By Nina Jelenc | ECA
The 2017 ECA Canoe Slalom European Championships in Ljubljana – Tacen kicked off with heats in C2M, C1W and K1M events. Most of the favourites came safely through to the semi- finals, the biggest upset was in men’s C2 event, where multiple Olympic medallists Peter and Pavol Hochschorner (SVK) failed to proceed to the semi-final.
Despite the surprise prepared by the Hoschschorner twins, Slovakia won the C2M qualifications thanks to reigning Olympic champions Ladislav and Peter Škantar. The Slovak duo was almost two seconds faster than Czechs Ondrej Karlovsky and Jakub Jane, while Germans Robert Behling and Thomas Becker finished third.
In the women’s C1 event defending European champion Nuria Vilarrubla, Spain, managed to produce the best run to win the heats. She was 1.57 seconds faster than Mallory Franklin (GBR) and more than seven seconds faster than German Andrea Herzog.
“Some things were good and some not completely good, but I am happy with the start. I passed the first step, I need to keep fighting. The course is great. The first drop is amazing – I really like it, I like the water movement,” said Vilarrubla after the first competition day.
In the last event of the day Vit Prindiš (CZE) stopped the clock at 90.19 to win men’s kayak heats. 2008 Olympic medallist Alexander Grimm finished second and another Czech, who is also a reigning European Champion, Jiri Prskavec was third.
Today we will first see heats in K1W and C1M events, and in the afternoon the first medals will be awarded for team events in all categories.