Mike and Steve Garvis of Annandale, Va., failed in their bid to capture a second straight title in the double canoe slalom today in the World Whitewater Championships, but the gold medal remained in the hands of paddlers from the Washington, D.C., area.

Fritz and Lecky Haller of Glen Echo, Md., who spent the last 18 months training on the Potomac River alongside the Garvis brothers, finished the 30-gate course in 2:46.32 to win their first world championship.

"This is like a dream come true," said Lecky Haller. "I watched Fritz win the gold in the mixed canoe in 1981 in England and that's when we decided to train together for the men's double canoe.

"They said it takes many years of paddling together to win the gold, but we have proved that otherwise."

The Garvis brothers, who were in fifth place after the first run, improved to third to win a bronze medal.

"If there is anybody I'd like to see win the gold medal other than us, it would be the Haller brothers," said Mike Garvis. "We gave it our best. That's all we can do."

In men's slalom kayaking, Richard Fox of Great Britain won in 2:09.16. Tom McGowan of McLean, Va., finished 33d and Marty McCormick of Potomac, Md., finished 34th.