Daniel Watkins impressed on World Cup debut
The opening day of the second ICF canoe slalom World Cup in Tacen, Slovenia has concluded.
The day began with the C1M, C1W and K1M heats.
On debut, 18 year old Tasmanian Daniel Watkins paddled beyond his years to produce the tenth fastest K1M heat run of 104.84.
It was a fantastic effort by the Derwent paddler who will be joined by NSWIS kayaker Will Forsythe in tomorrow’s semifinal after he snuck into the top 40 qualifiers in 36th.
The heat was won by Czech kayaker Vit Prindis who navigated his way down the 24 gate course in the only sub 100 time of 99.42.
Local Slovenian favourite Martin Albreht was next fastest 2.58 seconds behind Prindis, with Argentinian Thomas Bersinger 1.30 seconds further back in third.
Victorian Jaxon Merritt finished 49th, 17 seconds behind Prindis.
Slovenian paddlers dominated the C1M heat with all three of their athletes featuring in the top ten.
Anze Bercic produced the fastest run of 106.37 to lead Slovakian legend Michal Martikan by 3.41 seconds.
Two Australian athletes advanced to Saturday’s semifinal.
Ian Borrows improved by nearly six seconds on his second run to finish 14th in the heat, 8.05 seconds behind Bercic.
Victorian Christian Fabris was also a big improver on his second run moving into the top 30 qualification spots in 22nd.
Despite gate touches on 8 and 12 Fabris produced a run of 119.22 to finish 12.85 seconds behind the Slovenian.
Western Australian Robin Jeffery missed out on a semifinal berth after finishing 39th.
A small field of just 15 women started the C1W event with Alison Borrows, Rosalyn Lawrence and Jessica Fox all progressing to the semifinal in third, fourth and sixth respectively.
The K1W and C2M heats then followed in the afternoon with Fox continuing her excellent form in the K1 boat producing the fourth fastest heat run.
The World Cup 1 bronze medallist finished 2.85 seconds behind German Ricarda Funk who produced the fastest run of 113.69 despite a gate touch on 11.
Local favourite Ursa Kragelj was second fastest 1.50 seconds behind Funk, with Austrian Violetta Oblinger-Peters third quickest in 115.34.
With the top 30 qualifying for the semifinal Rosalyn Lawrence was lucky to advance after finishing the heat in 30th.
Victorian Sarah Grant appeared to have qualified for the semifinal until a 50 second penalty for a gate miss on 15 relegated her out of the top 30 and into the dreaded 31st position.
The London World Cup finalist missed out on a semifinal berth by just 0.21 seconds.
In the final race of the day Jeffery combined with Ethan Hodson to finish 18th in the C2M heat and advance to Sunday’s semifinal.
The Australian pair finished 18.79 seconds behind German pair David Schroder and Nico Bettge who recorded the fastest heat time of 115.27.
Slovakian cousins Peter and Ladislav Skantar, and Poland duo Michal Wiercioch and Grzegorz Majerczak rounded out the top three.
Racing continues tomorrow in Tacen with the C1W, C1M and K1M semifinal and finals to feature.
Please follow the links below for more information.
Saturday schedule (AEST):
5:00pm - C1W Semifinal (Fox/Lawrence/Borrows)
5:43pm - C1M Semifinal (Borrows/Fabris)
6:46pm - K1M Semifinal (Forsythe/Watkins)
8:32pm - C1W Final
9:05pm - C1M Final
9:33pm - K1M Final
The teams finals will then proceed from 11pm AEST.
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