Slovakia’s Sona Stanovska has been the star performer on the first day of junior competition at the 2018 ICF U23 and Junior Canoe Slalom World Championships, qualifying first in K1 and a close second in the C1.

A slight gate touch on her C1 run denied Stanovska top spot in both disciplines, but she heads into this weekend’s competition with a strong chance of winning a golden double.

Only Czech Gabriela Satkova bettered her time in the C1, her clean run of 97.00 putting her ahead of the Slokak’s 98.29.

In the men’s competition, France’s Nicolas Gestin was fastest qualifier in the C1, while another Frenchman, Anatole Delassus, headed a France quinella in the men’s K1 junior qualifiers.

But Stanovska was Thursday’s stand-out, her time of 93.87 in the K1 more clocking in more than three seconds quicker than Great Britain’s Bethan Forrow.

After a string of fourth and fifth K1 placings at European and World Junior Championships, Stanovska is hoping this, her final year in junior competition, will provide her breakthrough.

“There were just some little mistakes,” Stanovska said.

“In K1 I say that I have never had luck, because at my first European Championships I finished fourth, then I was fifth and again fourth.

“I’m still waiting for my medal. This is my last chance so hopefully I can do it.”

Despite her clean run, Satkova felt she could have done better in the C1.

“My run wasn’t as good as I wanted to go, there were a lot of little mistakes,” she said.

“The result really surprised me. Maybe others made bigger mistakes than I did.

“I’ve been feeling pretty good, but before my run I was a little bit stressed. But now it’s okay.”

Frenchman Gestin followed up his team gold medal from the opening day with the fastest qualifying time in the junior C1 on Thursday morning.

His 85.42 put him ahead of Czech Vojtech Heger and Spain’s Miquel Trave.

Delassus was on the course well before the top 20 paddlers in the men’s K1, his time of 81.43 putting enormous pressure on the remaining paddlers.

Fellow Frenchman, Vincent Delahaye, got the closest, posting 81.61 to edge out Spain’s Pau Echaniz in the closest event of the day.

Racing continues on Friday with medals in the mixed C2 and the men’s extreme kayak.

Czech Republic <a href='/webservice/athleteprofile/68786' data-id='68786' target='_blank' class='athlete-link'>Gabriela Satkova</a> Ivrea 2018

Canoe Slalom
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