Joey Croft at World Cup 1
The opening day of the second ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup in Augsburg, Germany has concluded with eight Australian paddlers advancing to the semifinal stage of their respective events.
The day began with men’s C1 heats, men’s K1 heats and women’s C1 heats.
Western Australian Olympian Robin Jeffery was the first Australian to secure a semifinal berth when he finished 29th in the men’s C1 heats.
Jeffery recovered from an error marred first run to sneak into the semifinal in a much better time of 112.93 which included four seconds of time penalties.
German Sideris Tasiadis produced a blistering second run to top the time sheet in 103.45, 1.34 seconds ahead of Slovenian world number one Alexander Slafkovsky.
With the top 30 progressing to the next stage, Penrith Valley canoeist Ian Borrows did not have luck on his side narrowly missing a semifinal berth by 0.48 seconds in 31st.
Victorian paddler Christian Fabris finished 45th.
The men’s K1 event was up next with New South Welshman Joey Croft at just his second World Cup after making his debut in Cardiff last weekend improving considerably this week to advance to his first ever World Cup semifinal.
Croft finished 25th, 6.31 seconds behind Peter Kauzer who continued Slovenia’s good start to the second World Cup to produce the quickest time of 98.22.
24 year old Lucien Delfour joined Croft in the final producing the 31st best time of 104.94 with the top 40 paddlers advancing to the semifinals.
Delfour will be aiming for an improved performance tomorrow where he will be out to better his eighth place finish in Cardiff last weekend.
Melbourne’s Jaxon Merritt struggled on the lower section of the course to finish out of the qualifications spots in 55th.
As expected in the women’s C1 event, Jessica Fox, Rosalyn Lawrence and Alison Borrows all advanced to the next stage of the competition finishing third, ninth and 18th respectively in the morning’s heats.
After a busy morning of racing down the technical and fast course known as the ‘Ice Channel’ there was a short break in action before the women’s K1 and men’s C2 heats began.
Fox continued her excellent start in Augsburg recording the quickest first run time in the women’s K1 heat before sitting out the second run to reserve energy after busy day of racing.
Fox eventually dropped to fourth, 1.96 seconds behind Slovakian world number one Jana Dukatova.
Like Fox, Lawrence also qualified for the K1 in 26th after earlier cruising through to the semis in the C1.
Melbourne’s Sarah Grant also progressed in 19th place and has room for improvement tomorrow after her time of 117.98 featured three gate touches.
In the final event of the day, the men’s C2, newly formed duo Jeffery and Ethan Hodson progressed to their first World Cup semifinal together.
The pair executed a clean second run through the 22 gate course on route to posting a time of 118.08 to place 13th overall.
Racing continues on Saturday from 8:45am local time (4:45pm AUS EST) for the men’s C1 semifinals with the K1 men and C1 women to follow.
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