Slalom: Hosts Take Two Gold on Slalom World Championships Opening day
Host nation Germany picked up two gold medals, Slovenia broke a 29-year drought and the Czech Republic successfully defended their 2021 title in teams competition on the opening day of racing at the ICF Canoe and Extreme Slalom World Championships in Augsburg on Wednesday.
Germany picked up the first gold medal on offer, thrilling the home crowd with an impressive gold in the women’s team kayak event. Ricarda Funk, Elena Lilik and Jasmin Schornberg combined to win their country’s first gold in the event since 2017.
It’s the third team gold for Schornberg, who was also part of the team in 2017 and 2007.
“This is really special for me, as a mum now, to be back on the podium. I never expected to be back with a medal,” Schornberg said.
“I was quite surprised that I am back in the team and I just wanted to do it step by step, getting better.
“I was really a little bit afraid that I might be too slow for the other two, but I managed it not too bad.”
Slovenia had its best result in the women’s K1 teams, finishing with silver, while Poland won its first ever medal in the event, taking the bronze.
The German men’s K1 team of Hannes Aigner, Noah Hegge and Stefan Hengst made it two from two for the host nation when they took gold ahead of Great Britain and the Czech Republic, their first title in the event since 2011.
Aigner was a member of the victorious team from 2011 and 2010.
“It’s taken me more than 11 years to win another gold medal, so it’s been a while,” Aigner said.
“I still enjoy the sport very much, that’s why I still do this. It’s great to race at home and have a gold medal at home.”
The Czech women’s canoe team of Gabriela and Martina Satkova and Tereza Fiserova successfully defended their world title from 2021, and in the process ended the German gold medal domination. The Czech’s overcame six seconds of penalties to nudge the hosts into silver, with Great Britain finishing third.
“Our run was not good for us, we had mistakes at the second gate, but at the finish it was an amazing feeling,” Fiserova said.
“I thought it was too much (six seconds of penalties), but we did it as best we could and showed the power of the Czech team, that even with mistakes we can still do it and defend the medal,” Martina Satkova said.
In men’s canoe Olympic gold medalist Benjamin Savsek teamed up with Luka Bozic and Anze Bericic to end an almost 30-year drought for Slovenia in the men’s team event.
The Slovenians finished ahead of Slovakia and Italy, who also last finished on the men’s C1 teams podium in 1993.
“I didn’t know it had been so long, our last good run like this one was in Rio in 2018, so this run today was unexpected but we are really happy for this,” Bozic said.
“This is great motivation for the rest of the championships,” Savsek said.
The ICF Slalom and Extreme World Championships will continue on Thursday with heats in the men’s and women’s kayak.
WOMEN’S KAYAK TEAMS
- GERMANY 102.78 (No penalties)
- SLOVENIA 105.26 (0)
- POLAND 109.25 (2)
MEN’S KAYAK TEAMS
- GERMANY 91.90 (0)
- GREAT BRITAIN 93.68 (2)
- FRANCE 95.67 (2)
WOMEN’S CANOE TEAMS
- CZECH REPUBLIC 115.35 (6)
- GERMANY 116.85 (0)
- GREAT BRITAIN 117.85 (6)
MEN’S CANOE TEAMS
- SLOVENIA 95.48 (0)
- SLOVAKIA 98.42 (2)
- ITALY 100.64 (2)