Local para-canoeist becomes World Champion

A 19-year-old from Clent has become a world champion at the World Canoe Marathon Championships.

Charlie Knowlden took gold in the Men's Paracanoe KL3 category at the event in Denmark where the GB Paracanoe team as a whole had a very successful Championships, bringing home a haul of three gold and one silver medal.

Charlie, a wheelchair user, only started kayaking aged 14 with Stourbridge Arm Canoe Club. He attended a trial session at a local swimming pool during the winter and quickly progressed into kayaking on the local canal, on rivers and white water and also competing in slalom competitions.

It was only around 2 years ago that a club member suggested that, due to his speed on the water, he try out at flat water kayak racing.

He then had a trial at Royal Leamington Spa Canoe Club and has quickly progressed, competing nationally in sprint races, before qualifying for the World Marathon Championships.

His race on Friday was over a distance of 11.1km, but came down to a final sprint over the last 350 metres between the 3 leaders, with Charlie pulling clear to win by 6 seconds from another Team GB paddler in 2nd and an Argentinian in third.


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