ICFmedia
25 September 2021

Germany’s Ricarda Funk made canoeing history and France’s Boris Neveu added a second world title to the gold he won in 2014 on a day of high drama at the International Canoe Federation canoe slalom world championships in Bratislava, Slovakia.

An exhausted Funk became the first athlete to win gold at both the Olympics and a world championships in the same calendar year, when she triumphed in Saturday’s women’s K1 final. It was also her first world title after two bronze and a silver medal.

“For me this is crazy, I’ve been working really really hard for this,” Funk said.

“After winning the Olympics I had the next goal in sight, but first I needed to calm down like this.

“It was a really long year. The goal was definitely the Olympics, and now the world championships, but now I am definitely ready for a holiday so I will go straight from Bratislava.”

Funk had a two-second penalty but still finished 2.51 seconds ahead of 23-year-old teammate, Elena Apel, with Great Britain’s Kimberley Woods third. It was first world championship medals for both Apel and Woods.

35-year-old Neveu became a two-time world champion in the same year he made his Olympic debut, one of only two athletes to deliver a perfect run on a difficult Bratislava course.

“It was very important for me to finish this season with a medal after a big mistake in the Olympics,” Neveu said.

“I hoped there would be another, you always hope it will not be your last. I trained hard for this gold medal and had to wait a long time, but I got a new medal so I am very happy.

“It’s always important to have a good start in an Olympics cycle, I hope it will continue like this until Paris. I need to win medals, its good for my mental health, so I am very happy.”

Neveu finished almost four seconds clear of Italian Marcello Beda, competing in his first international final, while Spain’s Joan Crespo made it back-to-back world championship bronze medals.

In a day of high drama, world cups winner and three time world champion Jessica Fox of Australia and reigning world champion Eva Tercelj of Slovenia both missed the final after picking up 50-second penalties for missing a gate in the semi-finals.

And in the men’s competition, after winning four of the past six world titles, the Czech Republic had no athletes in Saturday’s K1 final. 2021 world cups winner Vit Prindis and 2012 Olympic silver medalist Vavrinec Hradilek both missed gates in the semi, while this year’s Olympic champion and defending world champion, Jiri Prskavec, missed the final by just 0.05 of a second.

RESULTS

WOMEN’S K1

  1. FUNK Ricarda (GER) 94.80 (2 seconds penalties)
  2. APEL Elena (GER) 97.31 (0)
  3. WOODS Kimberley (GBR) 97.90 (2)

MEN’S K1

  1. NEVEU Boris (FRA) 83.92 (0)
  2. BEDA Marcello (ITA) 87.75 (0)
  3. CRESPO Joan (ESP) 87.90 (2)

Pics by Dezso Vekassy

France Boris Neveu K1 Bratislava 2021

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