Fox news: Jessica and Matej seal 2019 world cup slalom titles

Australia’s Jessica Fox broke through for her first K1 win of the 2019 season and Slovakia’s Matej Benus posted his first win for more than two years on the penultimate day of competition at the ICF canoe slalom world cup final in Prague on Saturday.

With their wins both Fox and Benus also locked away the overall world cup titles for 2019, and also took important steps toward qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics.

After dominating the women’s K1 for much of the 2018 season, Fox has not been able to get back to the top of the podium in 2019. But the two-time Olympic medalist got it right on the challenging Prague course on Saturday to win by almost three seconds, with Brazil's Ana Satila second, and Slovenia's Eva Tercelj third.

Fox felt it was close to her best form.

“I think so, I think today was really exactly what I was looking for,” she said.

“I’ve been training so well here, so I really wanted to put it together. It was just about getting that run out.

“Just to deliver that in the final, I was so pleased. That was the elation when I crossed the finish line. I’m really pleased with today, it could not have gone better.”

Fox was also rewarded for her consistency with the overall K1 world cup title, defending the crown she won last year.

“It’s always a little confidence boost,” she said.

"It’s been a long season, but now all the world cups are done, we have a couple of weeks off, so I’m happy to finish the world cups on this note, and looking forward to being back in Seu.”

The main priority for Matej Benus on Saturday was finishing ahead of his Slovakian teammates, Alexander Slafkovsky and Michal Martikan, as the trio do battle for the one available C1 slot for Tokyo.

He made certain of the result by winning the men’s C1 final by more than two seconds, with Russia’s Kirill Setkin second and Slovenia’s Luka Bozic third.

“Winning is always difficult, so I’m super happy I won this one,” Benus said.

“This win was also important for me, because Alexander Slafkovsky won the last world cup, so it was important for me to get a lot of points from this race.

“It’s pretty difficult because just one guy can go to the Olympics, and there are three Slovaks in the top five. So it’s very important to have a good final, and be mentally strong.”

The win helped Benus leapfrog Bozic in the overall world cup standings.

“The guys from Germany, Czech, Great Britain, Slovenia – they are so strong, so you need to have a good run if you want to win a medal,” he said.

“Sometimes I have a good run and I don’t win a medal, but that’s alright.”

RESULTS

MEN’S C1

  1. BENUS Matej (SVK) 100.26
  2. SETKIN Kirill    (RUS) 102.43
  3. BOZIC Luka   (SLO) 103.42 (2 second penalty)

WOMEN’S K1

  1. FOX Jessica (AUS)  101.11
  2. SATILA Ana (BRA)  103.98
  3. TERCELJ Eva (SLO) 104.30

OVERALL WORLD CUP FINAL STANDINGS

MEN’S C1

  1. BENUS Matej (SVK) 289 points
  2. BOZIC Luka     (SLO) 287
  3. MARTIKAN Michal (SVK) 248

WOMEN’S K1

  1. FOX Jessica (AUS)  278 points
  2. TERCELJ Eva (SLO)  265
  3. KUHNLE Corinna (AUT) 248

Slovakia Matej Benus Prague C1 2019

Canoe Slalom
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