Triple Olympic gold medalists Pavol and Peter Hochschorner showed they are successfully adapting to the wildwater canoeing discipline by qualifying fastest in the men’s C2 at the ICF world championships in La Seu, Spain, on Friday.

The Slovakian twin brothers finished 0.45 seconds ahead of France’s reigning world champions, Stephane Santamaria and Quentin Dazeur, with fellow Frenchmen Louis Lapointe and Tony Debray third quickest.

The field also included the 2016 C2 Olympic gold medalists, Slovakian cousins Ladislav and Peter Skantar. The Skantars were unable to progress to the final.

The Hochschorners won C2 Olympic gold in 2000, 2004 and 2008, and said it was nice to be back in the same boat at a major international event.

“It was a good run for us, because we had made some big mistakes during training, so this was our first good run this week,” Pavol Hochschorner said.

“It’s been a long time since we have sat together in a whitewater boat, so it’s been very interesting. It’s been hard changing a slalom boat for this one.

“This was a good run. If we can make another one like this one, it will be good in the final.”

“The biggest challenge is for us to try and stay straight and don’t do mistakes,” Peter Hochschorner said.

“It’s a very close field, so many boats within one second, so that is more important.”

In the women’s C2 Elsa Gaubert and Margot Beziat qualified quickest, ahead of the Czech pairing of Marie Nemcova and Tereza Kneblova. Italians Marlene Ricciardi and Cecilia Panato finished third.

“It was a good run, but it was only qualification so tomorrow it is the big race,” Gaubert said.

“We are very motivated and will give the best we can, so we will see.”

“We only paddled together for the first time last year, and this year we have only trained together two times,” Beziat said.

“The course is really different for C2 than C1, it’s a new experience but we really enjoy doing this together.”

The first wildwater medals of the world championships will be contested on Saturday.

France Gaubert Beziat C2 women world championships La Seu 2019

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