Megha Kayak Fest

The 5th Edition of Megha Kayak Fest 2022 concluded on Sunday after a thrilling four-day event at the Umtrew River in Meghalaya’s Ri-Bhoi district.

The event, organised by the Ri-Bhoi Water Sports and Tourism Cooperative Society, witnessed participants from across the world, including several pro athletes and world champions.

Thirty-five men and seven women participants competed in two different pro formats–Extreme Slalom(men/women) and Downriver(men/women), and also an amateur format with mostly local kayakers competing in this category.

Kayakers taking off the ramp

On day 2 of the event, men and women competed in the Downriver Time Trial race. After an action-packed and thrilling day, the race was completed with Matthias Weger from Austria in the first position, while Giovanni De Gennaro from Italy and Manu Vink Wackernagel from New Zealand finished in 2nd and 3rd position respectively.

In the Women Downriver Time Trial, 31-year-old Red Bull athlete Nouria Newman from France finished in the first position, while Beth Morgan from the UK finished in the second position and Norway’s Lucie Royle took the 3rd position.

Extreme Slalom event

Spectators packed the venue on the final and day 3 of the festival, and both men and women competed in Extreme Slalom. After a day-long of high-level performance and skill show, Matthias Weger from Austria came in the first position, and Italian brothers Giovanni De Gennaro and Riccardo De Gennaro took the 2nd and 3rd positions.

Local spectators at the race venue

In Women Extreme Slalom, Beth Morgan from the UK finished first, while Mexico’s Sofia Reinoso and Naina Adhikari from India finished in 2nd and 3rd positions.

In the amateur category, Vikash Rana took the first position, and local boys Badshem Kharnongwat and Mebanjob Kharkrang finished in 2nd and 3rd positions.

Matthias Weger in action
PC: praveenjayakaran

Talking to EastMojo, the Festival Champion Matthias Weger said, “the special thing here(Meghalaya) is that the water is super warm, it’s just a joy when you get splashed by some big waves and big Rapids.”

“I think whitewater kayaking is a great chance for the people here and for the country. The event is a chance for the Kayaking community to grow in India. It’s just really important that the river stay natural.” he added

The event organisers Ian and Sheela Vincent from Shillong Whitewater Village expressed their gratitude to all the participants and also to the state government for supporting the festival, and to the all people who put their best effort to make this event a successful one.

The festival concluded with a prize distribution ceremony on Saturday evening.

Also Read: Meghalaya: Tamil writer Ambai graces special talk at NEHU’s Tura campus


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