LISBON – Andy Birkett realised a lifelong dream by winning the Men's K1 title at the ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships in Portugal on Saturday.
The multiple Dusi champ took full control of the 30km eight-lap race against a very strong field, and raced a tactically astute team race with compatriot Jasper Mocké, and went into the final 1000 metre lap in a three-way tussle with Hungarian ace Adrian Boros.
"It was great racing. Well done to my teammate Jasper Mocké on his third place," said an elated Birkett. "There is so much depth in the men's singles. If the pace slows down the guys will always catch you, and you never really know who will be strong on the day.
"I don't know if it panned out quite how I thought, with the guys racing around me, but it was tough racing like it always is.
"This is something that I have been trying to do for a long time, so I am super stoked," he added.
Taking a leaf out of the outgoing world champ Hank McGregor's book, Birkett ran the last portage hard, put in first and never looked like relinquishing his grip on the race.
The Euro Steel speedster won impressively while Boros had enough energy left to edge Mocké into the bronze medal position.
Results Women's K1:
1 Vanda Kiszli (HUN) 2:06:16.40
2 Sára Mihalik (HUN) 2:06:29.31
3 Eva Barrios (ESP) 2:06:30.84
4 Anna Koziskova (CZE) 2:06:42.43
5 Jennifer Egan (IRL) 2:07:00.31
6 Kristina Bedec (SRB) 2:07:08.73
7 Jenna Ward (RSA) 2:07:29.72
8 Lizzie Broughton (GBR) 2:09:01.58
9 Gaia Piazza (ITA) 2:09:10.22
10 Teneale Hatton (NZL) 2:09:28.70
11 Aurora Figueras (ESP) 2:11:09.02
12 Bridgitte Hartley (RSA) 2:12:09.49
1 Andrew Birkett (RSA) 2:09:29.06
2 Adrián Boros (HUN) 2:09:30.85
3 Jasper Mocke (RSA) 2:09:33.04
4 Quentin Urban (FRA) 2:09:40.66
5 Mads Pedersen (DEN) 2:09:41.21
6 José Ramalho (POR) 2:09:42.65
7 Jakub Adam (CZE) 2:09:59.08
8 Filippo Vincenzi (ITA) 2:10:11.72
9 Emilio Merchan (ESP) 2:10:43.53
10 Krisztián Máthé (HUN) 2:10:43.98
African News Agency (ANA)