Italy’s Giovanni De Gennaro and Australia’s Jessica Fox have waltzed away with canoe slalom World Cup titles in challenging weather conditions at Markkleeberg in Germany.

Fox finished almost five seconds ahead of the next best paddler in the women’s C1 to claim her second title in as many weeks, while De Gennaro had almost three seconds to spare on the rest of the field in the men’s K1 final.

De Gennaro, a World Cup gold medallist on his home course in Ivrea last year, was the slowest qualifier coming into the final, but turned that form on its head to post 92.83 in the final.

“I didn’t expect this result, I’d had a really hard week,” De Gennaro said.

“I knew I could be fast, but I didn’t expect this time. I never take anything for granted, and I’ve been wondering a lot this season if I can be at this level.

“It’s good to be on the top, but I know there is still a lot to do.”

Germany’s Sebastian Schubert was second in 95.78, and Japan’s Kazuya Adachi third in 98.29.

Fox was even more impressive in the C1. Spain’s Nuria Vilarrubla posted what appeared to be a gold-medal winning time of 106.40, before Fox sizzled down the course in a jaw-dropping 101.46.

Organisers had decided to remove two gates for the women’s race to fit into the television schedule.

“I was aggressive from start to finish, and I got those stopper moves like I had visualised in my head, so it’s nice when a run comes together like that,” Fox said.

“Two weeks ago we got accepted into the Olympics program, and now we can’t do the full course because they don’t think we are capable of it.

“I know that all the girls in that final are capable of doing that course.”

Fellow Australian Ros Lawrence picked up the bronze, finishing in 111.46.

In the men’s C2 it was a second 2017 World Cup gold medal for the Czech Republic’s Jonas Jaspar and Marek Sindler, who finished in 108.95.

“To be perfectly honest, our training here and our qualifications and semi-finals were not so great, which was a bit scary, but the finals run set everything okay,” Kaspar said.

“It’s only the third race, so we have to focus more on our training ahead of the next World Cups and the World Championships.”

The third ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup continues on Sunday in Markkleeberg.

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