By Nina Jelenc | ECA
The 2017 ECA Wildwater Canoeing European Championships in Skopje (MKD) ended with exciting sprint team races on the Treska River. The French paddlers were the most successful during the last day of the championships. They were the best in men’s C1 team final and men’s C2 event and also picked up a silver medal in men’s kayak event.
Quentin Dazeur, Theo Viens and Ancelin Gourjault showed the best skills in the Matka Canyon. French trio crossed the finish line with the time 46.16 seconds to pick up gold medal. Czech Republic who was the best in team sprint race two years ago in Banja Luka won a silver medal this time. Ondrej Rolenc, Antonin Haleš and Vladimir Slanina were 1.11 seconds behind, while German canoeists Normen Weber, Tim Heilinger and Janosch Suelzer finished the event in third place.
Another gold for France came in the very last event of the championships – men’s C2 team race. Louis Lapointe – Tony Debray, Damien Mareau – Pierre Troubady and Stephane Santamaria – Quentin Dazeur were the main favourites after their dominance in individual race yesterday when France celebrated a triple win. They finished the race 3.13 seconds ahead of Czech Republic (Marek Rygel – Petr Vesely, Daniel Suchanek – Ondrej Rolenc, Martin Novak – Antonin Haleš) and 5.45 seconds ahead of Italy (Paolo Razzauti – Mattia Quintarelli, Giorgio dell’Agostino – Davide Maccagnan, Riccardo Fiorese – Francesco Baldan).
In the remaining event of the day – men’s kayak team race – we had to wait for official results for some time. After the last team on the start list – Slovenia – crossed the finish line it seemed they produced the fastest time, but the printed results showed different outcome. It was Czech Republic who was on the top. After a protest it became clear there has been some mix-up in the timing service, so in fact it was Slovenia who could celebrate gold and Czech Republic finished third.
Nejc Žnidarčič, Vid Debeljak and Anže Urankar (SLO) reached the top in the major competitions for the second time in a row; the same team was also a world champion in sprint last year in Banja Luka. French kayakers Paul Jean, Paul Graton and Damien Guyonnet were second and Czechs Richard Hala, Kamil Mružek and Filip Hric third.