Rio Canoe Slalom Athletes
The athletes are really the heart of the Olympics. Here we provide some insights into the paddlers that are representing their nation at the Deodoro canoe slalom.
From my experience, these paddlers have been in the top end of the sport for about 13 years or more, at a team level for more than 10. The average age in this K1M class is 25. Olympics medallists have usually competed at a previous Olympics and have likely medalled at a previous World Championship or World Cup level. Many were successful junior athletes before they progressed into under 23 and seniors competition. There have been a few exceptions. So, in essence, these athletes have spent their entire teenage and young adult years to reach this level, much more than just simply since London in 2012.
David Florence (GBR) and Casey Eichfeld (USA) are competing in both the C1M and C2M classes.
Brief guide on the previous medallists at Olympics, ICF World Championships or ICF World Cup series by class
- Jiri Prskavec (CZE) World Champion from 2015
- Peter Kauzer (SLO) World Champion in 2009 & 2011
- Hannes Aigner (GER) Olympic bronze medallist 2012
- Sebastien Combot (FRA) World Champion 2007
- Lucien Delfour (AUS) as highest ICF ranked athlete he will go off last from the start in the heats of the K1M.
- Jessica Fox (AUS) Olympic silver medallist 2012, World Champion 2014. As ICF World ranked No. 1 athlete. She will go off last from the start in the heats of the K1W.
- Maialen Chourraut (ESP) Olympic bronze medallist 2012
- Katerina Kudejova (CZE) World Champion 2015
- Corinna Kuhnle (AUT) World Champion 2010 & 2011 and reigning World Cup Champion
- Jana Dukatova (SVK) World Champion 2006
- David Florence (GBR) Olympic silver medallist 2008, World Champion 2013 & 2015
- Sideris Tasiadis (GER) Olympic silver medallist 2012
- Matej Benus (SVK) World Cup series Champion 2010 & 2015. As highest ICF ranked athlete he will go off last from the start in the heats of the C1M.
- Denis Gargaud Chanut (FRA) World Champion 2011
- David Florence & Richard Hounslow Olympic silver medallists 2012 and World Champions (2013)
- Mikhail Kuznetsov & Dmitry Larionov (RUS) Olympic bronze medallists 2008
- Franz Anton & Jan Benzien (GER) World Champions 2015
- Luka Bozic & Saso Taljat (SLO) World Champions 2014
- Gauthier Klauss & Matthieu Peche (FRA) reigning World Cup Champions and World ranked No. 1 crew. They will go off last from the start in the heat of the C2M.
The list above does not detract from the 60 other athletes who have won qualification as the one boat per class for the Olympics.
Canoe Slalom is also unpredictable enough that someone who has not medalled before at Olympics or World Championships can produce the Ultimate Run that everyone is wishing to attain; thinking of Benjamin Boukpeti in Beijing.
2016 World Cup series performances
There have been three World Cup series races so far in 2016; Ivrea (ITA), Seu (ESP) and Pau (FRA). Here are the top results from the Rio athletes have been
- Takuya Haneda (JPN) – Bronze in World Cup 3
- Giovanni de Gennaro (ITA) – Gold in World Cup 1
- Jakub Grigar (SVK) – Silver in World Cup 2
- Peter Kauzer (SLO) – Bronze in World Cup 2
- Maialen Chourraut (ESP) – Gold in World Cup 2 & Bronze in World Cup 3
- Jess Fox (AUS) – Silver in World Cup 1 & World Cup 2
- Jana Dukatova (SVK) – Bronze in World Cup 3
- Marie-Zelia Lafont (FRA) – Gold in World Cup 3
Big names absent in Rio
The ability for qualifying nations to only send one boat per class means that national team selection for that single spot was incredibly tight. Here are just some of the top names who disappointingly will be missing in Rio.
- Daniele Molmenti (ITA:K1M) London Olympic Champion
- Emilie Fer (FRA:K1W) London Olympic Champion & 2013 World Champion
- Alexander Slafkovsky (SVK:C1M) ICF World ranked No. 1
- Boris Neveu (FRA:K1M) 2014 World Champion and ICF ranked World No. 1
- Vavra Hradilek (CZE:K1M) London Olympic silver medallist and 2013 World Champion
- Michal Martikan (SVK:C1M) 2 x Olympic Champion 4 x World Champion
- Pavol & Peter Hochschorner (SVK:C2M) 3 x Olympic Champion & 5 x World Champion
Slovakia is the most successful nation at both the Olympic canoe slalom and ICF World Cup series. France has been the most successful nation at the ICF World Championships. Best of the rest from the Olympic classes at the World Championships since London 2012 have been the Czech Republic and Great Britain with three gold medals each.
For these Rio Olympics, 11 federations qualified one boat in each class, including host nation Brazil. In alphabetical order they are; Brazil, Czech Republic, France, Great Britain, Germany, Japan, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Slovakia and USA.
Keep tuning in
Tomorrow’s post will examine the junior and under 23-year-olds paddlers on the rise. We will analyse the results of the ICF J/U23 World Championships held in Krakow, Poland. Finally, learn which of the Olympic athletes were previous Junior or U23 World Champions.
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