Florence, Fox and Prskavec deliver gold in London

David Florence (GBR, C1M) and Jessica Fox (AUS, C1W) added to their tally of senior world titles; whilst Jiri Prskavec (CZE) stepped up from his silver in 2013 to take top honours for the first time in a tense K1M final as the 2015 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships concluded in London.

For Florence the dream of a second world title on his home course almost faltered after a tricky start.

“I got into some real trouble to be honest around gates five, six and seven and lost a bit of an edge, tried to recover it and didn’t quite manage,” he said. “I thought I had recovered it, but was pushing the wrong way and eventually got back on line and just had to try and re-focus.”

The Brit certainly refocused and sped through the latter third of the course in an unrivalled fashion, much to the delight of the packed crowd.

“The crowd were incredible, there was an absolute buzz,” continued Florence. “I knew my teammate [Ryan Westley] was in the lead and the rest of the course just went really well and it was enough to win by a very small margin, enough to become World Champion again.”

The impressive Benjamin Savsek (SLO) stopped the clock just zero-point-four-of-a-second behind the Florence's mark to secure silver.

“I was feeling a little pressure before the start because I was the last to go,” admitted Savsek. “But I focussed on my run and my paddling and I did it without a touch. So I feel amazing to get the second place.”

Twenty two-year-old Ryan Westley (GBR) marked a successful day for the host nation with bronze, his first individual medal in a senior international.

“Over the past 10 years in this sport I’ve watched all the top people, wishing I could be mentioned amongst them,” he said afterwards. “Now I’ve managed to win a medal competing amongst them I can’t put it into words how it feels.”

Australia's Fox then showed her class by taking her third successive C1W world title with a near five-second margin over Katerina Hoskova (CZE).

"It's a great feeling," said the 21-year old superstar. "Even sweeter to put down a good run in a competitive field on a very hard course. I'm just really happy with how I dealt with the pressure in the final. I really enjoyed racing here."

Referring to her tactics, Fox continued, "In C1 I generally try to be more conservative, but now that it's so competitive I have to start taking more risks to win."

Finishing behind Fox has become a bit of a habit for Hoskova after the pair occupied the same podium positions in the 2015 World Cup Series season standings. But the 30-year-old was thrilled to be back on the Worlds’ podium for the first time since winning the C1W title in 2011.

“This is my second Worlds medal so now I can say that the season was the best for four years,” she said. “I just wanted to be in the final and then in the final enjoy the atmosphere and try to do a good run without any mistakes. It was perfect.”

Nuria Vilarrubla, who bettered Fox at the beginning of the season to take the U23 World title, took bronze today.

Jiri Prskavec completed a double for the Czech Republic in the K1 class following Katerina Kudejova's victory in the women's final on Saturday.

Delighted by his victory an exhausted Prskavec said, "So happy that I finally made such a good run in the finals of the World Championships and I look forward next year."

No stranger to success at the top level, Prskavec, a double European senior champion, started the season with gold at the U23 World Championships.

"The thing I'm most happy about is that I was racing here very well from the start. After my very good semifinal run I was starting from second. You know, to handle the pressure and to make a clean run that is good enough to win that's the dream and that's what I'm most happy about today."

Poland's Mateusz Polaczyk secured second place on the podium after finishing in the dreaded fourth spot on this course at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

“It’s a funny situation because here in 2012 in the Olympics I finished fourth and last year in the World Cup here I finished third and now in the World Championships I was second,” said Polaczyk who was fastest in the final but collected a two second penalty.

“So next time I should win here!”

The up-and-coming Michal Smolen (USA), last year’s U23 World Champion, managed to remain composed to secure bronze.

“I found the course was even harder than it looked here at the Olympic Games and today we saw a lot of people with amazing runs get to the bottom and fall apart,” said the 22-year-old.

“For me to hold it together showed to me great improvements in my strategy so it’s good to come out with a medal.”

C1W
Gold - Jessica Fox (AUS)
Silver - Katerina Hoskova (CZE)
Bronze - Nuria Vilarrubla (ESP)

C1M
Gold - David Florence (GBR)
Silver - Benjamin Savsek (SLO)
Bronze - Ryan Westley (GBR)

K1M
Gold - Jiri Prskavec (CZE)
Silver - Mateusz Polaczyk
Bronze - Michal Smolen (USA)

K1M Team
Gold - Czech Republic
Silver - Slovakia
Bronze - Great Britain

C1W Team
Gold - Australia
Silver - Czech Republic
Bronze - Austria

C1M Team
Gold - Slovakia
Silver - Germany
Bronze - Slovenia

Canoe Slalom
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