The Brazil teams have scooped up the Open Men’s, Open Women’s and Masters Men’s title at the World Rafting Champs in Foz do Iguaçu. Brazil.
Photos: Nilton Rolin / Itaipu and Rickardo Andrade
The 2014 R4 Championships have ended after gathering the best in the world, from 19 countries, for two weeks of competition. Last week saw the u19 and u23 divisions competing, and this week was the chance for the Open and Masters to perform. Brazil showed why they are one of the most feared teams in the world.
According to Rebecca Fernandes, athlete and rafting representative of the Brazilian Canoe Confederation Committee, the victory was mainly due to the dedication and passion for rafting as a sport and doing positive development in Brazil. “In addition to winning at home it’s is great and, I feel, extremely timely because it gives more strength to our sport. I would like to thank everyone who made the tournament happen”, she said.
In the morning the Downriver was held in the Iguaçu National Park, and in the afternoon everyone moved back to the Itaipu Canal for the 2nd run of Slalom which could not be completed the previous day due to too little water due to the pumps not working as planned.
Downriver, below Iguaçu Falls
The Downriver just below the Iguaçu Falls provided an unforgettable setting for the start. The teams who did well were Slovakia, Russia and Brazil. In the Open Women, Slovakia completed the race with a time of 20: 52.08, ahead of the Japanese with 21: 01:44 and Brazilians with 21: 43.69. In the Open Men gold was won by the Russian team with 19: 40.21, silver by Brazil with 19: 47.72 and the bronze by Japan with 20: 08:34. Men’s Masters category saw Brazil take victory with a time of 21: 10:17, followed by the Czech Republic at 21: 29.00 and Russia with 22: 21.89.
The teams were up before sunrise and since clocks were moved an hour ahead the night had felt even shorter. According to the rafter, Antonio Salvati of the Brazil Open team the scene of the Iguaçu Falls was very worthwhile. “Even getting up so early was very worthwhile to have the opportunity to compete in this place,” he said.
“The place is very beautiful. I had never seen such beauty,” said Johnatan Uyarte, the Open Men’s category of Argentina. Kailie Marland, the athlete from the Canadian Open Female’s Team, said: “The falls are beautiful, there’s no better. The waves are pretty big down river and to face them was another challenge that we believe we did well in …”
Conclusion of proof of Slalom
During the afternoon the athletes returned to the Itaipu Canal to complete the Slalom discipline. The victory in the Men’s Open went to Czech Republic with the best time of 2: 33.87, followed by Brazil with 2: 35.71 and the surprise of the event was the young, first time at a WRC, Costa Rican team who took bronze with a time of 2: 40.55. Japan were unable to improve their time and were surprise non-medallists. In the Open Women’s category it was Brazil’s turn to take the gold with a time of 3: 04.87, ahead of Japan with 3: 5:17 and Czech Republic 3: 11:18. In the Masters Men’s it was another victory for the Czechs with the time of 2: 48.94, a great advantage over the Brazilian’s 3: 02:06 and the Russians with 4: 23.67.
After the points for all four disciplines – Sprint, H2H, Slalom and Downriver – were totalled up, Brazil showed the world what great rafting teams they have. In the Open Men’s Brazil secured the title of world champion with a total of 888 points, followed by the Czech Republic and Russia with 834 and 830 In Men’s Masters once again the Brazilians won with 952 points, followed by the Czechs and Russians with 928 to 790. The Women’s Open also saw Brazil in first with 904 points, followed by Japan with 871 and 847 for Slovakia.
A big congratulations to Brazil – World Champions all round!
The president of Brazilian Canoe Confederation, Joao Tomasini Schwertner, gave the success of the event due to the support of BNDES, Ministry of Sport and Itaipu.
“Once again we had a great event in the country thanks to our great partners who believe in the development of the Brazilian rafting. I’d also like to give my congratulations to the Brazilian teams that showed the strength of the country on the world stage, all the foreign teams who came to Brazil, the organizing team and volunteers who came to participate in this great event.”