First taste of finals action


Ali Borrows
Australian Canoeing, Friday, 25 April 2014

ANZAC Day will provide the setting for the first taste of finals action with the Under 23 men's and women's titles decided later today. A few surprise packages along the way has left competition wide open ensuring an exciting finish to the K1 finals.

U23 K1M title favourite Jiri Prskavec is sitting on top of the pack heading into the Semi-Finals.

American competitor Michal Smolen has heated up the title race with a strong second heat on Wednesday. His overall best time was a slender 0.55 seconds behind Prskavec. With such a tight competitive field, it is nearly impossible to predict who will take out the championship.

Australian Jaxon Merritt will be one to watch after placing seventh, 4.72 seconds behind Prskavec in the heat on Wednesday.

The Victorian finished ninth at last year's World Championships in Liptovsky Mikulas, Slovakia.

"I would love to make the final again, there is a lot of competition out here this year", Merritt said.

Asked how he plans to approach tomorrow's race he reponded, "Semifinals is a bit different to qualifications, you just have the one run so you have just got to lay it down, go hard and get it done."

U23 K1W title favourite Jessica Fox finished first in the heats on Wednesday with a time score of 101 seconds. Fox is the top seed and a strong favourite to take out the title.

Czech Republic competitor Karolina Galuskova was her closest rival in the heat, finishing a narrow 0.13 seconds behind the local Penrith favourite.

Leading the C2 men’s title charge is Czech Republic duo Jonas Kaspar and Marek Sindler. Their best heat run was 101.67 seconds. They finished 5.42 seconds ahead of second place duo Filp and Andrzej Brzezinski.

With the challenging course at Penrith Whitewater, the championships are going to intensify on Friday in the Semi-Finals and the finals later in the day.

In the afternoon the K1 Men and Womens’ Team Finals as well as the C2 Team Finals will follow the individual races

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