Spain won the first medal of the La Seu d’Urgell World Cup on Saturday when Jordi Domenjo took the top spot in the Men’s C1 event. The popular local received a rapturous applause from the fans as he stood up the podium to collect his gold medal.
“To win at home is amazing after 20 years of paddling at the top level and never having achieved something like this,” said an ecstatic Domenjo. “Having all these people shouting and screaming is an incredible feeling.”
David Florence and Tony Estanguet pick up second medal of the season
Winning silver was the Cardiff World Cup victor David Florence (GBR) who continued his good form this weekend by delivering a clean and penalty free run that was just 0.004 seconds off the winning time. Pau gold medallist Tony Estanguet (FRA) salvaged his weekend with a bronze medal after falling ill shortly upon arriving in La Seu d’Urgell. Controversy was not far away as Estanguet crossed the line initially placed 6th however on video review a touch was removed as it was deemed a ‘water touch’ sending him up the result list.
Daille makes it three of three in La Seu d’Urgell
Boris Neveu (FRA) was the only paddler in the Top 10 of the ICF Ranking that raced in the Men’s K1 final, but nevertheless there were two French paddlers on the podium as the category looks to finally settle on Etienne Daille as the best men’s kayaker this half of the season. Daille who will race in the K1 event at the Olympic Games didn’t medal in any of the World Cups last season but is now 3 out of 3 this season.
“It’s a big change for me being on the podium three times this season,” said Daille. “I think it was my selection at Olympic selections in France that gave me more confidence as I am more relaxed now when paddling and I know that I can be the best so I just do my best to win the race.”
On his thoughts on the many different podium winners in the Men’s K1 event this season Daille said, “Men’s K1 is a difficult category to medal in as there are maybe 30 paddlers at each World Cup that can win and it is very difficult to get on the podium so the most important part is to get into the final.”
Germany’s Fabian Doerfler won the silver medal splitting the two French teammates. Vivien Colober the 20th ranked paddler ended his successful weekend with a bronze medal.
Scale tips to France as Caroline Loir wins 2nd consecutive medal
The Women’s Canoe category was dominated by France as Caroline Loir picked up her 2nd gold medal in as many weeks. Speaking to ICF TV, Loir said:
“I had a good run today and I took a lot of pleasure from the race because it’s a much easier course than Pau and I managed to qualify first of all, and I made a nice run in the final.”
“The most difficult spot is where I made the switch as normally I paddle on the left side but I switched to the right in the last drop. I had viewed the races of the K1 men and saw that they made many touches on that gate so I decided to make a spin there and I managed to pass the gate.”
The Czech Republic’s Katerina Hoskova was the fourth Women’s C1 paddler down the course and she stood unchallenged for 20 minutes in the waiting area. There was an expression of admiration on Hoskova’s face as Loir came through the course. With only one touch of the gate to Hoskova’s 3, Loir took 1st place in the last run of the final leaving Hoskova with a second silver medal behind the French woman.
Maialen Chourraut posts fastest time in 2nd run of the Women’s K1 heats
After the Medals Ceremony the competition continued with the Women’s K1 heats where Spain’s Maialen Chourraut again came out on top in her 2nd run. The 29 year old from Saint Sebastian in Northern Spain is having her best season and now leads the Women’s Kayak category.
I feel good. I have trained hard this year and I have been without any injuries so that helps,” said Chourraout. “This year the coaching team has focused a lot on improving my physical condition and my technique and I think all that work is paying off now.”
Finishing in the top 30 and also going into tomorrow’s semi-final are Melanie Pfeiffer (GER), Emilie Fer (FRA), Fiona Pennie (GBR), Jessica Fox (AUS), Corinna Kuhnle (AUT) Dana Mann (SVK) and Elena Kaliska (SVK).
The Slovakians continue their dominance in the Men’s C2 event with the Germans not too far behind. In the absence of the Hochschorner brothers, the Skantar cousins from Slovakia posted the best time taking into consideration 2 seconds of penalties. The top 20 boats go into tomorrow’s semi-final and will include Behling and Becker (GER), Kucera and Batik (SVK), Gauthier and Mathieu Peche (FRA).
The last day of competition begins tomorrow morning with the Women’s K1 and Men’s C2 semi-finals at 09h30 with the competition ending at 13h00 (CET) with the awards ceremony.
The programme can be accessed here. For more information on the La Seu d’Urgell World Cup visit: http://laseudurgell2012.worldcup.events.slalom.canoeicf.com/.
Results can be accessed here.
The competition will be broadcast LIVE on Sport Plus, ESPN 3 (USA), SPORTSNET (Canada), Sportel and other networks. Please note that you can also watch the event live on the ICF video website: http://eurovision.digotel.com/icf/index.html.