Belfast Telegraph

Teenager Jake King crowned world champion

By Frank Brownlow

Teenager Jake King is Ulster's newest world champion after victory in the surf kayak championship in Australia.

The 18-year-old from Eglinton triumphed at Maroochydore beach in Queensland.

In the final King prevailed against the men's longboat world champion Edu Etxeberria, masters world champion Darren Bason and junior short boat champion Julen Arrizibala.

King has been surf kayaking with the CANI club since he was 10-years-old and is no stranger to success having won European and British titles as a junior and competed at the last world championships as a junior two years ago, finishing second.

But winning the world title as an 18-year-old has surpassed all his expectations.

"To finally win my first world title feels amazing and words cannot describe how I am feeling at this moment," he said.

"There are a lot of people I would like to thank for my success. First my family, especially my mum and dad (Paddy and Geraldine).

"I would like to thank my big brother and training partner Corin – without his support I would not have got this far.

"Also I would like to thank my coaches, CANI and my friends.

"I would like to thank my sponsors, Random Surfkayaks, Gath helmets, Snapdragon spraydecks and Sport NI without whose backing I could not compete at this level."

The new world champion's father Paddy will collect Jake when he arrives back in Dublin Airport tomorrow.

Paddy King said: "I think he can't quite believe what he has achieved.

"He's only about a month over junior age so it's fantastic. Jake is looking forward to getting home and seeing everyone and I'm sure there will be a big party for him.

"He had had an amazing level of support, from friends, sponsors, coaches, everyone. I don't think he thought he would ever get this far and achieve this."

The CANI surf kayak club has had tremendous success over the years, producing top performers like Chris Hobson, Jonny Bingham, Andy McClelland, Kevin Quinn and Jake's older brother Corin.

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