There were winners and there were big winners at the conclusion of the Cardiff World Cup. David Florence (GBR) made history when he won his second gold medal of the weekend with his Men’s C2 partner Richard Hounslow.
Another big development was the qualification of Jana Dukatova (SVK) ahead of her teammate double Olympic and European Champion Elena Kaliska. The two had been in a similar position four years ago when the then in-form Dukatova lost the Olympic spot in Beijing 2008 to Kaliska. The Slovak known for her smooth and precise runs wrapped up her memorable weekend with a silver medal in the Women’s K1 final.
The winner of the Women’s K1 event was Maialen Chourraut (ESP) and bronze medallist was the young German Cindy Poeschel who is ranked 29th in the world.
“It was a very difficult race for me. I had not had a good feeling about the water yesterday and I was not fast. When I went to bed last night it was on my mind and I wondered how I would get on today, and I did better”, said Chourraut.
Hurd and Larimer join teammates Queen, Parsons and Eichfeld on US Olympic team
Team USA were also simultaneously holding their selection process in Cardiff. Eric Hurd and Jeff Larimer (USA) sealed the deal today in the Men’s C2 semi-final. The duo had been sitting in pole position for what seemed like months but finally won the place ahead of Devin McEwan and Casey Eichfeld, with a 10th place in the C2 semi-final..
Asked how they felt having now qualified for the Games, Hurd said, “We have just been in this zone for so long, that having qualified it doesn’t feel different, but I am sure it will hit us a bit later.”
Hurd and Larimer join Caroline Queen (Women’s K1), Scott Parsons (Men’s K1) and Casey Eichfeld (Men’s C1) who all qualified yesterday.
The USA duo eventually finished 9th in the final with David Florence and Richard Hounslow (GBR) winning gold. The young and exciting Slovenian duo of Saso Taljat and Luka Bozic took the silver medal after giving their trademark fast and explosive run through the course. With no penalties awarded they were only hundredths of a second within reach of a gold medal but fell short.
Florence and Hounslow win C2 gold
“After a tough week we won a medal so we are very happy,” said Taljat. “Now we go to Pau and then back home. We have a 5 day training camp in London, then it is the Olympics where we hope we can medal.”
The triple Olympic and 5 time World Champions the Hochschorner brothers were quickest in the final but were hit with two penalties that pushed them back to 3rd place. Not deterred by the bronze Pavol Hochschorner said, “We had two touches and a big mistake at the bottom of the course. We lost too much time and it was not enough for first place.
“But we are happy with our preparations because we have trained three times on the London course and we feel good on this course. We are happy.”
The Cardiff World Cup was the first of the ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup series and the athletes will now head south to the Pyrenees, where the Pau World Cup (FRA) takes place.
Results can be accessed here.