Smokin Smolen

Canoe Slalom / Apr 25, 2014

An emotional Smolen fist pumped the air when he shot to the top of the timesheet with three athletes to come.

All three failed to beat the time set by Smolen who was delighted with the result.

“It feels amazing, I still cannot believe it, it is just an amazing feeling and I am so happy right now”, Smolen said.

Smolen smoked the field executing a clean and fast run down the technical 23 gate course to win in 93.10. 

Italian Giovanni De Gennaro improved on his third place finish in Slovakia last year to collect the silver medal in 94.29.

Senior Worlds silver medalist Jiri Prskavec of the Czech Republic had to settle for third. His raw time of 92.67 was the quickest down the course but a gate touch on five proved a costly mistake.

“The guys I was up against are really good, some of them were champions last year and the previous year so it was really tight competition”, Smolen said.

While many found the course a challenge the American enjoyed it.

“The course was really open and you could just paddle hard in some open sections and that is where I gained the most time and I finished with a really solid run”, Smolen said.

Slovakian Martin Halcin finished fourth in 95.50, 0.14 seconds ahead of Simon Brus of Slovenia in fifth.

Semifinal winner Rafal Polaczyk of Poland finished sixth with defending champion Mathieu Biazizzo in seventh.

Australia’s Jaxon Merritt finished tenth following three gate touches at five, 11 and 17.

Smolen will now turn his attention to competing on the American senior team.  Deep Creek in the USA will host the Senior World Championships later in the year.

Top 10:
1. Michal Smolen (USA) – 93.10
2. Giovanni De Gennaro (ITA) – 94.29
3. Jiri Prskavec (CZE) – 94.67 (2)
4. Martin Halcin (SVK) – 95.50
5. Simon Brus (SLO) – 95.64
6. Rafal Polaczyk (POL) – 97.57 (4)
7. Mathieu Biazizzo (FRA) – 97.77 (2)
8. Maciej Okreglak (POL) – 100.42 (2)
9. Pedro Da Silva (BRA) – 102.52 (2)
10. Jaxon Merritt (AUS) – 110.23 (6)