Day one of the fourth ICF Slalom World Cup in Tacen, Slovenia has concluded.
The women’s C1, men’s C1 and K1 heats were contested on the opening morning with five Australians progressing to their respective semifinals.
The day began with the women’s C1 heats with U23 World Champion Jessica Fox setting the pace, executing a clean run down the 21 gate course to record the quickest first run time of 121.58 to lead German Lena Stoecklin by more than nine seconds.
Fellow Penrith Valley canoeist Alison Borrows also produced an excellent time to finish sixth in 1:37.14. Rosalyn Lawrence incurred a 50 second time penalty for a missed gate relegating the talented Old Bonalbo paddler to 13th before eventually finishing 15th.
The Australian trio sat out their second runs with all 19 members of the women’s field automatically progressing to Saturday morning’s semifinal.
Fox was overtaken by teenage World Cup one winner Kimberley Woods of Great Britain who produced a scintillating second run of 116.81 to lead Fox by 4.77 seconds.
German Lena Stoecklin produced the third fastest time, 11.51 seconds behind Woods.
The men’s C1 heats followed with Ascot Olympian Robin Jeffery recovering from a disappointing first run to sneak into tomorrow’s semifinal in 28th spot.
The National champion finished in 111.12, 9.87 seconds behind heat winner Casey Eichfeld of America.
Melbourne’s Christian Fabris and Penrith’s Ian Borrows were unlucky, narrowly missing the top 30 cut in 31st and 34th respectively.
In the final heat of the opening morning, the men’s K1, 24 year old Lucien Delfour progressed to the semifinal stage after recovering from an error marred first run to qualify 36th fastest for the semifinal.
Delfour will need to improve in tomorrow’s semifinal if he is to repeat his World Cup 3 heroics where he won a silver medal, his best career result to date.
Two-time world champion and local hero Peter Kauzer dominated as expected producing the fastest heat time of 97.13.
Italian Giovanni De Gennaro finished 0.63 behind Kauzer with Poland’s Mateusz Polaczwk finishing third.
U23 Australian pair Jaxon Merritt and Joey Croft missed out on a top 40 semifinal berth in 50th and 52nd respectively.
Following a short break the women’s K1 and men’s C2 heats were raced in the afternoon with Fox continuing her great start to World Cup 4.
In the same event she won silver in at last year’s Olympic Games, Fox set the second fastest K1 heat time of 109.00 to finish just 0.80 seconds behind winner Corinna Kuhnle of Austria.
Lawrence and Melbourne’s Sarah Grant also secured safe paths to Sunday’s semifinal stage placing 15th and 20th respectively.
Australia did not contest the men’s C2 event with local pair Luka Bozic and Saso Taljat of Slovenia recording the fastest time of 105.84, 1.06 seconds ahead of Italian pair Niccolo Ferrari and Pietro Camperosi.
Tacen promises to showcase some exciting whitewater racing tomorrow with five Australians set to feature in the women’s C1, men’s K1 and C1 semifinals where Australian will be looking to add to their World Cup medal tally of two gold and two silver.
Racing gets underway from 4:45pm AUS EST with Western Australian Robin Jeffery to feature in the C1M semifinal.
4:45pm – C1M Semifinals (Robin Jeffery)
5:50pm – K1M Semifinals (Lucien Delfour)
7:15pm – C1W Semifinals (Jess Fox/Rosalyn Lawrence/Ali Borrows)
8:17pm – C1M Finals
8:47pm – K1M Finals
9:17pm – C1W Finals
11:00pm – C1M Teams Final
11:28pm – K1M Teams Final
12:08am – C1W Teams Final
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