2019 ICF Slalom World Cup 3, Tacen (Slovenia)
by Ross Solly
Heat set to intensify for canoe slalom paddlers at Slovenia world cup
Sweltering conditions in Slovenia this weekend will add to the challenge for the world’s best canoe slalom paddlers competing in the third ICF World Cup of the season.
Athletes completed their final training runs on Thursday with the mercury hovering around 35 degrees in Ljubljana, with just a slight drop in temperature forecast for the weekend.
Slovenia’s Eva Tercelj said the athletes are okay once they are on the water.
“I think it’s harder for spectators,” she said.
“We are on the water, so we can cool down. We have to stay in the shade and keep ourselves cool.”
K1 Olympic gold medalist Joe Clarke of Great Britain returns to action after sitting out last weekend’s world cup, and his rivalry with local champion Peter Kauzer and Czech Jiri Priskavec will be one of the highlights of the event.
Slovakian trio Michal Martikan, Alexander Slafkovsky and Matej Benus will take on Slovenia’s Benjamin Savsek and Luka Bozic in another eagerly anticipated clash in the men’s C1.
The form of reigning K1 and C1 world champion, Jessica Fox, will once again be closely watched as she chases her first win of the 2019 season. The Australian went through 2018 without losing a C1 race, and also won the opening three K1 world cup races.
Austria’s Corinna Kuhnle, who brought Fox’s winning run to an end in Slovenia last year, won last weekend’s K1 world cup in Slovakia, while local hope Tercelj will be hoping to take advantage of local knowledge on the tricky Tacen course.
“It’s challenging, and everyone always talks about the first drop, which is pretty special,” she said.
“The whole course is very technical, and I love it because I am training here. It’s a hard course, but if you train here it is a little bit easier.”
Japan is one of the teams who will be using this weekend’s world cup as part of their Olympic qualifying program. The races have no Olympic ramifications for Slovenia, but Tercelj is happy with her progress ahead of selections later on in the year and her goal of a second Games.
“My season has been quite good so far, I have made all the finals,” she said.
“I didn’t do quite as good in the finals as I want, but so far I am happy and I’ll keep pushing to get better results. I think I actually feel less nervous this year because I know I have had a good winter training, and I think I am more consistent.
“I prefer not to think about the Olympics, and just focus on my race. But obviously I would really love to go to Tokyo. I also want to see Japan, I think it’s a really interesting country and I think the architecture is very nice.”
The third ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup begins in Tacen, Ljubljana, on Friday, and runs through until Sunday.
More info go to ICFcanoe.com