After a break in the ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup Series the season continues tomorrow in Ljubljana – Tacen. From Friday until Sunday the rapids of Sava River will once again host world’s best paddlers. Fifteen Slovenian boats will also be on the start of the fourth World Cup Race in the season 2013. On Friday we will see heats, on Saturday and Sunday the semi-finals, finals and team races will follow.
Tacen, one of the traditional canoe slalom venues, hosts ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup race after a break in 2012. More than 230 competitors from 34 countries will show their skills on the Sava River. Considering the results Slovenian competitors achieved in Tacen in the previous years their high goals are not surprising. Slovenian medallists in 2011 ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup were Peter Kauzer and Jure Meglič, who brought a double win for Slovenia in men’s kayak race, and Urša Kragelj who was third.
Urša Kragelj fights many health problems this year, so she devoted the break in the World Cup series mainly to rehabilitation. “After the World Cups I took time to resolve the problems with my shoulder. After the first week I started to seek for help which was not easy, but luckily dr. Nada Kozjek helped. It was not easy to get MRI to see what is wrong and where to focus our attention. My shoulder or better said the whole left side of the back was in a cramp, and the repose did not help, it was even getting worse. The only solution were shots and I had to visit hospital where they gave me infusions against pain and to relax the muscles which then resulted in the healing process. I continued with therapies and repose and I have not paddled on a white water for some time,” said last year’s overall World Cup winner.
After a rather modest start of the season Peter Kauzer looks forward to this race and hopes the race in Tacen will be a turning point and that the results will improve in the remaining races: “I hope I will be better than in the first part of the season. I am not satisfied with first races. After the world cups I took some time off and got myself together, I also feel great on the water once again. I started to enjoy in the boat again, so I’m very optimistic and self-confident before the upcoming races. Ahead of us are two races on my two favourite courses, where I had the best results. I’m not burdening myself with that, but I would like to keep this average.”
Another Slovenian kayaker Martin Albreht also hopes to continue with good results in this year’s world cups. He paddled for the first time in the final in Augsburg and then improved his result in la Seu d’Urgell. “I wish my third consecutive final. It looks good on trainings and I also like the course in Tacen. This is my home course, so I expect good runs,” said Albreht before the race. Janoš Peterlin also looks forward the race in front of many fans: “Tacen is our home course, where we all know how to paddle well. We only need to be focused enough, so we will be able to produce good runs.”
Slovenian team, competing in Tacen, will be very young, since the eldest member of the team is Peter Kauzer who has not turned 30 yet. Also younger competitors will have a chance to start in the World Cup for the first time. “We wish to see where we are in the senior competition. We hope to improve our runs form U23 European and World Championships. Our goal is to produce the best run possible,” said Peter Žnidaršič who will start in C2 together with Luka Žganjar. Junior Nina Bizjak also looks forward to start in women’s C1 event: “I am very happy I got the opportunity to start at the World Cup. This is very important race and a good opportunity for new experiences. I hope I will do well.”
President of Canoe Federation of Slovenia Bojan Žmavc is very happy Tacen will host World Cup once again: “The financial situation is tough, but we have few sponsors who are always willing to help us and I am very thankful. I hope we will thank them also with the results. We have decided to organize the World Cup to remain among the organizers of these events and also because of our competitors. I also hope the weather will serve us well. We were afraid of the water level problems, since we had many problems with too much water early in the season and now the water level was almost too low. As it looks the water conditions during the race will be normal.”
For more information visit official website: http://tacen2013.worldcup.events.slalom.canoeicf.com/en