From 11 to 13 June, the Canoe Slalom World Cup is taking place on the Prague Troja channel. It is the first stop of this year's whole series. The first qualifying races were completed by kayakers on Friday morning. Among the women kayakers was the best Australian Jessica Fox, in the men´s kayak was Italian Giovanni De Gennaro the most successful. All Czech boats advanced from the qualification in both categories.
Reigning Olympic and world champions head the strongest canoe slalom field assembled since 2019 for this weekend’s opening 2021 ICF world cup in Prague. More than 200 athletes from 34 countries have overcome tough international travel restrictions to descend on the Czech Republic for what will be one of the last major competitions before the Tokyo Olympics.
The official press conference of the first ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup 2021 in Prague was held on Thursday, June 10, and it was already in the Olympic spirit. Representatives of the media had the chance to meet with the complete Czech Olympic team consisting of Jiří Prskavec, Kateřina Minařík Kudějová, Tereza Fišerová and Lukáš Rohan. The racing colors were also represented by the fresh European kayak champion Vít Přindiš. The organizational side of the event was presented by the director of Local Organising Committee Jiří Rohan, the chairman of the Czech Canoe Union Jan Boháč, the honorary chairman Jaroslav Pollert and the manager of the Union and former Olympian Stanislav Ježek.
The interest in water sports in the Czech Republic is growing every year and this was seen by this year's record Paddle ride in Prague-Troja. And the artificial slalom course in Prague - Troja is one of the most popular racing tracks ever. This is confirmed not only by Czech Olympians, but also by competitors from all over the world.
Already on Friday, June 11, the ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup will start in Prague - Troja (June 11 - 13, 2021). Even in the current epidemic situation, the organizers believe that the event will be able to take place at least to a similar extent as last year's European Championships, despite the necessary restrictions. All Czech Olympians who are going to Tokyo will perform, as well as the recent three-time European kayak champion Vít Přindiš. The security and compliance with anti-epidemic measures will be taken care of this year again by covid manager Filip Jančar together with covid manager of the International Canoe Federation (ICF).
The boating area in Troja comes to life again. Almost a hundred paddlers set off this year for the popular Paddleride, which regularly takes place as a harbinger of international canoe slalom competitions. A number of canoe slalom fans went on the eight-kilometer section, including Czech competitors - Olympian Lukáš Rohan, debutant in the senior national team Lucie Nesnídalová, kayaker Ondřej Cvikl and canoeist Eva Říhová.
Traditionally, the moderation of the races in Prague - Troja will be performed by an experienced and popular pair of commentator stars Miroslav Lenc and Daniel Stach. Despite the non-participation of spectators, these moderating aces are able to conjure up a unique atmosphere on the artificial slalom track, which drives the competitors to the finish. They both told us how they feel when commenting the competitions in Troja and what they would like to experience here sometime in the future.
In mid-May, the last places for this year's national team were distributed in Troja, and the Czech senior team will also present itself for the first time in Troja as part of the first of the Canoe Slalom World Cups. In two weeks, the first points and victory in this year's Canoe Slalom World Cup series will be held on the Vltava waves. Our Olympians, led by the bronze medalist from Rio 2016 Jiří Prskavec, will be present at the start.
After four races of the 2021 Canoe Slalom Czech Cup of the ČEZ Group, the line-up of the Czech national teams for the upcoming season is definitely known. Compared to last year's composition of the senior national team, which was also presented at the European Championships in 2021 in Ivrea, Italy, two places were exchanged. In the team of canoeists, the older sister Martina will start next to Gabriela Satková, and kayaker Lucie Nesnídalová will have her premiere in the senior national team. Vavřinec Hradilek eventually dominated the exciting fight between kayakers; the composition of the singles does not change.
Safety and adherence to anti-epidemic measures will be taken care of this year in Prague-Troja during the World Cup by covid manager Filip Jančar together with covid manager of the International Canoe Federation (ICF). He has already tested this function at last year's European Championship.
Filip Jančar, the so-called covid manager, will be in charge of security and compliance with anti-epidemic measures this year as well.