The Czech Republic was celebrating another gold medal on Thursday night after Jana Matulkova and Vojtech Mruzek won the U23 mixed C2 final at the ICF junior and U23 canoe slalom world championships in Krakow, Poland.

French teenager Yohann Senechault produced one of the runs of the week so far, and is set to go even faster when he contests the semi-finals of the junior C1 on Friday.

Teammate Anatole Delassus was also fastest in the junior K1 to round off another good day for France, while Czech Antonie Galuskova and Italian Elana Micozzi qualified fastest in their respective events.

Matulkova and Mruzek picked up just one gate touch on their way to a time of 120.45, and then watched on as teammates Vojtech Heger and Antonie Galuskova finished in 123.43 to take the silver. Russia’s Dania Shaidurova and Igor Mikhailov were third in 126.21.

“I’m very tired, this run is very hard and C2 is a very hard category,” Matulkova said.

“I’m very happy because we were very nervous on our first run and there were a lot of small mistakes. It’s an amazing feeling.

“We trained together for about three weeks on this course, but this run is very difficult. We had to paddle really hard.”

France Johann Senechault C1 qualifers junior world championships Krakow 2019

17-year-old Senechault was the only paddler in the first round of the junior C1 competition to go under the 100 second barrier, his 99.38 achieved despite picking up six seconds in penalties.

“I am very happy for this race, but it’s just a qualification and tomorrow we have a semi-final,” he said.

“I am surprised I could win this race with six seconds in penalties, but I had a good feeling in the water. I have been training in Pau, but I live in Paris and train there on flat water.

“We don’t have a stadium there for slalom, but we have a new Olympic stadium which will be good.”

Senechault’s raw time of 93.38 was also quicker than the fastest qualifier in the U23 C1 24 hours earlier. Great Britain’s James Kettle was second fastest in Thursday’s heat on 102.53, which included a two-second penalty, and Russia’s Aleksandr Kharlamtsev was third in 102.61.

French teammate Delassus posted 92.14 to go fastest in the men’s junior K1, edging out Spain’s Pau Echaniz on 92.37, with Great Britain’s Etienne Chappell third on 93.90.

“I’m very happy, it felt good on the water,” Delassus said.

“I was a little bit nervous, but its qualifying, so if I’m slow, that’s okay.”

France <a href='/webservice/athleteprofile/84109' data-id='84109' target='_blank' class='athlete-link'>Anatole Delassus</a> K1 junior world championships Krakow 2019

Czech Antonie Galuskova arrived in Krakow determined to wrest back the 2017 junior K1 world title she lost last year, and made a strong start by posting the quickest qualifying time.

Galuskova picked up a two-second penalty on her way to posting 103.91, almost three full seconds ahead of teammate Lucie Nesnidalova on 106.81. Slovakia’s Eva Alina Hocevar was third fastest on 107.03.

“I had an injury with my arm, so it was really hard to come back,” Galuskova said.

“This course is super tricky, I didn’t expect it was going to be that hard, but I love it. I’m surprised I was first. My upstream gates were not super-fast, so I thought I would be fifth.

“This year is very different for me. Last year at the world championships I was eighth, so I don’t have pressure on me this week.”

Czech <a href='/webservice/athleteprofile/68754' data-id='68754' target='_blank' class='athlete-link'>Antonie Galuskova</a> K1 qualifiers junior world championships Krakow 2019

The strength of women’s canoeing in Italy was once again on show, with the country booking three of the top ten qualifying positions in the women’s C1 opening round on Thursday afternoon.

Elena Micozzi was fastest, on 108.53, ahead of Czech Gabriela Satkova on 110.69, and Great Britain’s Bethan Forrow on 112.24.

Italy’s Marta Bertoncelli was fourth fastest, and teammate Elena Borghi was tenth quickest.

“I’m very happy because finally I did a good run,” Borghi said.

“I was less nervous today than I was before my other runs, because I’ve already done a C2 race an the team events.”

Bertoncelli said the Italians would continue to get stronger.

“It’s improving and we are making our names now. We have a good coach and we have a good team working together,” she said.

“We are training together and challenging each other.”

The ICF junior and U23 canoe slalom world championships continue in Krakow on Friday.

Italy <a href='/webservice/athleteprofile/84644' data-id='84644' target='_blank' class='athlete-link'>Elena Micozzi</a> C1 junior slalom world championships Krakow 2019

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