The international year of competition like no other year will finish like no other, with an ICF canoe and extreme slalom world cup in Pau, France, this weekend.

Usually in November Pau is preparing itself for snow season, but from Friday to Sunday it will be hosting some of the world’s best whitewater paddlers.

Unlike the last time Pau hosted an international canoe slalom event, when the banks were overflowing with passionate fans, this weekend competitors will have the venue to themselves. Covid19 restrictions include a ban on spectators.

International travel restrictions have also meant many athletes have had to stay away this weekend. But there are still several Olympic and world champions who will be in action, including two of the gold medalists from the 2016 Rio Games.

There will also be athletes who have already booked their tickets to Tokyo next year, and several who are still in the running for Olympic selection. France and Spain are two countries which have already finalised their Games teams, and will showcase those athletes in Pau this weekend.

Maialen Chourraut and Ander Elosegi are both heading for their fourth Olympic Games for Spain next year, and will be in action this weekend. Chourraut is the defending women’s K1 Olympic champion, and won bronze in 2012, while Elosigi is still chasing his first Olympic medal in the men’s C1.

They’ll be joined in Pau by Olympic debutants David Llorente (men’s K1) and Nuria Vilarrubla (women’s C1).

France will send three Olympic debutants to Tokyo next year. Among those missing out will be Rio 2016 C1 gold medalist, Denis Gargaud Chanut. He was beaten in qualifying by 31-year-old Martin Thomas, but the two will renew their rivalry this weekend in Pau.

Marie-Zelia Lafont in the women’s K1 is the only member of the four-person French team for next year with Olympic experience. 22-year-old Marjorie Delassus, who will compete in the women’s C1, and 34-year-old Boris Neveu in the men’s K1, make up the Tokyo-bound French quartet in action on Saturday and Sunday.

Brazil’s Ana Satila (women’s C1) and France’s Romane Prigent (women’s K1) both broke through to record maiden world cup victories at last month’s ICF canoe slalom event in Slovenia, and will look to make it back-to-back titles this weekend.

Other athletes to watch this weekend include 2017 overall K1 world cup winner, Vit Prindis of the Czech Republic, and his teammate and London 2012 silver medalist, Vavrinec Hradilek, and exciting American teenager, Evy Leibfarth.

Strong fields have also entered this weekend’s men’s and women’s extreme canoe slalom competition. Brazil’s Pedro Goncalves and Russia’s Alsu Minazova will both look to repeat their gold medal performances in Slovenia last month.

The ICF canoe and extreme slalom world cup will begin with unofficial heats on Friday afternoon, with finals on Saturday and Sunday. Check local guides for details on live television coverage.

The competition will also be streamed live on

Canoe Slalom
Kayak Cross
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