Australia's Jessica Fox picked up where she left off in Tokyo last month with a stunning performance to win kayak gold at the ICF canoe slalom world cup in La Seu, Spain, on Saturday.

Czech Vit Prindis sent out a reminder of his quality with a tight win in the men’s K1 at the third world cup of the 2021 season.

Tokyo Olympic bronze medallist in women's kayak event Jessica Fox produced the best run in women's K1 final to claim her eight World Cup win in kayak, but her first on the 1992 Olympic course.

"For me it was all about having a good start and feeling tight and fast on the top section,” Fox said.

“And when I got through that hard five to six move, I felt like I was flying and that I could really build my race. It was a really good run in terms of the execution of all the ups I wanted to do and improve on my semifinal as well.”

The 27-year-old Australian was 3.66 seconds faster than Mallory Franklin from Great Britain who was leading in the semifinal, while Slovakia's Eliška Mintalova won her first ever World Cup medal. Until now, the best result for Mintalova at World Cups was fourth place in Prague in 2019.

Maialen Chourraut, Tokyo Olympic Games silver medallist and Spanish hopeful for the medal in women's kayak, was just outside the final on 11th place, along with the 2019 world champion from La Seu, Eva Terčelj (SLO), who finished the race in 12th position.

It was an exciting men's kayak final, with Vit Prindiš from the Czech Republic winning his second world cup gold medal at the Spanish venue. The reigning European champion started among the first in the final run, but produced a run that kept him at the top until the end of the race.

"I saw the second half of the race, which was really impressive,” Prindis said.

“The guys put on the really fast runs. It was four guys in just a half of a second, which is not usual. The course was really tricky, with so many parts where you can make a mistake. I am happy I put down the run with just small mistakes. This is a perfect start for me."

Prindiš was 0.36 seconds faster than Austrian Felix Oschmautz, who won his second silver world cup medal of the season after a second placing in Markkleeberg.

Slovenian Peter Kauzer was third at a course where he became the world champion for the first time back in 2009. The future of Spanish kayaking, Pau Echaniz, was fourth, only 0.01 seconds behind Kauzer.

On Sunday, the semifinal and final runs in women's and men's canoe are on the programme, as well as extreme slalom races.

Words and pics by Nina Jelenc

Czech Republic Vit Prindis La Seu slalom world cup 2021

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