More silver for slalom paddler Dawson


Mike Dawson secured his second World Cup canoe slalom silver in as many weeks overnight, surviving a tough final to finish runner-up in the extreme slalom event.

The Kiwi Olympian emerged battered and bruised, nursing a cut hand, after colliding with United States paddler Michal Smolen on the Krakow course in Poland, with both paddlers beaten by Russian Nikita Gubenko.

New Zealand’s Mike Dawson (left), with winner Nikita Gubenko (Russia) and bronze medalist Michal Smolen after the extreme slalom final.

It came a week after Dawson won silver in Slovakia’s opening World Cup round, and added to the two World Cup medals and world championship bronze he picked up last year.

“It was definitely a brutal race - I was leading despite a bad start and Michal and I were battling it out through the middle stages when Nikita came through,” Dawson said. “It’s nice to race two finals in a row and I’m looking forward to Augsburg next week for the third World Cup of the season.”

His New Zealand teammates again had a frustrating final day, with Callum Gilbert unable to reproduce his repechage form in the men’s K1 semifinals, finishing 31sts, 20.80secs off the pace.

Luuka Jones also had a rough run in her C1 semifinal; one of five paddlers to miss a gate, Jones eventually finished 26th.

Australian Jess Fox’s perfect start to the season continued, making it four gold medals from as many starts by winning the women’s C1 final.

She had earlier won the women’s K1 24 hours earlier, following a golden double on the opening weekend in Slovakia.

Great Britain’s Rio Olympic gold medallist Joe Clarke finally broke through for his first-ever World Cup win, with his final time of 76.93 putting him 1.31secs ahead of Slovenia’s Peter Kauzer.