Austria's Lisa Leitner and Felix Oschamautz set the early benchmark on Thursday for this week's 2017 ECA Junior and U23 Canoe Slalom European Championships in Germany.

Heats in C2M, K1M and K1W events both in Junior and U23 categories also saw the Czech Republic produce two strong early performances, in the men’s C2 U23 with Mružek and Kašpar, and in the women’s junior category with Antonie Galuškova.

Martin Srabotnik (SLO) was the fastest in men’s K1 U23 heats.

Lisa Leitner is considered one of the main favourites for the U23 European Champion title in womens K1 event, and won in the first stage of the European Championships, held in Hohenlimburg, south of Dortmund.

Leitner was 1.11 seconds faster than Camille Prigent (FRA), while another Austrian paddler, Viktoria Wolffhardt, the 2013 Senior European Championships bronze medallist, finished third in the qualifications.

In junior K1W category reigning junior world champion Antonie Galuškova (CZE) showed strength and once more produced the fastest time. She was a little less than a second faster than Laia Sorribes (ESP), while Romane Prigent (FRA) finished third.

In mens kayak heats Slovenian Martin Srabotnik won Thursday's heat on a course which is quite similar to the one in his hometown Celje. Only 0.46 seconds behind him was Mathieu Desnos (FRA) and German favourite for top position, Stefan Hengst, finished third, 1.50 seconds behind Srabotnik.

Felix Oschmautz (AUT), like Galuškova, continues with excellent performances. Oschmautz who won Junior World Champion title in July did not have much trouble on Lenne River. He finished the heats 1.87 seconds faster than his opponents. Noah Hegge (GER) was second and Simon Hene (FRA) third.

Vojtech Mružek and Albert Kašpar (CZE) were the fastest in the first event of the day mens U23 C2 heats. Francesco Cavo and Alberto Querci (ITA) were second and Aleksei Popov Igor Mikhailov (RUS) third.

There were only four crews on the start of C2M junior heats, therefore this is not an official European Championships event. Vrublovsky and Novotny (CZE) crossed the finish line with the best time, Pantazis and Arvanitis (GRE) were second and Russians Lipikhin Stafeev third.

On Friday, heats in C1W and C1M events will follow and the first sets of medals will be awarded to the best nations in team events.




Canoe Slalom