16 Junio 2024

China’s Juan Huang underlined her ambition to win a medal on the International Canoe Federation Canoe Slalom World Cup stage after coming within a whisker of securing a spot on the podium in Krakow.

Huang reached the women’s C1 final for the first time after finishing 10th in the semi-finals on Saturday morning.

The 21-year-old then registered a raw time of 108.82 in the final that would have secured a medal had she not picked up a two-second penalty for a gate touch.

Her total time of 110.82 had put her in the top three until the final paddler, Jessica Fox of Australia, produced a title-winning run to nudge the Chinese athlete out of the medal places.

In the end, Huang had to settle for fourth, missing out on bronze by 0.47 from Czechia’s Martina Satkova but she said she was encouraged by her display in Krakow.

“I feel like I can stand on the podium so I will keep working hard to be in that position,” said Huang.

“I always try to keep learning.

“I try to look at the high-level athletes to see how they paddle and try to learn from them and then improve myself.

“Although I am so close to the podium, I will still need to calm myself down and continue to work on things.”

It was the final ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup before next month’s Paris 2024 Olympics where Huang will make her Games debut.

“I don’t want to think about a specific goal for Paris,” added Huang.

“I will really hope that when I arrive I can have the best performance and be in the best body condition to compete.”

Full coverage of this week's event can be viewed on the Planet Canoe YouTube channel.

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Canoe Slalom