Swiss canoe slalom paddler Alena Marx is rushing to Japan after receiving a late call-up to compete in next week’s canoe slalom competition at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

20-year-old Marx, who was preparing to watch the canoe slalom events on television, received a telephone call on the weekend informing her she could compete in the women’s C1 at the Olympics if she was available. The position opened up after Hungarian paddler Julia Schmid was forced to withdraw.

It’s disappointing news for Schmid and Hungary, who have never had an athlete compete in canoe slalom at the Olympic Games.

Under IOC/ICF rules, the quota that had been allocated to Hungary can be reallocated to the next country on the qualification list, Switzerland. Marx finished 22nd at the European Olympic qualifiers in Ivrea in May.

Marx will have her first race on Wednesday, July 28. Most of her opponents have already been training on the Kasai Canoe Slalom Centre course for more than one week.

However Marx has been in full training and competed at the ICF junior and U23 canoe slalom world championships in Ljubljana, Slovenia, earlier this month. She finished 26th in the U23 C1 competition.

Switzerland will now have a full quota of four athletes competing in canoe slalom in Tokyo, with Martin Dougoud contesting the men’s kayak, Thomas Koechlin the men’s canoe, and Naemi Braendle the women’s kayak.

Canoe Slalom
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