The first day of competion at the 2019 ICF junior and U23 canoe wildwater world championships has passed without incident, although there were nervous moments for several athletes.

The day was set aside for sprint heats across all divisions. Twenty races were held in all across both junior and U23, in canoe, kayak and C2.

Italy’s Cecilia Panato, a gold medalist at the previous junior world championships two years ago, qualified first in the opening heat of the day, the junior kayak sprint. Among those needing a second run to qualify were top class slalom paddlers Tereza Kneblova and Slovenia’s Eva Alina Hocevar.

Panato was also second quickest in the junior canoe sprint, behind France’s Margot Beziat by just 0.01 of a second.

Slovenia’s Ostrbenk brothers enjoyed a good morning. Maj Ostrbenk was quickest in the heats of the junior canoe sprint, while brother Vid was second behind Czech Vojtech Matejicek in the junior kayak.

They also teamed up to qualify quickest in the men’s C2.

In U23 events, Czech Martina Satkova showed she is once again going to be a force to be reckoned with, easily qualifying fastest in the heats of the women’s kayak. Satkova was third quickest in the U23 canoe, behind fellow Czech Marie Nemcova.

Frenchman Theo Veins was quickest in the men’s U23 canoe, while Czech Vojtech Zapletal was first to salute the judge in the heats of the men’s U23 kayak. Slovenia’s Anze Urankar, a gold medalist as the last senior wildwater world championships, finished a close second.

The finals in all sprint events will be held on Friday, along with all the junior and U23 team events.

Wildwater Canoeing