Hometown win thrills big Spanish crowd

Spain’s Nuria Vilarrubla thrilled a big home crowd snatching gold in the women’s C1 at the ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup final in Spain, but her win could not deny Australia’s Jessica Fox the 2017 C1 World Cup title.

Slovenia’s Peter Kauzer posted one of the closest wins of the season, his time of 86.96. a mere 0.04 seconds ahead of France’s Boris Neveu in the men’s K1 at the La Seu dÚrgell course.

Czech Vit Prindis finished sixth in the final, enough to secure him the overall 2017 K1 title.

The biggest drama of the day came in the men’s C2, with Germany’s Robert Behling and Thomas Becker winning the gold medal, and in doing so overtaking Czech’s Jonas Kaspar and Marek Sindler for the season’s title.

Kaspar and Sindler finished fourth, which gave them 310 points overall – two points less than the Germans.

“We had not such a good start to the season, but we have been on the podium for the past four World Cups, so we hope we keep that form going forward to the Worlds,” Behling said.

Vilarrubla showed in Spain she is almost impossible to beat, defending the title she won on the same course last year.

“It was a hard run, and I did some mistakes, but I felt a lot from my heart with the crowd and my family, and I’m so happy with that,” she said.

“This season has been sometimes low, sometimes high, both emotionally and physically. But finally I am happy to arrive at this stage of the season and looking towards the worlds with ambition and feeling really strong.”

Fox picked up four seconds in penalties on Saturday, which put her 2.52 seconds behind Vilarrubla, with Austria’s Nadine Weratschnig third.

Likewise Czech Jiri Prskavec was denied gold in the men’s K1 after picking up a two-second penalty, his time of 88.69 relegating him to third behind Kauzer’s 86.96.

“I was fighting until the end, even though I was a little bit slower at the top,” Kauzer said.

“This is the place where I won my first World Cup race, and this win is my tenth win so I’m happy to get that.

“The first part of the season I was not happy with, but I’ve fixed what went wrong, I’ve got my old boat, my Olympic boat, in which I feel more comfortable in.”

The 2017 ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup final finishes on Sunday. 

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