Nevin Harrison competes during the women's individual canoe 200-meter finals at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on Aug. 5, 2021 in Tokyo.
Olympic gold medalist Nevin Harrison captured another piece of American canoeing history Sunday.
Three years after becoming the first American world champion in sprint canoe, she won another world title in the women’s C-1 200-meter race at the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Harrison won the race in 49.87 seconds, defeating a field that included Olympic bronze medalist Liudmyla Luzan of Ukraine and defending world champion Katie Vincent of Canada.
After winning her first world title in the C-1 200-meter event in 2019 at age 17, Harrison, of Seattle, went on to win the event again last year at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, in doing so becoming the first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in sprint canoeing.
But since winning in Tokyo, Harrison, now 20, had not been competing. And this week’s world championships was her first international competition since the Olympic Games.
“I took a lotta, lotta time after Tokyo,” she said on the ICF webstream after winning Sunday’s race. “It’s really awesome to back up here and it feels good to be competing with these awesome women again.”
Harrison powerfully sped ahead in the second half of the race and defeated runner-up Maria Corbera of Spain by more than half a second. Wenjun Lin of China won the bronze medal. Vincent was fifth.
High humidity and temperatures in the 80s tested the paddlers.
“I was definitely rattled by the heat,” Harrison said.
Harrison was the only U.S. medalist at the world championships, which concluded Sunday.