Gold, silver, bronze for Germany

Germany won a gold, silver and bronze across the C2M and K1W events as the first finals concluded at the 2015 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships in Lee Valley, London.

It was the duo of Franz Anton and Jan Benzien that delivered the first gold medal winning run of the day; they outscored a truly world class field that included World and Olympic Champions.

Delighted with their success, Anton said, "I’m really happy, we had a really good semifinal and now a nearly perfect final so it couldn’t be better. The first goal was to get to the final here and everything in the final was the icing on the cake."

The tally of 101.17 included a two second penalty on gate 16, but the duo’s blistering pace was impossible for others to match.

France secured silver and bronze after both boats produced clean runs. Surprisingly it was the season’s less consistent pair, Pierre Picco and Hugo Biso, who edged ahead of the 2015 World Cup Series champions, Gauthier Klauss and Matthieu Peche.

“The course is very hard and our run was not perfect in every way but at the end the time was good,” said Picco.

“Our season was good but two times we came fourth and didn’t make the podium. So to win our first medal today, to get the silver was an amazing day for us.”

Disappointed at still not achieving the sport’s top honours, bronze medallist Klauss said, "Overall it’s a good season. We just miss this damn title!"

"We won two World Cups, a bronze medal at the Worlds, we are ranked number one in the World. C2 is a beautiful sport and I think we proved it again today. We will keep fighting until the very end to defend our sport,” added Peche (the discipline is due to be replaced by C1W at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.)

In the K1W U23 2012 World Champion, Kateřina Kudějová (CZE) showed her class and stepped up to take top honours at senior level.

"I am sick so I was already happy to be in the final. Even more now, it’s awesome," said the 25-year-old.

"It’s a difficult course but this is how I like them so I was quite happy when I saw it. I was confident going into the final. I was a bit cautious of gate 5 but I did not make any mistake, it was perfect."

Kudějová's run was over two seconds clear of Ricarda Funk's silver medal performance. 


"I’m so happy that I have a medal. This is my first World Championships medal and I can’t believe it," said Funk, the 2014 European Champion.

"I tried to watch the others’ runs on the tv before me to see what they were doing and maybe getting some tips and I think it worked.

“This season I have a world cup medal third place in Krakow and I was second in the European championships. But winning the silver today is the best day of my career.”

Melanie Pfeifer (GER) made up the podium, ahead of fourth placed defending champion Jess Fox (AUS), and collected Germany's third medal of the day.

“I’m a little bit surprised to win a medal today because I was sick last week and it was not easy for the brain but now I am feeling happy,” said Pfeifer afterwards.

“I won a bronze medal too in the worlds so two medals in two years is very good and I’m very proud of myself.”

Germany has now achieved an Olympic qualifying slot for both the C2 and K1W boats. Inevitably some tough battles lie ahead next spring for which athletes will get to compete in Rio.

“It’s going to be a really tough competition for qualification next year and I will give my best and we will see who gets the spot,” added Funk. “I have never been to an Olympics so it’s still a dream.” 

Medallists

C2 Men
Gold - F.ANTON/J.BENZIEN (GER)
Silver - P.PICCO/H.BISO (FRA)
Bronze - G.KLAUSS/M.PECHE (FRA)

K1 Women
Gold - Katerina KUDEJOVA (CZE)
Silver - Ricarda FUNK (GER)
Bronze - Melanie PFEIFER (GER)

K1 Women Team
Gold - Czech Republic
Silver - Great Britain
Bronze - France

C2 Men Team
Gold - France
Silver - Germany
Bronze - Great Britain

Canoe Slalom
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