ICF Media – The athletes are ready, organisers are ready, but everyone has one eye on the sky as Friday’s opening day of the third ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup in Markkleeberg, Germany, fast approaches.
Not that the forecast of inclement weather is likely to dampen the enthusiasm of event organisers as this town on the outskirts of the city of Leipzig prepares to host its first World Cup event since 2011.
Many of the international athletes are competing at the course for the first time, while others have noticed several changes since the last time they paddled here.
As with Augsburg one week ago, all the Rio Olympic medallists will be competing in Markkleeberg. So far this season just one 2016 Games gold medallist, France’s Maialen Chourraut in the women’s K1, has won World Cup gold, underlining the depth in all the disciplines.
The men’s K1 has been dominated by Czech Vit Prindis, the only athlete with a perfect record after two World Cups. In the C1, Germany’s Sideris Tasiadis and Slovakia’s Matej Benus have shared gold and silver at Prague and Augsburg.