Horn and Prindis set the pace – ICF News
Italian Stefanie Horn and Czech Vit Prindis displayed the best form on the opening day of individual competition in front of a big crowd at the ICF Canoe and Extreme Slalom World Championships in Augsburg, Germany, on Thursday.
Horn, who grew up paddling on the Augsburg course, was the fastest qualifier in the women’s K1 and headed a leaderboard with several surprises. Germany’s reigning Olympic and world champion, Ricarda Funk, squeezed into the semi-finals in 18th place.
“For me it matters more if I sleep well, if I have a clear line, it doesn’t matter if I start from the last or from the first position,” Horn said.
“I grew up here, I was watching in 2003 and it was such a nice moment. We came here for every team camp, and at Easter and in summer. I have really good memories here.
“And my niece is coming to watch me this weekend, it will be the first time she has seen me race so it will be very emotional for me.”
Horn posted a time of 98.33 to finish just ahead of Slovakia’s Zuzana Pankova (98.43), with Andorra’s Monica Doria Vilarrubla third fastest.
It was a Czech one-two in the qualifying for the men’s K1, with Prindis edging out Tokyo Olympic champion Jiri Prskavec for the top spot.
“I didn’t aim for first place, but I was hoping to make the semi-finals on the first run so I wouldn’t have to wait here all day for a second run,” Prindis said.
“I have had quite a nice season, but I am missing a little bit of sporting luck in some races. This is just the beginning, we didn’t have a good run yesterday in the teams, but today it shows we are in good form, and now we have one day’s rest.
“The crowd is amazing. When I arrived this morning it felt like it was the final already. So many people, I’m really looking forward to the weekend when all the tickets are sold out.”
Italy’s Giovanni De Gennaro qualified third fastest. There were few surprises in the men’s qualifying, with most of the world’s top 30 paddlers progressing safely through on the first run.
Friday will see heats in the men’s and women’s canoe.