Fans packed the banks of the course for the second day of the 2012 Youth & Masters World Championships in Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic. Slalom was today’s event, the third of four disciplines to be raced to determine who the world’s best Youth and Masters champions will be in this discipline.
The course proved challenging, with its technical layout consisting of nine downstream and five upstream gates testing the very best crews, with gates 5 through to 8 producing plenty of thrills and spills with two crews ending upside down through gate six on their first runs.
Youth Women - After eight consecutive gold medals to the Czech teams on day one, the Russia Youth girls team of Anastasia Lipenkova, Alena Travkina, Nadezda Zhirikova and Ekaterina Teslyuchenko finally ended their dominance after they produced a fast second run to claim the gold ahead of the Czech Republic and Brazil.
The victory keep them right in the hunt for overall honours, now only trailing the Czech girls by 27 points.
All four girls hail from the Russian capital of Moscow and were delighted by their performance today, with slalom not being a favourite discipline of the girls. 18 year old Teslyuchenko found the course a challenge:
The most difficult were two things. Firstly to concentrate and feel ourselves comfortable at the start. The second was the focus on eddies, to find the right lines and to focus on the course.
Tuesday’s downriver should prove an intriguing battle with the Russian girls confident they have what it takes to win this event, as the majority of the team’s training is done on rivers in Moscow.
“We have been training hard for months and months and have been truly focusing on this discipline. This is why we truly believe that we will win.”
Youth Men - The Czech men’s youth team of Antonin Hales, Martin Hovak, Radek Pavlik and Radim Bozek appear to have one hand on the World Championships Youth Cup after winning their third consecutive victory after navigating the 14 gate course in blistering fashion.
The win sees the Czech team increase their lead at the top of the points table to 129 ahead of the Brazilians with just the downriver discipline to come. Captain Antonin Hales believes the team is well positioned ahead of the last race on Tuesday.
Asked about their strategy ahead of the Downriver Hales responded, “We need to sleep well, be well prepared and be in a good mood because the water between Vyssi and Rozemberg is flat and it will really be about muscle and how long you can last.”
For some nations winning isn’t everything, and for the Italian Youth men’s team this was clearly evident with the crew of Matthias Johann Deutsch, Daniel Klotzner, Patrick Agostini and Alexander Zanella delighted to finish second behind the locals, with Germany in third.
“Today was a really great day for us because we trained for only two or three days in slalom and it was a hard slalom course. The second run went really well.” said 20 year old Klotzner.
The result was a marked improvement on their seventh place finish at last year’s Youth World Championships in Costa Rica and the crew will be looking at improving on their 4th place finish in the downriver last year.
"Downriver is one of our strengths and here we aim for another medal.”
Below the results for the youth men. For more results click here.
Masters - The Czech Masters crews annihilated the opposition with some great paddling down the technical course, producing a time of 151.07 to finish 251.94 seconds ahead of Russia. Latvia collected their second bronze, following a podium finish in the head to head on Saturday.
With just two ladies teams competing in the Masters category, the local favourites cruised to victory all but guaranteeing themselves the crown of World Masters Champions with an unassailable lead at the top of the points table.
Despite 370 seconds in penalties the Czech team of Eva Vavrova, Vladimira Chlupacova, Alena Panenkova and Jaroslava Hajkova proved no match for the Russians who were disqualified.
Tomorrow will see all teams have a rest day before travelling to the Vyssi for the finale, the ‘Downriver’ discipline where this year’s Youth and Masters World Champions will be crowned.
Event website: www.ymwrc2012.com