Italy’s Giovanni De Gennaro broke through for his first ever win in Prague while France’s Emma Vuitton collected her maiden gold medal at the International Canoe Federation Canoe Slalom World Cup on Friday.

It was De Gennaro’s final international race before he competes at his third Olympics later this year, and he’ll take winning K1 form to Paris after breaking a run of minor placings on the Czech course.

The race opened up for De Gennaro when the top two Czech paddlers, Olympic champion Jiri Prskavec and world cups winner Vit Prindis, missed the final.

“I’m really happy, I’ve been waiting for this run for the last four years,” De Gennaro said.

“I was always so close to getting a win, but the Czech guys were always really really fast. So today I’m just happy that I was able to put down a solid run.

“I usually don’t look at the start list for the final, I just focus on me. I know with them in the final it would be much harder to take the win, but today was like this and I won’t complain about the fact they weren’t there.”

The Italian finished more than two seconds clear of Poland’s Mateusz Polaczyk, who secured Olympic selection for his country with his silver, while Jakub Krejci gave the home fans reason to celebrate with as bronze.

In the women’s K1 event 20-year-old Emma Vuitton picked up her biggest win of her career, finishing ahead of four-time world champion and three-time Olympic medalist, Jessica Fox, and reigning Olympic champion and two-time world champion, Ricarda Funk.

“It’s crazy for me because they are two paddlers I watched when I was younger on TV,” Vuitton said.

“I’m super happy about my final, it was not perfect but I tried to push hard in the bottom of the course and I’m happy with the result. This year I’m feeling really good on the water, but I’ve found it hard in the finals to push for the finish line.

“So I’m happy today I could do that. I just need to concentrate on my paddling and try and do a good run every race.”

Vuitton proved the importance of remaining error free. Both Fox and Funk picked up four seconds in penalties, which just over one second covering the first seven placegetters in the final.

Friday’s racing took place under revised racing conditions, after high river levels forced the postponement of the opening day of competition. There was just one heat run in both the men’s and women’s K1, with the top ten in both progressing straight to the final.

The same conditions will be in place for Saturday’s men’s and women’s C1.



  1. VUITTON Emma (FRA) 94.12 (0 seconds penalties)
  2. FOX Jessica (AUS) 94.29 (4)
  3. FUNK Ricarda (GER) 94.40 (4)


  1. DE GENNARO Giovanni (ITA) 79.07 (0)
  2. POLACZYK Mateusz (POL) 81.28 (0)
  3. KREJCI Jakub (CZE) 81.35 (0)

Pics by Dezso Vekassy

France Emma Vuitton Prague 2024

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