Czech canoeist Tereza Fiserova finally found the chink in the armour of Olympic champion Jessica Fox to win the C1 gold and the overall 2021 season title, while 2016 Rio gold medalist Denis Gargaud Chanut thrilled the home crowd with a win in the men’s C1 at the ICF canoe slalom world cup in Pau.

23-year-old Fišerova could not believe she won her first ever world cup race, after a run of four silver and three bronze medals in C1.

Australian Fox was very fast on the course, but four penalty seconds cost her the win in Pau. At the end Fox was 1.45 seconds behind Fiserova in second place, with German Elena Apel third.

"It is really amazing. I cannot understand this is possible. I am really happy. It is everything," Fiserova said.

"I am very nervous before my start, but in the finish I crossed fingers for Jessica and the other girls, because I wish podium for other girls."

The win in Pau, where double world cup points were awarded, also meant Fiserova won the overall world cup standings. She ended the season four points ahead of Fox and Apel was third.

Local favourite Gargaud Chanut qualified to the men's canoe final with an eighth place in the semifinal, so he was one of the first to start in the decisive run.

His final was so good he then stayed in the top position until the very last competitor on the start, last week's winner Miquel Trave, who was again the fastest on the course. But like Fox, four penalty seconds cost him dearly, pushing him to the sixth place.

Gargaud Chanut produced a clean run, and was finally 0.16 seconds faster than Olympic champion Benjamin Savšek of Slovenia. It was a very good day for the Slovenian team as Luka Božič finished the race in third place.

Gargaud Chanut, who moved to Pau from Marseille to train on this course, was happy with a win.

"It was a great final run. Two positive things are that I did technically some good things and I am happy for it,” he said.

“The second good thing was that there was public here to cheer for us, and it was a really nice experience. Like a big race, like a world championships. It's really nice to see the public back."

Sunday’s win also brought the overall world cup win to the 2016 Olympic champion, who missed selection for this year’s Olympics. Gargaud Chanut this year won the only two titles he was missing until now. In May he became European Champion, and now overall world cup winner.

Benjamin Savsek was second in the world cup standings and Miquel Trave third overall.

"That was my goal. I am really happy so far with the season,” Gargaud Chanut said.

“But the world championships is still the big event, major event. Now I need to rest and focus for the worlds."

Words and pics by Nina Jelenc

Czech Tereza Fiserova Pau 2021

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