Friday qualifications in Prague

The first day of the 4th ICF 2016 Canoe Slalom World Cup series went quiet smooth, the qualification course was less challenging and the fastest athletes raced to tomorrow's semis.

C1 Heats were dominated by the Swiss paddler Thomas Koechlin with time of 92.48, Rio Olympic Games silver medalist, Matej Beňuš finished second with a two-second penalty and third place went to the Czech paddler Tomas Rak.
"My aim was to somehow go through the qualification round, if possible, clean without touches and to qualify straight to the semi-final. The atmosphere is absolutely amazing here and the fans pushed me forward, "said Rak.

This event was followed by the qualification of Women’s C1.The victory went to the Austrian racer Nadine Weratschnig (111.03), Mallory Franklin from GBR qualified second and the biggest favourite for the overall victory, Jessica Fox qualified for semis standing at the 3rd place.
“I had a penalty and then I kept on very safe the whole way and didn’t want to take any risk because the goal was just to be in top ten or top fifteen, “Jessica commented.

The morning program with warm and sunny weather continued also with men kayakers. The winner Sebastian Schubert of Germany finished in a time of 83.96, second place for Italian Giovanni De Gennaro and Michal Smolen from the United States finished third.

"With what I have trained it is enough, it was not bad. I had a problem up on the course and I was there very tight. But otherwise, I enjoyed it, racing here is always great and I look forward to tomorrow which will definitely be stormier. "

At K1 Women category, the fastest boat belonged to a the French Olympian Marie-Zelia Lafonte with the time of 98.19, Jessica Fox of Australia stood at the second place and the third place went to the home star Katerina Kudějová.

“It was a really long day because I raced in both categories so I tried to qualify in C1 on the first run. So then I could have a rest and focus on the K1. I am happy with this race, I had a touch in a gate sixteen but all the other moves were ok, so I’m glad to be the second” said Fox.

Friday afternoon saw also the three Czech boats in the C2. The winners of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Škantár cousins ​​were also on the start line and managed to pass the course in the fastest time of 100.39. Clean ride further demonstrated by Ondrej Karlovský and Jakub Jane with only 33 hundreds of seconds after Škantár cousins secured them the second place and at the third place stood the Polish pair Michal Wiercioch and Grzegorz Majerczak.

“I always enjoy competing here, people push us forward and the atmosphere is really great here. We know what to expect from the water because it is our home channel. The next race is on Sunday so we have some time to rest. We will come to support the others tomorrow and we will check the course. We will have a good sleep and on Sunday we will make it the best we can”. said Ondrej Karlovský.

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