France’s exploits at the football World Cup have been repeated in the rapids of Ivrea, with the team picking up three gold medals on the opening day of the ICF Canoe Slalom U23 and Junior World Championships.

There were a total of eight team gold medals up for grabs in the steamy conditions in Italy, with the Czech Republic picking up two, and single gold medals for Germany, Slovakia and Spain.

Mathurin Madore came back from a broken elbow late last year to help Malo Quemeneur and Clement Travert win French gold in the men’s U23 K1 team event.

“I had to stop paddling for four months, and then only just got back in time for the national selection event,” Madore said.

“It’s quite hard, especially in the head, to come back. But now you can see, everyone can come back.”

Earlier France picked up gold in the men’s junior C1 team event, with Nicolas Gestin, Jules Bernardet and Alexis Bobon finishing ahead of the Czech Republic and Slovenia.

“We came here in May for a training camp in Ivrea, and we trained often as a team to prepare for a good run today,” Gestin said.

“So it was good to put it all together.”

The third French gold medal came in the final event of the day, the men’s junior K1 team race.

Julien Pajaud, Vincent Delahaye and Anatole Delassus finished ahead of teams from the Czech Republic and Germany.

Reigning junior K1 world champion Antonie Galuskova teamed up with Lucie Nesnidalova and Katerina Bekova to win the Czech Republic gold in the women’s K1 team event.

“I’m really happy that I got a chance to do this with my girls,” Galuskova said.

“We did our best and I’m happy that we made it.”

“We were really nervous, because after our run we had three really good teams to come. But it is an amazing feeling to have won,” Nesnidalova said.

Gabriela Satkova, Tereza Kneblova and Eva Rihova finished ahead of Great Britain and France in the women’s C1 junior teams final.

“It was perfect, that run,” Rihova said.

“We did a little mistake at the second gate, but then it was clean and perfect, so we are very happy.”

“It’s the best feeling in my life,” Kneblova said.

The first gold medal on the program went to Germany’s Lennard Tuchscherer, Leon Hanika and Timo Trummer in the men’s U23 C1 team final.

They finished ahead of France and Great Britain on a limited preparation.

“We just made one run,” Tuchscherer said.

“It did feel good. So we took the feeling from that run into today.”

“At our training camp we had some problems with the water, some boats and paddles broke, but now the water level is very good,” Hanika said.

Spain’s gold medal came in the women’s U23 C1 team event, with Miren Lazkano, Klara Olazabal and Annebel Van Der Knijff seeing off Slovenia and the Czech Republic.

“We didn’t expect to win, because while the course wasn’t too hard, there were points where we lost time,” Van Der Knijff said.

“But in the end it was very good. I think all three of us felt very good on the course, so we are very happy.”

Slovakia’s Eliska Mintalova, Michaela Hassova and Lucia Murzova won the women’s U23 team gold, beating the Czech Republic and Great Britain.

"We are very satisfied with our run," Mintalova said.

"We didn't expect to win, so we are very happy."

Pic by Hoichan Kwon

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