The first final results of the 2013 ICF Wildwater Canoeing Sprint World Championships in Solkan are known. Host nation celebrated double win in men’s Canadian double event and Hannah Brown (GBR) won a world champion title in women’s kayak final.
The Wildwater Canoeing sprint world championships in Solkan couldn’t have started better for the Slovenian team. The host nation won two medals in men’s Canadian double final with Luka Božič-Sašo Taljat becoming world champions and Blaž Cof-Simon Hočevar wining a silver medal. The night finals under the floodlights and with crowds cheering by the Soča River the Friday’s finals were a spectacle. Even more with Slovenians ruling the men’s C2 event. Luka Božič and Sašo Taljat added another World Champion title to their name. They were double World Champions back in 2010 in Sort, and now they’ve won their second title in sprint. “We are very happy with this success in wildwater canoeing. We have started at Wildwater Canoeing World Championships three times and won three gold medals. This is the most one can achieve in sport. The final run was almost perfect, the upper part was very good, but in the lower part we’ve missed the ideal line a bit, but it turned out to be fast as well, so we’ve won,” said Luka Božič. This is the second medal for young canoeist in a week. Last weekend he won a bronze medal in men’s C1 team race at European Canoe Slalom Championships in Krakow.
His partner in a boat Sašo Taljat was very satisfied too: “We’ve won again, at a home course this time, which is even nicer than in Sort. This result is fantastic especially because we’ve decided to start at this championships very late. We haven’t paddled much downriver and had quite a lot of problems at the beginning. The course looks easy, but it’s not, it’s full of water traps that bounce the boat around. Many competitors had problems with that. We won’t be under much pressure in the next part of the season, because you can compete much easier after the result like that.”
Another Slovenians Blaž Cof and Simon Hočevar won a silver medal and made a night to remember even better. This was their first ever race in C2 together and they’ve already reached the winner’s podium. After the European Championships in May in Bovec they’ve decided to compete at the World Championships on Soča River both in C1 and C2. The plan worked out perfect, they were only behind their teammates Božič and Taljat. “Great! This was our first race. Phenomenal! A medal right away,” Simon Hočevar couldn’t hide his happiness. After the heats it looked even better for the Slovenian team. The third C2 Peter Žnidaršič-Luka Žganjar were in a leading position after the heats and started last in the final, but experienced some problems in the end and were eight. Ondrej Rolenc and Jan Stastny from Czech Republic won a bronze medal. The French team had high hopes before the race in men’s C2, but at the end they were empty-handed. They have won all three medals at Europeans in Bovec, but now they’ll have to seek for medals at team race.
Hannah Brown of Great Britain won in women’s kayak final. “I was nervous at the start line. It’s a long way up and it’s very dark at the end. It’s hard on the mind, because it’s dark and you can’t see until you are there. But it’s really cool to perform on such a world class competition. I have won the competition, so I’m really happy,” said the new world champion. Melanie Mathys (SUI) was second and Sixtine Malaterre (FRA) finished third.