The fifth and final ICF canoe slalom World Cup will be held in Augsburg, Germany from the 15 to 17 August.
The event will provide the last chance for Australian athletes to measure themselves against their international rivals ahead of the ICF canoe slalom World Championship in the USA next month.
So far in the series Australia have won five medals (3 gold, 2 bronze). They will face a difficult task of adding to that tally with a strong field of 279 competitors from 41 nations set to compete.
The qualification runs (heats) for all five disciplines will be contested on the opening day with racing to get underway from 5pm AEST.
The C1M will be up first.
So far in the series Penrith canoeist Ian Borrows has been the standout amongst the Australian men. He is currently ranked 11th in the ICF World Cup standings on 94 points.
Borrows will be looking to end his season with a strong performance to propel himself up into the top ten rankings.
Western Australian Robin Jeffery produced his best result of the series last start finishing 19th in Spain. He has a history of performing well in Augsburg and will be looking to conclude the series on a strong note.
Melbourne Canoe Club paddler Christian Fabris will be looking to advance to the semifinals for the just the second time with his best result this year a 19th placing in Slovenia.
The Australian trio face a tough task to match it with the Slovakian trio of Michal Martikan, Matej Benus and Alexander Slafkovsky after they produced a trifecta at World Cup 4.
Martikan, who currently sits atop the rankings and reigning champion Slafkovsky in particular will be the men to beat.
Expect the home crowd favourites to produce a strong set of results with 2013 ICF series winner Sideris Tasiadis and fellow countryman Jan Benzien at the forefront of the German attack.
Jeffery will also partner Ethan Hodson in the C2M event. The pair equalled their career best C2 performance (13th) last start in Spain which was coincidentally set in Augsburg last year.
The pair will be looking to break into the top 12 at a World Cup together for the first time.
Slovakian cousins Ladislav and Peter Skantar are the red-hot favourites to win their fourth straight gold medal of the series.
With Jessica Fox representing Australia has an Ambassador at the Youth Olympic Games, Rosalyn Lawrence will lead the Australian charge in the C1W event.
The 25 year old has featured on the podium at the last two World Cups which included victory in Prague.
Lawrence is currently ranked third in the ICF World Cup standings, 27 points behind Fox.
With Fox not competing Lawrence is a chance to win her third C1W ICF World Cup series crown.
Standing in her way will be 2011 world champion Katarina Hoskova of the Czech Republic.
Lawrence currently trails Hoskova by 23 points but with 60 up for grabs for the win it is anyone’s competition.
Alison Borrows will be the other Australian in action. The 21 year old will be looking to improve on her ninth placing last year.
Both Lawrence and Borrows will contest the K1W event alongside Victorian Sarah Grant.
For Borrows it will be the first time she has contested K1W at a World Cup.
Grant (12th) and Lawrence (23rd) will both be looking to move up the rankings.
German Jasmin Schornberg will be hard to beat on her home course, while three-time World Cup champion Corinna Kuhnle of Austria, Slovenian Ursa Kragelj and Slovakian Jana Dukatova will be in the mix.
Fresh from a fifth place finish in La Seu d’Urgell, Lucien Delfour will be amongst the frontrunners in the K1M event.
In 2013 Delfour reached three of the five World Cup finals but only managed to finish 16th in Augsburg and will be hoping to improve on that result this year.
U23 athlete Jaxon Merritt will look to improve on the back of a 31st placing in Spain, in the final World Cup ahead of the World Championships next month.
The German’s will be very tough to beat with Hannes Aigner (1st), Sebastian Schubert (3rd) and Alexander Grimm (5th) all ranked in the top five.
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K1M World Cup Standings
Will Forsythe (22nd) – 77pts
Lucien Delfour (23rd) – 74pts
Jaxon Merritt (50th) – 29pts
Daniel Watkins (68th) – 12pts
K1W World Cup Standings
Jessica Fox (3rd) – 166pts
Sarah Grant (12th) – 92pts
Rosalyn Lawrence (23rd) – 65pts
C1M World Cup Standings
Ian Borrows (11th) – 94pts
Robin Jeffery (22nd) – 60pts
Christian Fabris (37th) – 30pts
C1W World Cup Standings
Jessica Fox (1st) – 198pts
Rosalyn Lawrence (3rd) – 171pts
Alison Borrows (10th) – 90pts
C2M World Cup Standings
Ethan Hodson & Robin Jeffery (22nd) – 38pts
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