World's best set to light up Down Under

The world’s best Olympic canoe slalom paddlers are heading down under to contest the 2019 Sydney International Whitewater Festival at Penrith Whitewater Stadium next month.

The event will be held from February 15 until the 24th, and will be the largest international whitewater event in the Asia Pacific since the 2000 Olympic Games. It will also be a celebration of the 20-year Olympic anniversary of the course following its opening in 1999.  

Penrith Whitewater Stadium will come to life over two weekends, 15-17 and 22-24 February, with the best Olympic slalom athletes and a stellar line-up of world champions competing in an action packed, wet ‘n wild whitewater festival, showcasing the exciting and thrilling disciplines of canoe slalom, wildwater and freestyle canoeing.

More than 350 of the world’s greatest paddlers from more than 30 countries, including all three Rio 2016 individual class Olympic champions, Olympic and World Championships medallists, will compete against Australia’s best. Current K1 and C1 world title holder, Jessica Fox, will spearhead the local charge on her Penrith home course.  

 

JESS FOX - PHOTO CAROMODA PHOTOGRAPH, CAROLYN THOMPSON

All three Rio 2016 women’s K1 Olympic podium finishers will be at the start line, with Spanish Olympic champion Maialen Chourraut and silver medallist, Luuka Jones of New Zealand, joining bronze medallist Fox in the quality field.

The event is also an Australian national team selection event to decide the athletes to contest the 2019 Olympic qualifying season.
 

DENIS GARGAUD CHANUT - PHOTO CAROLYN THOMPSON


The 'who's who' in Olympic canoe slalom will be competing at the festival, including all three individual Rio 2016 Olympic champions: men’s K1 Rio 2016 gold medallist Joe Clarke (GBR), Olympic champion in the men’s C1, Denis Gargaud Chanut from France, as well as Spain’s Rio 2016 K1 Olympic champion and London 2012 bronze medallist, Maialen Chourraut. 
 
The stellar international line-up also includes Rio 2016 Olympic medallists Jiří Prskavec (CZE), Peter Kauzer (SLO), Luuka Jones (NZL), Jessica Fox (AUS) as well as London 2012 Olympic medallists Sideris Tasiadis (GER), Hannes Aigner (GER), Jessica Fox (AUS) and Maialen Chourraut (ESP).
 
Current world champions Jessica Fox (women’s K1 and C1), Germany’s Hannes Aigner (K1) and Franz Anton (C1), have also been confirmed for the Sydney event.

FELIX ANTON - CAROMOD PHOTOGRAPHY

 
“I can’t wait to kick-off the season on home waters and it’s awesome to have so many of the world’s best paddlers come and join us for this exciting event," Fox said.

"We don’t have many competitions at home and it’s amazing to have the world come to Sydney to paddle down under. It really will be a world championship level event, and it will be a great benchmark for us Aussies heading into the Olympic qualifying season.

"It’s national team selection time for us and it’s really exciting to get to take on the rest of the world at the same time." 

Cora Zillich/Paddle Australia

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