Columbus Georgia will host the 2023 ICF canoe freestyle world championships and two world cup events in 2022 as the sport bounces back from two seasons of limited competition due to Covid-19.

The double world cups in Columbus in October will follow the rescheduled 2022 ICF canoe freestyle world championships in Nottingham, Great Britain, in June, and will be a welcome return to top level competition for an international sporting community starved of top level events.

The 2023 ICF canoe freestyle world championships are scheduled for June 27 to July 1. It will be the ninth freestyle world championships, the second to be held in the USA, and the first to be held in Columbus. The 2013 ICF world championships were held at Nantahala Gorge in North Carolina.

“After the drought of competition in 2020 and again this year, we are thrilled to be able to announce three new ICF canoe freestyle events, and to be heading back to the USA,” ICF freestyle committee chairman, Lluis Rabaneda, said.

“Covid has caused enormous stress around the world, but next year we will have the opportunity to show the resilience of our freestyle community by staging what we are sure will be an outstanding world championships in Nottingham, and then two world cups in Columbus.

“And we are especially excited to be able to announce Columbus will host our 2023 world titles. The USA is a very strong freestyle paddling community, and the enthusiasm and vision of our hosts in Georgia are certain to make this an event to remember.”

The ICF canoe freestyle world championships are held every two years, however because of international covid restrictions, this year’s event in Nottingham was postponed to 2022.

“For the first time our world championships will be held in consecutive years, but we are sure our athletes will be more than happy with this outcome,” Mr Rabaneda said.

“And heading back to the USA underlines what a truly global sport canoe freestyle is. We have had world titles in Europe, South America and North America, and every year more and more countries are entering our events.”

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