On Day 1 of the ParaCanoe World Championships, Megan Blank won two silver medals.
Megan Blunk (Lakebay, Wash.) has the mark of any elite athlete – always striving for better. After winning two silver medals on Day 1 of her first ParaCanoe World Championships in Duisburg, Germany, she set her sights on bigger goals.
“It means that now I know what it feels like to be on the podium and I want to see the American flag in the middle up high [during the medal ceremony], instead of on the side,” Blunk said. “And it makes me just want to fight that much harder and win next time.”
Blunk, competing in the Trunk and Arms (TA) classification, placed 2nd in the women’s K-1 and V-1 races. She finished the K-1 final in 57.507, which was a half-second behind the first place finisher, Emma Wiggs of Great Britain.
Blunk improved upon her K-1 heat, in which she finished 3 full seconds behind Wiggs. Blunk then turned in a time of 1:10.838 in the V-1 final, which was 7.595 seconds behind the first place finisher, Jeanette Chippington of Great Britain.
“It feels really good because it shows me not to second guess myself and if you just go as hard as you can, then you can accomplish your goals,” Blunk said.
Also competing in her first world championships, Ann Yoshida (Hillsboro, Ore.) won the bronze medal in the women’s V-1 Arms (A) direct final with a time of 1:31.382, which was 25.754 seconds behind Chippington, the first place finisher.
“This is my first world sprints and I won a medal, so that’s great,” Yoshida said. “But I still know that from this point on, it’s only going to get better. I’m only going to get more fit. It proves to me that anybody, a person with a disability or with no disability, they can get to this point, if they just work hard.”
Vadim Kin (Seattle, Wash.) placed 7th in the V-1 A final, while Bob Balk (Moravia, N.Y.) finished 8th in the V-1 TA final. Carol Rogers (Raleigh, N.C.) placed 9th in the K-1 A final. Nik Miller (Virginia Beach, Va.) and David Etier (Harwood, Texas) finished 8th in men’s K-1 Legs, Trunk and Arms (LTA) and TA semifinals, respectively.
The following athletes advanced to Thursday’s finals: Greg Crouse (Fullerton, Calif.) in men’s V-1 LTA; Kelly Allen (San Marcos, Texas) in women’s K-1 LTA; and Ryan Padilla (Gig Harbor, Wash.) in men’s K-1 A.
Anja Pierce (Pittsford, N.Y.), who won Silver at last year’s World Championships, will race in Thursday’s women’s V-1 LTA final.