At the first races of the year 2012 competitors still had a chance to check their level of form and had time to correct any mistakes, but the time is up and the real challenges are ahead of them. With the ICF Ranking race in Solkan (April 14th and 15th) the Slovenian selection races series will begin. This selection races will give us the answer who will compete at European Championships and World Cup Races and might as well give us the names of paddlers that will compete at OG in London.
Solkan will host the first of five selection races for Olympic team and senior slalom team. Out of five selection races four best results will count at the end, while the criteria for Olympic team is even stricter. For obtaining an Olympic spot the competitor will have to win at four selection races if he or she wants to gain the Olympic ticket after the selection races. In case they fail to get the Olympic spot after the races at home, the best placed competitor (out of the two best ranked at selection races in Solkan and Tacen) at European Championships in Augsburg will get into the Olympic team.
In Solkan only the best out of two heat runs will count for selection races, while semi-finals and finals of ICF Ranking race will not count. Next week Tacen will host the remaining part of selection races series. On Thursday (April 19th) the best run will count, the same will be in heats of ICF Ranking race in Tacen on April 21st, while on April 22nd both semi-final and final runs will count for selection races rankings.
“We’ve set the goal to win at four selection races already at the beginning of the season, because we want to finish this as soon as possible and start preparing for OG. We still believe in this and I hope we will make it. Of course there is some pressure present, it’s not easy to win at four races and we’ll have to work hard for that. We try not to burden ourselves with that and we try to focus instead into paddling. I think we’ve made a big step forward this season, so I think we are mature enough to start at the Olympic Games,” said Luka Božič. Apart from kayak category where Peter Kauzer already insured himself an Olympic spot with World Champion title, the fights in remaining categories promise a very interesting and tense races.
Organizers expect more than 200 competitors from 15 countries at the ICF Ranking race in Solkan. Besides all Slovenian competitors Soča River will host also all the best Italian and Croatian competitors as well as representatives of Austria, Brazil, Bosnia and Herzegovina, France, Greece, Germany, Ireland, Macedonia, Slovakia, Ukraine, Thailand and Turkey.
On Saturday the competition will start at 9.30 with heats in K1w and C1m, at 13.00 both runs in C2, C1w and K1m will follow. On Sunday all the semi-finals will start at 11.00 and finals will begin at 15.00.
You can follow live results from Solkan at: www.timing-mojstrana.com
Slovenian selection races:
April 14th – Solkan – The best run counts
April 19th – Tacen – The best run counts
April 21st – Tacen – The best run counts
April 22nd – Tacen – Both runs count (semi-final and final)