Slafkovsky continues winning streak

Slovakia’s Alexander Slafkovsky’s (C1M) continued his change to the series title with a second victory in two weeks, whilst Britain’s Mallory Franklin (C1W) and Spain’s Samuel Hernanz (K1M) each took their first as the opening medals of the 2016 ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup 3 were awarded in Pau, France.

In the C1 Men’s final, Slafkovsky looked supremely comfortable as he powered down the tricky 23-gate course without hesitation or error to deliver an exceptional time that was just a fraction over the 100-second barrier.

Commenting on his victories on both sides of the Pyrenees, Slaftovsky said, "It's something amazing. I did not expect to win two world cups in row so I am very happy,"

"Between the semifinal and the final I quickly went back to the hotel to rest and I almost missed the start."

"I went faster down the bottom of the course during the final."

When asked how he would celebrate, the 33-year-old continued, "At home with my lovely kids and now I have two gold medals, one for each of them so it's fantastic."

As Slafkovsky’s time echoed around the arena, the fastest from the semifinal and last to go, Matej Benus (SVK), started his run.

Benus had earlier put in an astonishing time of 98.26, but, under the increased pressure following his teammates performance, he clipped gate-11 and from that moment knew his chance of winning had slipped away.

France’s Nicolas Peschier put in a lifetimes best performance and secured silver, despite picking up a two-second-penalty early on.

Meanwhile, Takuya Haneda earned Japan a rare podium place with a clean run that stopped-the-clock at 102.37.

Drama unfolded in the C1W as the video judges confirmed an additional gate touch for Jessica Fox (AUS) that moved Franklin up to the top step.

A relieved Franklin said, "In the final I was pretty happy with the top part and then I had a bit of a mistake on gate 15 but managed to get back on it quickly which was probably the reason I won in the end, getting back on it and getting back paddling again."
 
For Fox it was her second podium of the season in C1W after gold in Ivrea.

Meanwhile, last week’s winner, Nuria Vilarrubla (ESP), claimed bronze.

In the K1M Hernanz used his course knowledge to perfection with a faultless run that provided an unmatchable score of 93.54.

"This was a great race," said the Spaniard.

"The course is very hard. With four French paddlers in the final, I knew I had to attack.”

Emphasising the tight margins at the top of the K1M class, Hernanz continued, “Having a clean race was not enough today, one had to attack. At the finish line I thought I could step on the podium but I didn't think I could get the gold as I thought my top part of the race was quite slow."

France’s Mathieu Biazizzo (Silver) and Sebastien Combot (Bronze) claimed the other two podium spots.

The action continued on Sunday with the K1W and C2M chasing gold.


C1 Men
Gold – Alexander Slafkovsky (SVK) (0) 100.43 / 0.00         
Silver – Nicolas Peschier (FRA) (2) 101.95 / +1.52         
Bronze – Takuya Haneda (JPN) (0) 102.37 / +1.94         

C1 Women    
Gold – Mallory Franklin (GBR) (2) 122.17 / 0.00         
Silver – Jessica Fox (AUS) (6) 123.18 / +1.01         
Bronze – Nuria Vilarrubla (ESP) (6) 125.44 / +3.27         

K1 Men    
Gold – Samuel Hernanz (ESP) (0) 93.54 / 0.00         
Silver – Mathieu Biazizzo (FRA) (0) 93.71 / +0.17         
Bronze – Sebastien Combot (FRA) (0) 94.26 / +0.72  

Canoe Slalom
#ICFslalom