Portugal 2018: World canoe titles up for grabs
Portugal 2018: World canoe titles up for grabs 21.08.2018
Paralympic rivalries will be renewed in Montemor-o-VelhoEmma Wiggs is the reigning Paralympic and world KL2 champion Â© â¢ Bence Vekassy By ICF and IPC
Five of the six Paralympic canoe champions from Rio 2016 are looking for more gold, as the 2018 P ara Canoe World Championships begin on Wednesday (22 August) in Montemor-o-Velho, Portugal
Great Britainâs Jeanette Chippington and Emma Wiggs have dominated the womenâs KL1 and KL2 categories, respectively, winning both the 2016 Paralympic and 2017 world titles.
They return as favourites in their kayak events, and will also go head-to-head in the womenâs VL2, which will be hotly-contested after being added to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic programme. It was Wiggs who triumphed when the pair met in the VL2 at this yearâs World Cup in Szeged, Hungary.
Australiaâs Paralympic bronze medallist Susan Seipel will try to snap Wiggsâ World Championships winning streak in the womenâs KL2 at five.
Seipelâs compatriot Curtis McGrath holds the Paralympic and world titles in the menâs KL2, and he will renew his rivalry with Austriaâs Markus Swoboda, who twice finished behind McGrath in the kayak discipline at those two major international competitions.
They will both be challenged by New Zealandâs Scott Martlew, who was a surprise package when finishing a close second behind McGrath in the KL2 in Szeged.
The menâs VL3 was another event added to Tokyo 2020, and McGrath and Swoboda are expected to also contend for the top prize here.
All three medallists from the menâs KL1 in Rio â" Polandâs reigning champion Jakub Tokarz, Hungaryâs Robert Suba and Great Britainâs Ian Marsden â" will do battle again in Portugal, and will also contest the VL2.
The ultra-consistent Serhii Yemelianov, a gold medallist for Ukraine in the menâs KL3 at the 2016 Games, will be looking to defend the world title he won in Racice, Czech Republic, last year.
The 2018 Para Canoe World Championships runs until 26 August.
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