Spain’s Joaquím Fontané took the K1 men’s title at ECA European Freestyle Championships in Lienz. Marléne Devilez (FRA) defied her title in K1 women’s. In K1 junior men all the medals go to Britain.
Young Joaquím Fontané pulled it off at the ECA European Freestyle Championships on Saturday. In his first run the Spaniard set the championships absolute high-score, which caused his competitors to despair: 1170 points, a score that is only possible by smoothly combining one high-score-move after the other. In his 45-second-ride he did not show any hesitation or insecurity, but absolute precision and a fascinating dynamic. A strong performance set by the once K1 junior’s -, now K1 men’s European Champion.
Although showing excellent canoe-freestyle, none of the remaining finalists could show a ride that perfect. Each had three chances to improve their score. Sebastien Devred (FRA) made 926,667 points which put him on 2nd place. 3rd became Britain’s reigning world champion James Bebbington, followed by James Weight. Peter Csonka (SVK) had to pay tribute to his muscle injury: 5th place today for the European Champion of 2010.
In the K1 women’s final Marléne Devillez (FRA), did not take long to make her point: The defending champ scored some huge moves in her first ride and put herself to the lead. In her second ride she could even improve her score up to 306 points. The old and new European Champion won well ahead of runner up Nina Csonkova (SVK) and Maria Lindgren from Sweden. The two Norwegian competitors Kari Olnes and Tora Heggem ended up on 4th and 5th place.
Tight was the decision in the C1-final. Lucas Cervinka from Czech Republic scored an extraordinary first run, showing difficult C1-moves such as Lunar Orbits and Back- Loop. Germany’s Philipp Hitzigrath almost had an answer to Cervinka’s high-score in his third run, but in the end he was missing 45 points to the lead. The title goes to the Czech followed by Hitzigrath, Aitor Goikoetxea from Spain, Sören Kohnert (GER) and Jan Choutka (CZE).
Fighting hard were the K1 junior men, most of all the two young Brits Bren Orton and James Benns. Both scored an excellent ride in their first run, showing high-difficulty- moves such as Tricky Whoo and Lunar Orbit. The decision was close: only 1,667 points ahead of his challenger, Bren Orton took the title. Third place also goes to the strong British freestyle-squad. Sam Stephenson kept Lane De Meuenaere (BEL) and Sindre Slalien (NOR) from the medals.
In the K1 junior women’s finals Nuria Fontané (ESP) took the title. The young talent from Spain showed a strong first ride, including huge Loops and Helixes. Already knowing to be the new European Champion, she truly enjoyed her final ride scoring a massive McNasty: 200 points! Extremely well did the German girls today. Lisa Hasselwander, practising canoe freestyle for only two months, scored a perfect loop in her second ride. Unfortunately she hurt herself in the hole so she could not compete in the third run. However, her challengers still could not keep her from taking silver. Third place goes to Jana Groß (GER) followed by Kimberlee Aldred (GBR), Julia Spaaij (GER), Jennifer McGaley (GBR) and Jeromin Hervo (FRA). Due to a tie in the prelims, seven young ladies had made it to the final.
In men’s squirt Ben Aldred (GBR) made use of the benefits of his classic squirt-kayak and paddled to victory with a big mystery-move. Showing some fine screwing around and trophy-moves, the new European Champion kept his challengers in freestyle- boats at a distance. 2nd place goes to Tomasz Czaplicki followed by Bartosz Czauderna (both POL), Michal Wrzal (GBR) and Helmut Wolff (GER).
After an hot and exciting week the 2012 European Freestyle Championships are called to an end. Thanks to the city of Lienz, the East-Tyrol Tourism Board, TIWAG, Stohlquist Waterwear, Teva, LaOla Canoe Shop and all the helping hands of the Ostirol Kayak Club, who made this week’s competitions a big event!
For results, photos, tweets and more see www.euro-lienz.com.
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