Olympic golden trio return to slalom racing this weekend

Rio Olympic gold medallists Denis Gargaud-Chanet, Joe Clarke and Maialen Chourraut return to the water this weekend for the final event of the 2017 ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup season.

All three missed last weekend’s World Cup event in Ivrea, Italy, but with the 2017 World Championships just three weeks away the trio will be looking for a strong hit-out at La Seu d’Urgell.

This weekend will also see the World Cup champions of 2017 crowned, and while all four Olympic gold medallists from Rio are not in the running, the competition in several of the disciplines is close.

Double points are on offer this weekend, throwing all the events wide open. Only Germany’s Ricarda Funk in the women’s K1 looks safe, her three wins from four races this season giving her 170 points.

Something would need to go seriously wrong for Funk to lose the title, with Slovakia’s Jana Dukatova second on 177 points, a solitary point ahead of Australia’s Jessica Fox on 176.

Despite also winning three C1 titles this year, Fox is not a certainty to win the 2017 title. Because she missed the final in the season opener in Prague, Fox has 197 points.

Czech Tereza Fiserova, who finished third in Ivrea to pick up her first medal of the year, is second on 172 points.

In the men’s K1 Vit Prindis finds himself in a similar situation to Fox, having won three World Cups this year but still facing an outside chance of losing the overall title.

The Czech has 208 points, 30 more than Germany’s Sebastian Schubert.

2017’s most consistent paddler, German Sideris Tasiadis, has a commanding lead in the men’s C1 category.

His two gold and two silver medals has him sitting pretty on 230 points, 34 more than Slovakia’s Matej Benus.

In the men’s C2 Czech’s Jonas Kaspar and Marek Sindler have 220 points, ahead of France’s Gauthier Klauss and Matthieu Peche, with Germany’s Robert Behling and Thomas Becker also an outside chance of storming to victory on 192 points.

The fifth ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup begins in La Seu d’Urgell on Friday.

Canoe Slalom
#ICFslalom #canoeslalom