Matej Benus (SVK) C1M
Matej Benus has been a member of the Slovakia team that has won the C1M team event at each of the last six world championships, but has managed only one podium finish in C1M individual when he claimed third in 2011 on home waters in Bratislava, the city of his birth. He has a similar record at the European championships, with seven C1M team titles compared to one second (2010) and two thirds (2013, 2015) in C1M individual.
Husband of Ivana and father to Simon and Tobias, Benus has found consistency in the World Cup, topping the overall standings in 2010 and 2015, and finishing overall second twice and overall third twice in the four years between those triumphs. He will make his Olympic debut in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, and will be looking to maintain Slovakia’s proud record in C1M, in which Michal Martikan has claimed a medal in the discipline at each of the last five Games, including winning gold in 1996 and 2008. Benus’ coach Juraj Mincik joined Martikan on the podium in 2000.
Paddling is a family affair for Benus with his parents introducing him to a sport his mother has coached, and he was age 11 when he took up canoe slalom. His older sister Dana Mann has also participated in canoe slalom at international level. She was a member of the Slovakia team that won the K1W team event at the 2011 World Championships in Bratislava, before switching to compete for United States of America in 2013.