Poland’s Klaudia Zwolinska broke through for her first ICF canoe slalom world cup gold medal while Czech Jiri Prskavec picked up his fourth title and confirmed his status as an Olympic medal favourite on the first day of finals in Prague on Saturday.

22-year-old Zwolinska was the final paddler on the course in the women’s K1 final, and held her nerve to overtake Polish teammate Natalia Pacierpnik for the gold, with Australia’s Jessica Fox third.

Zwolinska and Pacierpnik had been involved in an intense struggle for Polish Olympic selection, with Zwolinska eventually getting the nod.

After numerous world cup finals, Saturday was Zwolinska’s first podium.

“I’ve had lots of finals, but never a medal. I could hear everything when I was on the start, and I knew what I had to do,”Zwolinska said.

“Selection was really hard and really stressful, so now it a much easier feeling. Now I just want to prepare for the Olympics. It is a lot of hard work, and I am tired, but I have a gold medal and I’m really happy.”

Fox finished 2.24 seconds behind Zwolinska, robbed of a gold medal by two gate touches which cost her four seconds in penalties. Both the Polish paddlers had error-free runs.

The top six athletes in the men’s final all conquered the Troja River course without error, but it was local knowledge that helped reigning world champion and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Jiri Prskavec take the gold.

It was a third consecutive gold medal in major events for the 28-year-old Czech on his home course, and came in the middle of an intensive pre-Olympic training bracket.

“Every win at home is special, but I never imagined I could do such a thing here in these big races, Prskavec said.

“I came into this race in full preparation for Tokyo, so I didn’t expect to be in good shape, so winning like that means I am in a good way and in a good spot for the Tokyo Games.”

The opening ICF canoe and extreme slalom world cup continues on Sunday with semi-finals and finals in the men’s and women’s C1, and the finals of the extreme canoe slalom.

Pics by Bence Vekassy



  1. ZWOLINSKA Klaudia (POL) 100.58  (0 seconds penalties)
  2. PACIERPNIK Natalia (POL) 102.49  (0)
  3. FOX Jessica (AUS) 102.82  (4)


  1. PRSKAVEC Jiri (CZE) 90.42 (0)
  2. De GENNARO Giovanni (ITA) 90.87 (0)
  3. BIAZIZZO Mathieu        (FRA) 92.01 (0)

Czech Jiri Prskavec Prague K1 2021

Canoe Slalom
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