The K1 finals in Prague without a medal for the home stars. Fox and Kauzer won
During Saturday afternoon in Prague's Troja (June 11), the full stands were watching the thrilling final runs of the world best kayakers. In the end, the Olympic champion Jiří Prskavec finished just below the podium, with Slovenian Peter Kauzer winning. Tereza Fišerová survived her kayak premiere, short of one bronze medal due to one penalty touch. Even with a mistake, the sovereign Jessica Fox won and gave herself a gold present on her 28th birthday.
The exciting and nervous finals of the women kayakers were started by the British Mallory Franklin and started with a clean run, but the combination of gates 8 to 10 was not ideal and she set a time of 106.15 s. Brazilian Ana Satila, a three-time Olympic participant, went the first part of the course better than the British, but a touch did not let her come to the front.
Australian Jessica Fox, a seven-time World Championship medallist, had a touch already on the 2nd gate but she managed to increase the lead in the finish and settled in first place with a time of 103.91s. The first Czech at the start Tereza Fišerová started her premiere finals among kayakers well, at the first half she was half a second faster than Fox, at the next she was leading by a second. However, she did not hold the lead until the finish line and placed close to the Australian. In return, the judges awarded her one more touch.
This year´s European champion Eliška Mintálová of Slovakia had a touch at the gate number two and also got the 50s penalisation which ended her medal ambitions. The French Camille Prigent showed a clean run and got on front positions. The german paddler Elena Lilik had a good run and celebrated a medal in the finish.
The gold medal goes to Jessica Fox (103.91s), second place for Elena Lilik (104.80) and third was Camille Prigent (105.33). Tereza Fišerová ended up on the fifth place with one touch which cost her the bronze medal.
„It was a really hard race today as the course was very challenging. I hit gate 2 so I was under pressure for the rest of the run to try to make it good and I was so happy that I held it together to the finish and it was enough to win today. It was so nice to race in front of the crowd today, they were cheering for me and I was so grateful for it, it was really awesome,“ said Jessica Fox.
Peter Kauzer who luckily slipped into the top ten from the last qualifying place in the semifinal, started the finals of the kayakers in style and with the luck. The Olympic medalist went cleanly and set the bar very high with a time of 95.54s. Mario Leitner from Austria also went cleanly but he was not enough fast to attack Kauzer, as was the Swiss Martin Dougoud.
The only Czech finalist Jiří Prskavec showed a typically wild run. However, he gained a touch on the gate 18 and did not offend Kauzer. The podium could have been decided by a Slovak Jakub Grigar. However, he gained four touches at the gates 4, 11, 13 and 17 and he ended up on the sixth place.
Peter Kauzer (95.54 s) won the gold medal, Giovanni De Gennaro ended second (96.49) and Martin Dougoud (97.28 s) won bronze. Jiří Prskavec finished fourth.
„I am a little bit surprised. I was a little bit lucky to progress into the finals, so when I managed that, I said to myself let’s try to make the most out of it. I started as the first and I stayed till the end so I am really really happy. For sure this is my last Olympic cycle, I hope I could qualify to Paris and try to do my best there,“ said Peter Kauzer.
Qualification of the CSLX
At the end of Saturday racing day, the qualifying races of the Olympic discipline, which takes place at Summer Olympics on Paris 2024 for the first time, Extreme slalom CSLX were in the schedule. The best 32 women and men will perform in Sunday's elimination races.
Of the domestic competitors, only Tereza Fišerová qualified among women, the trio Jiří Prskavec, Vít Přindiš and Vojtěch Heger will perform in the men's competition.
Results Extreme Kayak Men - Time trial
Results Extreme Kayak Women - Time trial
Pictures: Jan Homolka and Barbora Reichová