Whitewater world championships kick off in Wausau - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Whitewater world championships kick off in Wausau

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

Kayakers from across the world are competing in Wausau.

The Canoe Slalom World Championships kicked off Wednesday morning at Whitewater Park and ran through much of the day.

About 200 athletes ages 15 to 23 are participating. They represent more than two dozen countries, according to organizers. Some are competing in the junior category, and others are racing in the Under-23 category.

Some of the athletes are on their way to compete in London at the 2012 Olympics. Others are trying to use this event as preparation to compete in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.

Caroline Queen, an athlete from Maryland, made the Olympic team this year. She said it's nice to be competing again in Wausau.

"Most recently we've been doing paddling on artificial courses, so it's been nice to get on some natural water, but as far as natural courses go this is really a great option for us," she said.

More qualifying runs will be held Thursday. Semifinals will take place Friday, and the finals will run on Saturday and Sunday.

For more information, visit http://www.2012wausau.com/.

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