
Womenâs VL3 finals highlight day one of WorldsLarisa Volik wins the first gold of the 2018 Para canoe World Championships Â© â¢ ICF By ICF and IPC
Russiaâs Larisa Volik* successfully defended her VL3 title in a powerfu l finish on the opening day (22 August) of the 2018 Para Canoe World Championships https://www.canoeicf.com/ in Montemor-o-Velho, Portugal.
Volik, who won her first world title in Racice, Czech Republic, last year and is also the reigning European champion, paddled hard to overtake Ukraineâs Nataliia Lahutenko and Great Britainâs Charlotte Henshaw to the finish line.
Volikâs time in the non-Paralympic event was 1:06.262, with Lahutenko 0.135 seconds back and Henshaw, who led for most of the race, fading to finish third in 1:06.407.
It was compensation for Volik after she struggled in the Paralympic kayak class heats earlier on Wednesday.
âI thought I got a very good start and that I was doing well, but the other girls were very strong and then I realised I was not doing so good,â Volik said.
âI was very disappointed with my kayak race earlier today, but I think I will do better next time. I spend more time on my kayak because itâs Paralymp ic class.â
In Wednesdayâs only other final, Germanyâs Peter Happ defeated Chileâs Robinson Mendez in the menâs VL1; both are newcomers to the sport.
âThis is my first year with the national team, so to take first place in the VL1, Iâm super happy, and just glad to be here,â Happ said.
âI was not nervous before the race, but when I was at the start, yes I could feel my stomach.
âI like it, this is the best sport I can do with my national team, itâs the travelling around, competing with the other guys, itâs a lot of fun.â
The 2018 Para Canoe World Championships continues Thursday (23 August) with the menâs KL1 and womenâs KL2 and KL3 finals.
*Editor's note: The International Paralympic Committee suspended the Russian Paralympic Committee on 7 August 2016 for its inability to fulfil its IPC membership responsibilities and obligations, in particular its obligation to comply with the IPC Anti-Doping Code and the Worl d Anti-Doping Code (to which it is also a signatory). As a result of the suspension, Russian athletes cannot enter IPC sanctioned events or competitions, including the Paralympic Games.
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