Austria’s Lisa Leitner had a point to prove when she set off on her opening K1 run at the ICF U23 and Junior Slalom World Championships, her return to competition after being suspended by her Federation for two World Cups.

16-year-old Czech Antonie Galuskova was the quickest qualifier in the women’s junior K1, while Slovakia’s Gewissler and Skakala were fastest in the U23 men’s C2, and Czech’s Pohanka and Wendl were fastest in the men’s junior C2.

Leitner was disqualified at the European Championships for an underweight boat, and the Austrian Federation then disqualified her for two World Cups.

22-year-old Leitner responded on Thursday with a cracking first run, setting the fastest time of 91.88, more than four seconds quicker than multiple World Champion, Jessica Fox, in 96.21, with Great Britain’s Mallory Franklin third in 97.61.

“It was really fun to race, I just felt really lucky today,” Leitner said.

“On every upstream I could do it with a sweep, I didn’t plan it like that, it just happened. It was fun to race.

“Is it luck? I don’t know, but if you just have fun, of course you are going to be lucky because it’s just the right feeling.”

Galuskova posted a time of 101.78, with Austria’s Antonia Oschmautz second in 102.59, and Germany’s Andrea Herzog third in 103.72.

“My run was really good, I enjoyed every second,” Galuskova said.

“Sometimes my training was bad, and I was really scared, but everything is just fine. I was a bit slow.

“This is a big experience for me.”

The 2017 ICF Junior and U23 Canoe Slalom World Championships continue on Friday, with the first medals of the competition to be decided.

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