There is a three-way shootout in Krakow, Poland to decide who will take Germany’s kayak cross spot for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Last week, Tillmann Roeller pulled off a surprise result at the global Olympic kayak cross qualifier in Prague, Czechia when he secured silver.

Although he earned the Paris 2024 quota for Germany at the International Canoe Federation Canoe Slalom World Cup, Roeller faces a huge battle to seal his place in the team.

Roeller will go head-to-head with Hannes Aigner and Stefan Hengst for the coveted spot with the paddler that gets the best result expected to be selected in Germany’s team for the Olympics.

Pressure will be on Sunday’s men’s kayak cross but Roeller insists he is determined to come out on top.

“The first step was to get the quota for my country and now we have a fight between Hannes, Stefan and me,” said Roeller.

Hannes Aigner Augsburg 2022

“It’s really simple here - the best one goes to the Olympics so Sunday will be very interesting, so let’s go.

“A couple of months ago I would never say I will try to go the Olympics but now it is real and I am very excited.

“I can do it, I know it and I will show it on Sunday.”

Roeller, 22, is vastly experienced on the international stage compared to Aigner, 35, and Hengst, 30, who have multiple world and European titles to their names.

Aigner, a bronze medallist in men’s K1 at London 2012 and Tokyo 2020, is aiming to reach his fourth Olympic Games, while Hengst is a former kayak cross world champion.

Roeller only made his ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup debut this month when he competed in his home city of Augsburg before starring in Prague.

The German paddler won his quarter-final and semi-final before finishing second behind Spain’s Manuel Ochoa in the final.

“It’s just crazy because I’m like the new guy from Germany competing against the big boys,” said Roeller.

“It was crazy just to be alongside them on the ramp but I focused on my race and just tried to go fast.

“The job in kayak cross is simple as you have four athletes and the person who crosses the line wins.

“It’s technical as well and it’s hard to keep the focus on the course as you might think I’m in the number one place but you have to do the last gate really well as well.

“The coach says we want the best kayak crosser in Germany to do one job and the job was to get the quota for Paris.

“It’s maybe not the highest chances but I got to the start and did the job.

“But the job is not done so let’s go again here in Krakow.”

Related links

Canoe Slalom
Kayak Cross