In Penrith, Australia, women in K1 and men in C1 already concluded with their semi-final and final runs of Oceania Championships. Four Slovenians paddled in the final with Eva Terčelj (K1w) and Benjamin Savšek (C1m) finishing fourth.
The first final day of Oceania Championships was marked by technical difficulties which postponed the entire competition for about 15 minutes, but that didn’t cause much worries to Slovenian competitors who paddled very well. Out of five semi-finalists four paddled in the final – because of 60 penalty seconds only canoeist Blaž Cof failed to advance to the final and was 29th. The best Slovenian canoeist was Benjamin Savšek in 4th place and soon after the race left the venue to meet with family members living in Australia. Anže Berčič also paddled in the final and was sixth in absolute competition and first in U23 category. “I am quite satisfied, this is only the second race of the season. I made too many mistakes and I’ll need to improve that,” said Berčič, who is satisfied with the work he did in the winter part of training period: “There was slightly too much rain at the beginning and from time to time a bit cold, but all in all everything was great.” Tony Estanguet and Denis Gargaud Chanut (both FRA) were the best, while Michal Martikan (SVK) was third.
Eva Terčelj also finished fourth in women’s K1 race. She was the fastest after the semi-final with an advantage of a second and a half over competitors, but in the final she made a mistake and lost a position at winner’s podium. But still she finished third in U23 category. “The first run was good, because my boat ran nicely. This is what I’ve been looking for already at the first race and now I’m happy that I managed to achieve the desired goal. I am satisfied. I was a little less precise in the second run. The training camp in Australia was very successful,” said Eva Terčelj who had to go to a doping control after the final run. Urša Kragelj, the winner of the heats, picked up four penalty seconds in the final and finished 10th.
Štepanka Hilgertova of Czech Republic won in front of Australian Jessica Fox and Katerina Kudejova (also from Czech Republic). Fox won both in U18 and U23 categories. Reigning world champion Corinna Kuhnle (AUT), Jana Dukatova, Elena Kaliska (both SVK) and some other top competitors failed to get into the final.
On Sunday men’s kayak semi-final and final and Canadian double semi-finals and finals will take place.