The sun eventually decided to show up for the last day of competition in the 2012 ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup final in Bratislava. Jana DUKATOVA (SVK) offered the Gold to its home crowd in K1 Women while the Germans ANTON/BENZIEN nicely grabbed their first World Cup victory.
We left the C2 men category on Friday chocked by the surprising withdrawal of the absolute favorite and local stars, Pavel and Peter HOCHSCHORNER (SVK). The five time World Champions and three time Olympic Champions were thus not here to please the crowd of the Water Sports Centre Cunovo (Bratislava, Slovakia) and solace their Olympic disappointment with a win here but the spectators nevertheless enjoyed a high level final. The Polish pair SZCZEPANSKI/POCHWALA took the lead in this Final but the Germans ANTON/BENZIEN, despite a 2 second penalty, excelled at almost every difficulty of this course and eventually won the race with authority, finishing only 0.81 second before the Polish.
Pierre LABARELLE and Nicolas PESCHIER finished third in Bratislava. They offered to France its second victory in the 2012 Overall World Cup after Etienne DAILLE yesterday in the K1 Men category. “Today was very tough. The course is very technical, very demanding, especially in the last part. That’s where we lost the Gold medal today in fact. But our goal was to qualify to the Final to get enough points to win the overall World Cup and we did, so we can be happy: we got three gold medals and a podium this year. The disappointment of not participating to the Olympic Games is still vivid, but for us this result is promising for the next four years.”
In K1 Women, the local hero Jana DUKATOVA tore the course apart and left no chance to her opponents, one week after her victory in Prague’s World Cup. These two gold medals certainly leave her with some mixed feeling about her season and wondering what could have happened if she had shown the same face in London Olympics. “I had a very tough start of the season, she said. I felt sick; I never had a chance to do some proper training and to gain the necessary confidence that helps you take bold moves when you need it in a race. It was important for me to do well in the last two World Cup because I felt sorry not to have won a medal in London a month ago.”
By finishing third in Bratislava, Ursa KRAGELZ (SLO) thus becomes the 2012 Overall World Cup winner: “It did not go as smoothly as I planned today but I still got the bronze medal and I am the winner of the 2012 World Cup so it is very satisfying. It was important for me because I did not qualify for the Olympic Games in London after very bad European Championships.”
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