Reigning world champion Veronika Vojtova of the Czech Republic and 2018 world cup winner Pavel Eigel of Russia triumphed in Saturday’s extreme canoe slalom world cup finals in Pau, France.

And Mexico won its first ever medal at an ICF slalom event, with Sofia Reinoso taking bronze in the women’s final.

Vojtova and Eigel used their experience to outmaneuver their opponents during a punishing afternoon of racing, as the popularity of the head-to-head format continues to grow among athletes. Six different countries shared the medals on Saturday.

Vojtova celebrated the world championship title in front of an ecstatic home crowd in Prague in 2019, but her world cup win on Saturday was achieved in front of fellow athletes and officials, with spectators banned because of Covid-19.

She said its hard to explain her success.

“I didn’t have a plan at the start, but it’s a fun time for me, so I thought, why not?” the Czech said.

“I usually race in a different boat and you don’t plan. Every race is absolutely different.”

Canadian teenager Lea Baldoni took the silver medal, with Reinoso creating history for Mexico by winning the bronze, her country’s first ever medal at an ICF canoe slalom competition.

Russia’s Eigel last won an extreme canoe slalom world cup gold in Augsburg, Germany, in 2018, but went into Saturday’s competition in a feisty mood.

He had a disappointing result in Saturday morning’s K1 competition, picking up a 50-second penalty for missing a gate which cost him a place in the final.

And he was slow at the start of the extreme slalom final, which left him with considerable work to do.

“I missed the start so I couldn’t fight the guys early, so I had to adapt,” Eigel said.

“I saw that the three guys go to the right, so I went to the left, and it was a good choice.

“It’s a good way to enjoy yourself after the slalom racing, and today I had to expend my bad mood. This is the last competition of the year for me, and 2020 has not been good for me. But not just for me, for a lot of people.

“I hope next year, an Olympic year, will be better, and I will make my dream.”

France’s Benjamin Renia won the silver and Spain’s Dario Cuesta took the bronze.

The ICF world cup finishes on Sunday with the men’s and women’s C1 finals.



  1. Veronika VOJTOVA  (CZE)
  2. Lea BALDONI           (CAN)
  3. Sofia REINOSO        (MEX)


  1. Pavel EIGEL        (RUS)
  2. Benjamin RENIA (FRA)
  3. Dario CUESTA    (ESP)
Canoe Slalom
Kayak Cross