Last weekend it was hel at Cardiff (Wales, the first Slalom World Cup of 2012, where British David Florence emerged as the event star with two golds in C1 and C2, together with his teammate Richard Hounslow. In the women competition, the Spanish olympic hope Maialen Chourraut took a well deserved gold that puts her in the top bets for a medal in August at London Games.
|Copyright: Albert Edmonds - AEPhotos|
Not only paddlers, but organizers has also to give their best to go on with the World Cup after cancellation of Day 1 on Friday, due to poor weather conditions, with very strong wind and rain, so timing was really tight on Saturday to race in one day both heats and semifinals in all disciplines.
Spanish Maialen Chourraut didn’t go through Saturday with her best feelings in the venue, but still managed to quailify tenth in the heats and then set a 7 seconds quicker time in the semifinals, despite a 2 seconds penalty which left her third.
Facing the final on Sunday, her time was second best, only after Austrian Corinna Kuhnle, but two touches of this last one made her fall down to fourth place and Chourraut claimed gold. The clean slalom of Czech Jana Dukatova deserved the silver medal and bronze went to German Cindy Poeschel, the three of them with just tenths of a second differences.
|Copyright: Balint Vekassy - Canoe / Kayak Photography|
In the men’s competition, David Florence was clearly dominant through the whole weekend. His two golds give the British team an encouraging push facing the Olympic Games, most of all taking on account that in the way to the final some other big names feel apart in semifinals, like the Slovakian Martikan or the also British Mark Proctor. Spanish Ander Elosegi came seventh. In C2, the quickest time in the final (with a rather big gap of about 3 seconds) was for the Slovakian brothers Hochschorner, but two touches and the following 4 seconds penalty gave them finally the bronze, behind Slovenians Taljat and Bozic, silver, and the already said gold for the British Florence/Hounslow.
In K1, one if the surprises jump off quite early, when the Italian Danielle Molmenti mad a very slow descent in semifinals and was out for 10 seconds over the fastest time and adding a 2 seconds penalty. Also out of the final was Boukpeti (Togo, bronze at Beijing’08) who anyway beated by a huge gap (27 seconds) the Nigerian Akinyemi, who left him out of the London Olympics after his win at the African preolympics in Mozambique early this year. Finally, the World Cup gold in Men K1 went to German Sebastian Schubert.
This coming weekend, slalom action goes to southern France, where Pau will held World Cup 2.
At this link you can check the full results of WC1.