Italian speed machine Giovanni De Gennaro on Friday continued his red hot 2023 canoe slalom form by qualifying fastest in the men’s K1, while Australia’s Jessica Fox added a K1 fastest qualifying time to the C1 top time she recorded 24 hours earlier on the Tacen Whitewater course in Slovenia.

De Gennaro, who already has a gold and a bronze medal in the men’s K1 this season, set a time of 86.00 to be 0.30 seconds ahead of Czech Jakub Krejci, with Frenchman Leo Vuitton third fastest.

Local hope Peter Kauzer, who won the first of his four gold medals on the Tacen course back in 2008, qualified through to the semi-finals in 19th place.

“It’s nice to be back home after three weeks away, but I was a bit unlucky with the water, so I lost quite a lot of time,” Kauzer said.

“I can’t be satisfied with that run, but this is Tacen. I’m crossing my fingers to do a way better job tomorrow. I hope that this race will be a turning point, I will try to do as good as possible and then on to the European Games.”

Olympic gold medalist Jiri Prskavec had a minor scare, picking up a 50-second penalty for a missed gate on his first qualifying run. But the Czech breezed through on his second run to book a place in Saturday’s semi-finals.

In the women’s K1 Jessica Fox continued her outstanding 2023 season form, posting the quickest time of 95.38, which followed her fastest time in the C1 heats on Thursday. Slovenia’s Eva Tercelj, chasing her first world cup gold on her home course, was just 0.24 seconds behind the Australian.

It was a welcome change of form for the 2019 world champion.

“I put in a really good run, I was happy with my speed and the flow I got, which had been missing for the past two world cups,” Tercelj said.

“I’m so happy to be back home and racing in front of my home crowd. One run is a good start, I hope I can keep that feeling. Of course it has been hard, but I hope it will be easier in the future.”

France’s Eva Pietracha was third quickest. The men’s and women’s K1 gold medals will be decided on Saturday.

Pics by Bence Vekassy

Slovenia Eva Tercelj Tacen 2023

Canoe Slalom