The United States' Jordan Poffenberger took the gold medal in the open surface event as action continued today at the International Canoe Federation Canoe Freestyle World Championships in Sort in Spain.
Poffenberger qualified last for the five-man final, but then recorded 173.33 points on his first ride to place the rest of the finalists under pressure.
No one was able to better his mark, with France's Jean-Yves Moustrou claiming the silver medal on 153.33 points and Germany’s Philip Josef securing the bronze on 126.67.
"The hope is to lay down a solid ride, so that way, with the next couple of runs, I can try to better it," Poffenberger said.
"Each run I was shooting for a bigger score, but sometimes your first ride is your best one.
"It was weird because I was having a lot of trouble in my preliminary rounds, but in practice I was feeling very confident.
"I knew with more pressure on me I tend to rip it out, so I think the extra pressure helped me perform a little better.
"Being first up is definitely nerve-racking – it's definitely a little more stressful but at the same time it’s fun being on the water."
Two-times world champion Dane Jackson of the US began his quest to regain the title he lost in 2017 by posting the highest qualifying score in the men’s kayak surface event.
Jackson was in red-hot form, posting scores of 1,510 and 1,550 to end up with a total of 3,060 points.
He was well ahead of nearest challenger Gavin Barker of Britain on 2,198.33 points.
France's Sebastien Devred was third on 2,165 points.
Spain’s Joaquim Fontane, who won the gold medal ahead of Jackson and Devred in Argentinean city San Juan in 2017, qualified in fifth place with 1,966.67 points.
France's Tom Dollé was fourth with 2,013.33 points.
The men’s kayak surface event is due to conclude on Saturday (July 6).
Medals are scheduled to be awarded tomorrow in the canoe decked surface event.