Camille Prigent, Joseph Clarke, Martina Satkova and Miquel Trave showed the best runs in the heats of the final canoe slalom world cup race of the 2021 season at the Pau-Pyrénées Whitewater Stadium.

France’s Prigent family led the way in women's kayak heats. 23-year-old Camille Prigent set the fastest time of the day in this event, stopping the clock 1.37 seconds faster than Slovenian Urša Kragelj.

Romane Prigent finished third in the heats, less than a second and a half behind her cousin Camille. Romane was on the podium of last year's world cup race in Pau, finishing second at the time, behind her teammate Marie-Zélia Lafont.

In the men's kayak heats the 2016 Olympic champion Joseph Clarke produced a fastest and penalty free run which brought him the last starting position in Saturday's semifinal.

The British paddler who recently married his long-time girlfriend was 0.32 seconds faster than Italian Giovanni De Gennaro, while Spanish kayaker David Llorente finished third, 0.41 seconds behind Clarke.

"I am trying out the new boat, which I already tried this week. It's nice to put it down in the first run,” Clarke said.

“It is a tough course out there, a lot to think about. To take the lead in the qualifications is always nice.

"Obviously, I would like to make the final and then try to push for a medal."

In the afternoon's canoe heats, the Czech Republic's Martina Satkova finished first in the women's event, ahead of Nuria Vilarrubla (Spain) and Australian Jessica Fox.

The Olympic champion was once again very fast on the course, but Fox picked up four penalty seconds on her way, which resulted in the third place after the first stage of the race.

Miquel Travé, the winner of the world cup last weekend in La Seu d'Urgell, continued his strong form on Friday. The Spanish canoeist produced the best run in the men's canoe heats and was a little more than half a second faster than Germany’s Franz Anton, who also stood on the podium last week. Slovenia's Luka Božič finished third in the heats.

The World Cup in Pau continues Saturday with semifinals and finals in women's and men's kayak events as well as extreme slalom time trials.

Words and pics Nina Jelenc

Great Britain Joe Clarke canoe slalom Pau 2021

Canoe Slalom
#ICFcanoeslalom #Canoeslalom