More than 250 athletes from almost 40 countries will take part in this weekend’s third ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup, held on the site of the 1972 Munich Olympic slalom competition in Augsburg.

As befitting the venue where canoe slalom made its Olympic debut, several Games champions will be in action, including all three gold medallists from Rio 2016.

Also on the start list are all the current World and European champions.

In the women’s competition, the pressure will be on Australia’s Jessica Fox, after a record-breaking start to the 2018 World Cup season which has seen her unbeaten in both the C1 and the K1.

Fox won a golden double at the opening World Cup of the season in Slovakia, and then repeated the impressive performance last weekend in Krakow, Poland.

Her biggest threat in the K1 this weekend is likely to come from Germany’s 2017 World Cup winner, Ricarda Funk, while in the C1 reigning world champion Mallory Franklin, of Great Britain, is expected to bounce back after missing last weekend’s final.

2016 Olympic gold medallist Joseph Clarke showed he was back to his best with victory in Krakow last weekend and will again be the one to catch this weekend. However the Czech pair of Vit Prindis and Jiri Prskavek have both shown strong form in qualifying and semi-finals at both World Cups, but have dipped out in the finals.

The men’s C1 will see hometown favourite Sideris Tasiadis looking to recapture his form from the opening World Cup where he won gold. Tasiadis was well below his best last weekend, failing to make the final, but always performs well on his home course.

Tasiadis will also team up with another Augsburg local, Elena Apel, to make their mixed C2 debut. A second German team, featuring 2012 Olympian Jasmin Schornberg and C2 world championship silver medallist, Thomas Becker.

The third ICF 2018 Canoe Slalom World Cup begins in Augsburg on Friday and runs through until Sunday.

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