Chaloupka and Prigent enjoy breakthrough wins in Ivrea

Czech Vaclav Chaloupka and Frenchwoman Camille Prigent broke through for the biggest wins of their career at the ICF U23 and Junior Canoe Slalom World Championships in Ivrea, Italy, on Saturday.

Chaloupka went one better than his silver medal in 2017 to win the men’s U23 C1 world title, while Prigent took the women’s U23 K1 crown.

Chaloupka was the fourth athlete on the course in the final, and had to endure an agonising wait to see if his time of 80.57 would be good enough.

“It’s amazing, I’m speechless,” Chaloupka said.

“I was so nervous. Of course I wished the best for the rest of the field, they are all friends, but I was so nervous just to stand there and watch each of them come down.”

After a slow start to the season, Chaloupka took the decision on the eve of the championships to change his equipment.

“I still probably don’t understand what I have achieved. It’s so special for me after a season that wasn’t so good for me,” he said.

“I changed my boat two weeks ago, a lot of people said that was a really risky, but maybe that was the last percent of this success.”

It was a popular hometown silver for Raffaello Ivaldi, with Frenchman Cedric Joly taking the bronze.

Czech Vaclal Chaloupka Ivrea 2018 C1

Prigent, a two-time junior world championship bronze medallist, was the last athlete on the course, her time of 89.31 well under the 92.64 set by Austria’s Lisa Leitner.

“It’s so cool, I can’t believe it yet,” Prigent said.

“I felt good on the water, but it was hard because we did a lot of sessions. So I was always feeling stressed.

“It’s easier when you are last on the course, because when I come to the bottom I know the result. I didn’t look at my time, I just saw I was ranked one and I was, like, no!”

RESULTS

MEN’S U23 C1

  1. CHALOUPKA Vaclav      (CZE)  80.57 (0)
  2. IVALDI Raffaello            (ITA)   81.28 (0)
  3. JOLY Cedric                    (FRA)  83.91 (0)

WOMEN’S U23 K1

  1. PRIGENT Camille           (FRA)  89.31 (2)
  2. LEITNER Lisa                   (AUT) 92.64 (2)
  3. WOODS Kimberley        (GBR) 94.91 (2)
Canoe Slalom
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