Championships offer glimpse of Olympics

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) -- More than 350 competitors from 26 countries are in Wausau to compete in world championship kayaking and canoeing.

The competition offers a glimpse of the Summer Olympic Games in London with several Olympians competing at Whitewater Park. Next to the Olympics, the competition in Wisconsin is the biggest event in the sport. The competition, held every two years, was last staged in France.

The 300-yard course in Wausau is unique. The Wisconsin River provides a natural white-water environment as opposed to an artificial concrete course.

U.S. Olympian Casey Eichfeld says it's great to have such a high-ranking race so close to the Olympics, which begin in about two weeks. The world championship competition in Wausau begins Wednesday and ends Sunday.

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