Baxter, Piana and Dews Make ICF History

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 QINGDAO, China – American Connor Baxter posted the fastest ever time for a men’s 200 metre sprint and France’s Olivia Piana won the women’s gold at her first ever sprint event in a thrilling day of competition at the ICF stand up paddling world championships in Qingdao, China, on Saturday. Baxter shocked even himself with his speed in the semi-final, officially stopping the clock at an incredible 46.38 seconds – the first athlete to ever go under the 47 second mark. “It felt fast, for sure,” Baxter said.

“The boys and all of us were pushing hard. I felt my arms cramping and I felt the speed was going good, but to say 46? No I did not think I was going that fast. To beat that today, it’s not just a great accomplishment, but to end up in first place. “To win like this today is an amazing feeling, I’m really stoked.” Italy’s Claudio Nika and Brazil’s Arthur Santacreu both posted times that would have won them gold on nearly any other day this year, but instead had to settle for silver and bronze behind the blonde bazooka from America. “These races are intense,” Baxter said. “Those short bursts, where it’s long burners and feel so bad in the moment. Like my trainer always says, if you’re not feeling like you’re about to throw up, you’re not going hard enough.”