2017 European Slalom Championships June 1st/4th
Athletes from 23 European countries have gathered in Tacen, Slovenia, for the 2017 Canoe Slalom European Championships this weekend.
Top level slalomists from Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Spain, France, Great Britain, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Macedonia, Nederland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Switzerland, Slovakia, Sweden, Ukraine and Slovenia will fight for the medals on the Sava River.
The venue, which is famous by its drop, has already hosted Canoe Slalom European Championships in 2005, in addition to three World Championships and numerous World Cup events. Even though 12 years have passed since then, there are some familiar faces from 2005 also entered in the competition this year.
Among them Slovenian Peter Kauzer, who won his first medal at the senior level canoe slalom championships that year in front of his home crowd, Czech Štepanka Hilgertova, Austrian Corinna Kuhnle, Britain’s Fiona Pennie, German Alexander Grimm, Škantar cousins and Hochschorner brothers, Alexander Grimm, Michal Martikan, Elena Kaliska, and Jana Dukatova from Slovakia, among others.
A novelty of this year’s European Championships is a change in course construction. In the past editions of European Championships the gate setting remained the same during the entire competition, but this year some gates will be changed after the heats for the semi-final and final.
The progression to the semifinal from the heats is 30 K1M; 20 C1M, C1W and K1W; 15 C2M. In the final the best 15 K1M boats from the semi-final will start, while in all the other categories top ten boats from the semi-final will start.
Despite April’s floods that caused many concerns among the organisers of the event, the venue is ready for the beginning of the championships.
“We are planning a big sporting event, » event organiser, Jakob Marusic, said.
« The course is well prepared and is waiting for the best European paddlers. We dedicated Thursday and Friday to children from elementary schools and younger, we prepared a special programme for them.
« We expect the most visitors on Saturday and Sunday for the semi-finals and finals. The preparations of the championships are going well.
« There are some difficulties, but we are probably world champions in preparing the race with the smallest budget and the fewest number of people involved in the organisation. I think everything will be well prepared and will be on the highest level. »
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