Ethan Hodson & Robin Jeffery
We have now reached the half-way point of the 2013 ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup Series with the picturesque setting of La Seu dUrgell in the Pyrenees Valley in Spain to host the third installment this weekend.
Australia will field the same team that competed at the first two World Cups in Cardiff, Wales and Augsburg, Germany.
Jessica Fox (NSW), Rosalyn Lawrence (NSW), Sarah Grant (VIC), Alison Borrows (NSW), Lucien Delfour (NSW), Jaxon Merritt (VIC), Joey Croft (NSW), Robin Jeffery (WA), Ian Borrows (NSW), Christian Fabris (VIC) and Ethan Hodson (NSW).
Australia currently sits on two medals, one gold and one silver courtesy of 19 year old Fox who has been a star in the women’s non-Olympic C1 event.
Fox, like many of her fellow compatriots will be hungry to add to that tally when racing commences on Friday morning.
The C1M, C1W and K1M heats will feature in the morning before the K1W and C2M heats follow in the afternoon of the opening day.
Currently sitting top three on the ICF World Cup Series C1M standings Slovakia’s Matej Benus, Czech paddler Stanislav Jezek and German Sideris Tasiadis will be the ones to beat in the men’s canoe event.
The Australian trio of Jeffery, Borrows and Fabris will all be looking to push for a finals berth, with Borrow’s 19th place finish at World Cup one Australia’s best C1M performance to date.
The C1W battle will follow where Fox will resume her rivalry with British pair Mallory Franklin and Kimberley Woods for line honours.
World number one Lawrence and fellow NSWIS paddler Borrows will also be right in the mix, while Czech canoeist Katerina Hoskova and Slovakia’s Katarina Macova are both capable of featuring at the top of the alter.
The K1M event will follow with Delfour Australia’s best chance of winning a medal with the 25 year old currently sitting eighth on the ICF World Cup series K1M standings.
Inexperienced U23 pair Merritt and Croft will join Delfour to fly the Australian flag with both full of confidence after producing career best results at World Cups one and two respectively.
The Germans have dominated the K1M event in this series with Sebastian Schubert, Fabian Doerfler, Hannes Aigner and Paul Bockelmann all in excellent form.
U23 World Champion Jiri Prskavec, American Fabian Lefevre, Slovenian Peter Kauzer and world number one Etienne Daille of France round out the world class field assembled for the men single kayak.
London Olympic silver medallist Fox is determined to return to the K1W podium in Spain this weekend.
The talented kayaker currently sits fifth behind Slovakian Elena Kaliska and German trio Cindy Poschel, Jasmin Schornberg and Melanie Pfeifer in the ICF World Cup series K1W standings.
Lawrence and Grant will join Fox in the K1W event, with the latter coming off an excellent eighth place finish last weekend and will be looking for another consistent performance this weekend.
The C2M heats will round out the opening day of racing with newly formed pair Hodson and Jeffery looking to improve once again down the rapids in Spain.
The pair finished 13th last weekend after finishing 21st at World Cup one and will be looking to build on those performance and move themselves up the ICF rankings.
Great Britain Olympic gold medallists Timothy Baille and Etienne Stott, French champions Gauthier Klass and Matthieu Peche and Hochschorner cousins Pavol and Peter are expected to fight it out for the C2 title in Spain.
Racing will commence on Friday morning from 5:00pm AUS EST with the first runs for the C1M heat. Full Friday schedule below.
5:00pm – C1M Heat run 1
5:56pm – C1W Heat run 1
6:27pm – K1M Heat run 1
8:10pm – C1M Heat run 2
9:06pm – C1W Heat run 2
9:37pm – K1M Heat run 2
11:45pm – K1W Heat run 1
12:36am – C2M Heat run 1
1:15am – K1W Heat run 2
2:06am – C2M Heat run 1
(All times Sydney AUS EST, 8hrs ahead of local race time)
La Seu d’Urgell, Spain
Enriched in history, La Seu d’Urgell hosted the inaugural canoe slalom program at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona.
The ‘Parc Olímpic del Segre’ was constructed in a branch of the river Segre and situated in the valley of the Spanish Pyrenees.
The course itself is 300m long with a drop of 6.5m. The venue can host 5,000 spectators.
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