Kiwi kayaker Mike Dawson has won New Zealand's first canoe slalom world championship medal, picking up bronze in the extreme slalom final in Pau, France early today.
The 30-year-old battled through five rounds of intense head-to-head racing, eventually finishing behind 2012 Olympic silver medallist Vavrinec Hradilek of the Czech Republic and Frenchman Boris Neveu in the four-boat final.
It capped an incredible world championship for the New Zealand team, with Dawson and Luuka Jones earlier both making the final of their respective K1 slalom events, with Dawson finishing seventh and Rio Olympic silver medallist Jones fourth.
''It's a wicked end to an amazing world championships," Bay of Plenty paddler Dawson said.
''All my dreams came true to stand on the podium with guys I've race against for so many years.
''It just shows how good the sport is in New Zealand right now. It's just going from strength to strength with Luuka winning her silver medal at the Olympics and to have two finals in slalom events shows it's only positive for us."
Dawson praised the support the whitewater canoeists have had from High Performance Sport New Zealand which ''has created an amazing opportunity for us to deliver what we have on the world stage."