Swiss paddlers Dimitri Marx and Jan Rohrer delivered a kayak cross masterclass while Great Britain’s Kimberley Woods muscled her way to a gold medal on the final day of the International Canoe Federation World Cup in Prague.

Woods had to withstand a fierce challenge from Czech hometown favourite, Tereza Fiserova, to win the women’s kayak cross gold. In a high action final Woods was able to capitalise on mistakes made by other paddlers to jump from fourth to first, and then to outwrestle Fiserova in the race to the finish line.

“It feels pretty special after the past couple of weeks I’ve had, it’s been a bit of a fight and I’ve been a bit disappointed in my slalom, but to come out really fighting, and to take the opportunities that opened up for me,” Woods said.

“It’s really tough to defend those upstream gates in kayak cross, she (Fiserova) had her paddle on my boat at one point. We were neck-and-neck going under that bridge, so I used so much of my right stroke to try and push her into the dead water.

“I heard a little noise from her, and I thought then that I had it, and just went for the line.”

Italy’s Stefanie Horn backed up the gold medal she won in Augsburg last week with a bronze in Sunday’s final.

Marx and Rohrer showed the benefit of extensive kayak cross training sessions by dominating every stage of Sunday’s racing, eventually facing off in the four-man final and taking the gold and the silver. Marx, a former world cup winner, said he was pleased to be back on the podium after missing qualification one week ago at the season opener.

“Last week I just really didn’t seem like myself, so I had to put in an extra effort to be able to try and bounce back this weekend,” Marx said.

“I wasn’t the most confident last week, but now I could show what I could do. I knew in training that I was fast, but it didn’t work out in Augsburg. And here I knew I had to show everyone what I could do.”

Rohrer said he and Marx had discussed the final ahead of the race.

“We did talk a little bit, but we don’t want to give away too many details,” Rohrer said.

“We have a good training group, which gives us a good idea where we stand. A good group definitely makes a big difference. Other teams are already looking at us quite a lot, so we hope we can keep it that way.”

French teenager Titouan Castryck finished with the bronze medal.

The third ICF Canoe Slalom and Kayak Cross World Cup will be held in Tacen, Ljubljana, next weekend.

RESULTS

WOMEN’S KAYAK CROSS

  1. WOODS Kimberley (GBR)
  2. FISEROVA Tereza (CZE)
  3. HORN Stefanie (ITA)

MEN’S KAYAK CROSS

  1. MARX Dimitri         (SUI)
  2. ROHRER Jan        (SUI)
  3. CASTRYCK Titouan (FRA)

Pics by Bence Vekassy

Switzerland Dimitri Marx kayak cross Prague 2023

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