— Published 31 August 2023

A test event caught in the gusts

Difficult conditions on Wednesday, August 30, for the first of three days of the French leg of the canoe-kayak sprint World Cup, the discipline’s test event for the Paris 2024 Games. The scheduled competitions were able to proceed normally and distribute the first gold medals. However, the water at Vaires-sur-Marne was shaken by strong gusts of wind during the races. Britain’s Emma Wiggs, gold medallist at the Tokyo Paralympic Games in VL2, explained after her victory: “I hope it won’t be like this if I’m lucky enough to be here next year. The site has immense potential. I hope they’ll put in a few more grandstands and make it a bit more sheltered, but from what I’ve seen so far, they’re going to put on a great Games.” Australian Curtis McGrath, who also won a para-canoe event in the KL2, agrees: “You have to be prepared for all scenarios, as conditions can sometimes be the worst. Discovering the water on a bad day was a great opportunity. On a good day, it will be a phenomenal course.” Italy’s Carlo Tacchini, winner of the C2 500 m, also promises a great vintage for the Olympic events: “It’s a beautiful course, a little windy on the right-hand side, but the facilities are superb and the environment very successful.