Westley and Funk rule the day in Prague

Great Britain's Ryan Westley headed a UK quinella and Germany's Ricarda Funk continued her outstanding form from 2018 as the final medals were decied at this year's European Canoe Slalom Championships in Prague.

Westley finished first and Adam Burgess second in the men's C1 event, while in the women's K1 Funk won in front of the defending champion Corinna Kuhnle from Austria. The French team won the men’s C1 event and German team the women’s kayak race.

Funk has at 26 years of age already a lot to show. The 2014 European champion from Vienna repeated the success also in Prague – Troja. The German kayaker, who is also a 2015 European and World Championships medallist in individual event and has a bronze from last year’s World Championships, finished the race 1.36 seconds ahead of Kuhnle.

Kuhnle was actually the defending champion from last year, while Fiona Pennie from Great Britain picked up the bronze medal.

“It just felt great, it was nearly a perfect run," Funk said.

"I managed some great up streams. I am really happy about that. I still can’t believe it. It feels so great when the crowd is just cheering for everybody. It’s Prague.”

Germany Ricarda Funk European Championships K1

 

In the second final of the day Great Britain celebrated a one-two in men’s canoe with new European champion Ryan Westley and his team mate Adam Burgess winning silver medal. To much delight of Czech fans Tomaš Rak finished third.

Slovak canoeist Alexander Slafkovsky, who was European Champion in the last two editions (2016 and 2017), finished the event in fourth place.

“I never expected that," Westley said.

"My team mate Adam Burgess had put up a faster run than anyone had managed. So I just went out there to do the best I could do. Fortunately everything went my way.”

24-year-old Westley, whose European champion title is one the biggest successes in his career so far, won a bronze medal at the 2015 World Championships in Lee Valley and has three medals from senior World and European Championships in team events.

In the afternoon the team events resulted in a celebration for Germany and France. German representatives Ricarda Funk, Jasmin Schornberg and Lisa Fritsche were the fastest in the women’s kayak team event, finishing the race ahead of Austria and Czech Republic. In the men’s canoe team event the French team of Olympic champion Denis Gargaud Chanut, Cedric Joly and Pierre Antoine Tillard produced the best time to win the gold medal.

Slovakia was second and Czech Republic third. The flag of the European Canoe Association is already in possession of the French Canoe Federation which will organise the 2019 ECA Canoe Slalom European Championships. The event will be held in Pau.

RESULTS

K1W

1. Ricarda Funk GER

2. Corinna Kuhnle AUT

3. Fiona Pennie GBR

C1M

1. Ryan Westley GBR

2. Adam Burgess GBR

3. Tomaš Rak CZE

3xK1W

1. GER (Ricarda Funk, Jasmin Schornberg, Lisa Fritsche)

2. AUT (Corinna Kuhnle, Viktoria Wolffhardt, Lisa Leitner)

3. CZE (Katerina Kudejova, Veronika Vojtova, Barbora Valikova)

3xC1M

1. FRA (Denis Gargaud Chanut, Cedric Joly, Pierre Antoine Tillard)

2. SVK (Michal Martikan, Alexander Slafkovsky, Marko Mirgorodsky)

3. CZE (Vitezslav Gebas, Tomaš Rak, Lukaš Rohan)

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