American Women Nab 1st Ever Podium Finish At 2010 ICF Jr. World Championships

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The 2010 ICF Junior World Championships have just wrapped from Foix, France and the American women are finding themselves on the podium for the first time. The men, meanwhile, missed finishing in the top three by just two touches and four seconds…

Hailey Thompson (Stevens Point, Wis.) placed third in Women’s C-1 on Sunday at the 2010 ICF Canoe Slalom Junior World Championships. It was the first podium finish by an American in Women’s C-1 in a fully contested international competition. It was the first time Women’s C-1 was featured in the Junior World Championships.

A veteran of two World Cup races, Thompson finished 21.23 seconds behind first place finisher Jessica Fox of Australia. “It was great to see how far Hailey has brought our Women in Canoe and how she competed for a podium spot at the first ever Junior Worlds for the Women in Canoe,” said William Irving, USA Canoe/Kayak National Teams Director.

Two touches and four seconds worth of penalty time proved just enough to keep Michal Smolen (Gastonia, N.C.) off the podium. Smolen finished fourth in the Men’s K-1, less than a second behind third place and less than five seconds from the gold medal. Michal has been preparing for this event at the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, N.C. with his father and team coach, Rafal Smolen. “Michal was fast all week and although he came one place short of a podium performance, he has nothing to hang his head about,” Irving said. “Michal has showed through all of his hard work and training that he has put in, that he is clearly one of the best Junior paddlers in the world.”

Tyler Hinton (Boulder, Colo.) finished 12th in Men’s C-1. Hinton has made huge strides under coach Scott Shipley, an Olympian and World Champion. Missing a gate dropped Caroline Queen (Darnestown, Md.) and Zach Lokken (Durango, Colo.) to 26th in Women’s K-1 and 30th in Men’s C-1, respectively. It was a tough finish for them as both are capable of putting together incredible performances. Lokken ranked second after the first two heats on Friday.

For complete results and video of the Junior World Championships, visit the official Foix site FoixCanoe2010

USA Canoe/Kayak is a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee and the International Canoe Federation. It governs the Olympic disciplines of Flatwater Sprint and Whitewater Slalom and sanctions Freestyle, Marathon, Outrigger, Wildwater, Kayak Polo, Dragon Boat and Canoe Sailing in the United States. For more information about USA Canoe/Kayak, please visit USA Canoe/Kayak