World Cup gold and bronze for white water paddlers

HOBART white water paddlers Daniel Watkins and Kate Eckhardt have won world cup gold and bronze medals in Liptovsky Mikulas, Slovakia.
Watkins joined Jaxon Merritt and Lucien Delfour to win gold in the men’s K1 teams final, while 17-year-old Eckhardt teamed with Jessica and Noemie Fox to win bronze in the women’s K1 event.
The Australian men paddled at their very best to overhaul more favoured teams in the hotly contested team finale, executing a clean run to finish 0.44 seconds ahead of Poland.
Watkins was “stoked” with their performance.
“We paddled safely and without mistakes and felt in control the whole way, it felt pretty good and we are obviously stoked to take the win,” he said.
Merritt said the team’s goal was for Delfour to get away as quickly as possible to open up a lead from gate six.
“He smoked it from the first stroke,” he said.
“From then it was a question of Dan and I staying in close enough touch with his pace, giving each other space and staying clean behind him, which we did thankfully.
“Teams is always the best fun.”
The women’s team produced a clean run to finish 4.80 seconds behind Slovakia who won the gold ahead of the Czech Republic.
It was a positive conclusion to the third of five world cups for the Australian team, taking their series medal tally to six.
It is the first time that the Fox sisters have shared a world cup podium, while for Eckhardt it was superb result on her senior international debut.

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