European nations set to dominate


Brodie Crawford
Tom Collings, Friday, 18 April 2014

We preview the C1M and C2M events ahead of the ICF Canoe Slalom Junior and U23 World Championships that begin next week.

The U23 C1M event will see 48 paddlers fight it out to be declared World Champion down the Sydney Olympic course.

It is one of the more open events with 11 of the top 50 ICF ranked canoeists competing.

Italian Roberto Colazingari is the highest ranked among them, 21st in the world.

Colazingari will be looking to improve on his fifth place finish at last year’s U23 World Championships in Liptovsky Mikulas.

Two paddlers that beat him in 2013 were Slovakian pair Patrik Gajarsky and Jergus Badura.

Gajarsky will be out to defend his title after edging Czech Martin Riha and Badura for the win last year.

Other canoeists in the mix include 2013 finalists Luka Bozic of Slovenia and American Zachary Lokken.

Frenchman Killian Foulon, British paddler Thomas Quinn and Argentinian Sebastian Rossi are others expected to be in the mix.

Australia will be represented by Victorian Jaxon Merritt and Tasmanian Daniel Watkins. 

Neither athlete is expected to feature prominently as their preferred discipline is K1.

However they will get a taste of the course a day earlier for the K1 heats and with their local course knowledge anything is possible.

A smaller field of 34 athletes will contest the junior C1M event.

Irishman Liam Jegou, Slovakian Martin Mracna and Italian Raffaello Ivaldi are amongst the favourites to be declared junior world champion.

All three athletes currently feature inside the top 100 in the ICF rankings.

Mracna and Jegou both featured in last year’s final finishing fourth and sixth respectively.

Slovakian Marko Gurecka was another who impressed in front of his local crowd last year finishing seventh.

Other international athletes to follow closely include Canadian Zachary Zwaneburg, British canoeist Samuel Ibbotson and German Florian Breuer.

Western Australian Brodie Crawford has the 10th highest ranking of those on the start list and is aiming for a place in the final this year.

He will be joined by fellow Western Australian Steven Lowther and Melbourne’s Tristan Carter. The latter will be making his Junior World Championships debut.

Crawford and Lowther will also team up for the junior C2M event.

The pair finished second at the Australian Open earlier in the year and will fancy their chances of upstaging their more fancied rivals.

A small field of ten boats will contest the C2M event with Slovenian pair Niko Testen and Jakob Jeklin the highest ranked crew, 63rd in the world.

The Czech Republic will be well represented with two of its three crews featuring in last year’s final.

Jan Vetrovsky and Michael Matejka finished eighth, while Jan Mrazek and Tomas Rousek combined to finish tenth.

American duo Gabriel Machado and William Coggan will be another crew to follow closely after finishing 14th a year earlier.

A slightly larger field of 13 boats will contest the U23 C2M event.

Traditional rivals the Czech Republic, Poland, Great Britain and France are expected to fight it out for the medals.

2013 silver medallists’ Jonas Kaspar and Marek Sindler head into the event as the top ranked boat.

The Czech pair will head into the event as narrow favourites ahead of two Polish crews.

The first of the Polish crews features brothers Filip and Andrezi Brzeninski who collected the bronze medal last year.

Michal Wiercioch and Grzegorz Majerczak is the second Polish pair, themselves finished a highly respectable fifth in the 2013 final.

Frenchman Yves Prigent and Loic Kervella, Brazilian duo Anderson Oliveira and Charles Correa, and Japanese relatives Shota and Tsubasa Sasaki will be others in the mix.

The K1W and C1W previews will be published on Monday.

Profiles for all the Australian athletes competing have been published on the Australian Canoeing website. To read the profiles and for more important race information please follow the links below.

Other Links
 Official website
 Official Facebook
 Twitter
 Athlete Profiles
 K1M Preview