Fox and Tasiadis start 2018 on top of the podium

Reigning women’s K1 world champion, Jessica Fox, and reigning men’s C1 world cup holder, Sideris Tasiadis, have started the new ICF canoe slalom season with emphatic victories in Liptovsky Mikulas on Saturday.

Australia’s Fox was the last athlete on the tricky Liptovsky course,  but executed a perfect run to finish ahead of Austria’s Corinna Kuhnle and Germany’s Ricarda Funk.

A two-second penalty for the Austrian for a gate touch proved costly, with the final margin 1.58 seconds.

 “I’m really pleased with my K1 races, second in the heats, first in the semis, and then to back that up with a win is awesome,” Fox said.

“It’s always tough the first race of the season. Our last competition was the Australian Open, the Europeans have had their Championships, so you know the levels been up.

“There’s pressure, but there’s also this expectation that I put on myself. I had a great season last year, and I want to match that, I want to better that, I want to keep improving on that.”

Germany Sideris Tasiadis C1 Liptovsky Mikulas

Germany’s Tasiadis won the overall men’s C1 world cup title last year, but missed a medal in the World Championships. He also won the opening World Cup in 2017, and is hoping this year he’ll carry his form right through the season.

Like Fox, he was the last paddler on the course, breaking the heart of local hope Alexander Slafkovsky who had held the lead since the second run of the 10-man final.

Great Britain’s Ryan Westley finished third, a two-second penalty robbing him of a chance to follow up his European gold with a World Cup title.

But Tasiadis showed a long off-season on the water had served him well.

“I’ve trained a lot in the winter, and I’ve tried to change a little bit my technique,” Tasiadis said.

“I really want to have a medal at the World Championships, because I don’t have a medal at that level. I just want to do exactly what I did here, in all my preparation, and to feel good on the water.

“We will see what happens. If I am as motivated as I am here, we can make something happen in the World Championships.”

There was a popular hometown win in the Mixed C2, with Slovakia's Sona Stanovska and Jan Batik taking the gold.

Stanovska lives 30 kilometres from the Liptovsky Mikulas venue, and said the win was even more remarkable given the pair had only come together this week.

"It's our first race, we only had one session and just two runs, and now gain we've had two runs, and the second one was so good," Stanovska said.

"This is like my home course, and it's so good that so many Slovak fans have come."

RESULTS

WOMEN’S K1

  1. FOX Jessica                     (AUS)   101.20
  2. KUHNLE Corinna            (AUT)  102.78
  3. FUNK Ricarda                  (GER) 103.65

MEN’S C1

  1. TASIADIS Sideris              (GER)  96.11
  2. SLAKKOVSKY Alexander (SVK)  96.66
  3. WESTLEY Ryan                 (GBR) 97.31

MIXED C2

  1. STANOVSKA/BATIK         (SVK)   116.48
  2. FISEROVA/JANE               (CZE)   118.97
  3. PRIGENT/HENRY              (FRA)  128.26

Slovenia Sona Stanovska Jan Batik Mixed C2 Liptovsky

 

 

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