The gold canoeists Andrea Herzog and Ricarda Funk outshined everything, then local hero Sideris Tasiadis also secured his first World Championship title. The world champion trio delivered a real wild water thriller in the final and crowned the home world championships in Augsburg. The strong record of the Germans was completed on Sunday by Elena Lilik with a kayak bronze and Franz Anton with a canoe bronze.
Despite problems in the upper area and a touch on the pole, Herzog beat Australian Olympic gold medalist Jessica Fox by 0.92 seconds. It was Herzog’s second world title after 2019 and at the same time the German hat-trick after last year’s victory by Lilik.
The defending champion from Augsburg made a mistake at gate 22 and was eliminated in the semifinals. “I had my magic moment with bronze in the kayak, today my concentration was a bit off,” said Lilik.
Herzog, on the other hand, could hardly believe her victory and kept clutching her head in disbelief. “My start wasn’t perfect, but it happened to Jessica at that point too. The last section was really good,” said the 22-year-old from Leipzig, who raised her fist in the air at the finish and let out a redeeming cry of joy.
Funk also cheered exuberantly on Saturday. Immediately after crossing the finish line, the Tokyo Olympic champion clapped her hands and cried out her joy. On her home track, the 30-year-old defended her world title with an energetic performance. During the national anthem, Funk fought back tears in front of IOC President Thomas Bach.
Funk also beat eight-time individual world champion Fox by 1.31 seconds after being a second down at halfway point. “The boat almost ran out to the right,” said Funk, describing the tricky situation. But that was the only moment of shock. “After that I was in the flow,” said Funk, who had contracted the corona virus at the World Cup in Kraków and had to pause.
The Olympic bronze medalist Tasiadis then drove on his route according to the motto all or nothing. The 32-year-old veteran was still missing the individual World Championship title in his collection. With a veritable rodeo ride, the man from Augsburg dug his way through the pole course and ended up 1.18 seconds ahead of Alexander Slafkovsky from Slovakia.