The 19 year old is following in the footsteps of his mother Anna Wood, an Australian coach, who represented Australia at three Olympic Games.
Wood headed into the final on the back of a historic performance in his semifinal where he recorded the fourth fastest K1 1000 time in ICF history.
“I am super stoked with the race and how I paddled it,” Wood said.
Wood entered the season with a goal of winning a medal at U23 Worlds and now he has done just that finishing second behind pre-race favourite Bence Dombvari of Hungary.
It was a two-horse race in the final with both athletes going stroke for stroke across the first 500 metres.
“I really wanted to work the first 500 as I knew that Bence and the Spanish guy (Javier Cabanin) and a few of the others would really work the first 500,” Wood said.
Wood took the approach of splitting each 250 with the aim of keeping his performance as consistent as possible.
He increased his stroke rate with 250 to go but was unable to match last year’s senior World Championship bronze medallist who won in 3:27.176, 0.672 seconds ahead of Wood.
“The last 250 was so hard, I came into it and really tried to kick it up and keep it consistent and flowing so that I would not blow up,” Wood said.
“I tried to lift but I think it turned out that I just ended up flat lining and keeping consistent which isn’t a bad thing as that was the plan so it was good.”
Wood will immediately turn his attention to recovery with the Queenslander set to join Bill Bain, Zac Ryan and Joel McKitterick in the U23 K4 1000 final on Sunday.
Wood would like to say thank you to the whole team for supporting him over the past four months.
“I would like to thank all the people that have supported me through this season, Safe and Healthy people, Bennett Paddles, and a big thanks to all the coaching staff – Anders (Gustafsson), Jimmy (Owens), TJ (Tim Jacobs) and Nathan (Luce),” he said.
In other results Kawana Waters paddler Jy Duffy narrowly missed out on a medal in the junior K1 1000 final finishing fourth.
The 17 year old finished 1.720 seconds behind race winner Artuur Peters of Belgium.
Duffy said the race unfolded as he expected.
“It went pretty well. We knew everyone else would go out fast so I tried not to get phased by that and worked through the back 750 and I think that I did that,” Duffy said.
Duffy flew home in the closing stages but missed out on a medal by half a second.
Fellow junior 1000 metre men Riley Fitzsimmons and Simon McTavish got off to a strong start in the junior K2 1000 final.
They continued to build through the middle part of the race before fading in the final 250 metres to finish seventh 3.228 seconds behind Germany who edged the Czech Republic and Russia for the gold medal winning in 3:16.115.
South Australian Glenn Rypp and Michael Booth of Queensland paddled gallantly in the U23 K2 1000 final but were no much for the European heavyweights of Hungary, Serbia and Germany who dominated the final.
Rypp and Booth finished eighth, 6.676 seconds behind Hungary who won the gold in 3:10.259.
The women also featured on Saturday morning with Shannon Reynolds, Rebecca Mann, Alyssa Bull and Cat McArthur finishing ninth in the U23 K4 500 final.
The Australian quad finished 4.332 seconds behind China who become the first non-European nation of the event to win a gold medal in 1:32.572.
Racing continues in Szeged this afternoon with the semifinal for the 200 metre events.
Saturday schedule (AEST)
11:10pm – JNR K1 200 Semifinal 3 (Alex Graham) (L6)
11:30pm – JNR K1W 200 Semifinal 3 (Caitlin Gilliman (L7)
12:00am – U23 K1 200 Semifinal 1 (Callum Dunn) (L8)
12:25am – U23 K1W 200 Semifinal 2 (Alyce Burnett) (L8)
1:00am – JNR K2 200 Semifinal 1 (Pond/McTigue) (L9)
1:30am – U23 K2 200 Semifinal 3 (McIntyre/Stowe) (L1)
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