Two first-time gold medalists underlined the unpredictability of the new Olympic sport kayak cross on the final day of competition at the International Canoe Federation World Cup in Augsburg, Germany, on Sunday.

Italy’s Stefanie Horn and France’s Benjamin Renia emerged from bruising lead-up races to take gold on a course that was both long and challenging.

For Horn it was the first time she had progressed past the qualifying rounds. After being struck a glancing blow to the helmet in her semi-final, she managed to stay clear of trouble in the four-person final to celebrate her second medal of the weekend, after taking silver in the women’s K1.

It was also the first time she won a medal on the historic Augsburg course.

“I don’t believe it because I have never passed the heats,” Horn said.

“I was always really scared of the other girls, but I have been doing a lot of work on this. So maybe that was it. Or maybe it was just because it is Augsburg.

“It’s so nice for me that it has happened in Augsburg, I’ve never won a medal here, so it was an amazing weekend.”

Brazil’s Ana Satila took the silver, and Andorra’s Monica Doria Vilarrubla the bronze.

In the men’s competition France’s Renia showed the benefit of a long training campaign to persevere over a strong field which included several world champions.

“It feels awesome, it’s like a dream,” Renia said.

“At the beginning of the event I had tactics, but by the last run I was a little bit tired, and I knew I had big guys next to me, so I was just trying to go as hard as I could. During the training I improved my skills, so during the race I didn’t have to think about it because I had done it a lot of times so it was instinct.

“The French selections were so hard, and we trained so hard to reach the French team, and today we were able to deliver everything we have without the pressure. It’s a big party and I want to be part of it.”

Silver went to Switzerland’s Martin Dougoud, and bronze to Great Britain’s reigning world champion, Joseph Clarke.

The second ICF Canoe Slalom and Kayak Cross World Cup begins on Thursday in Prague.




  1. HORN Stefanie                        (ITA)
  2. SATILA Ana                       (BRA)


  1. RENIA Benjamin (FRA) 1
  2. DOUGOUD Martin (SUI) 2
  3. CLARKE Joseph (GBR)  3

Pics by Dezso Vekassy

Italy Stefanie Horn Augsburg kayak cross

Kayak Cross