|Marcus Cooper. Photo: Fotoyos|
Although we can not speak of being many surprises, it is true that we are gradually witnessing a generational change which is always healthy and invigorating, ensuring a continuity that, well managed, should consolidate our position on the international podiums.
In the K1 200 trial, thrilling duel between Saúl Craviotto and Carlos Arévalo. The latter began with a good start winning the first leg out of three, but the current Olympic medalist reacted forcing the tie in a photo finish second leg. In the third and final leg, and with only Arévalo and Craviotto on the venue, Craviotto won by inches, preserving the spot for the national team in this discipline.
The day after, on K2, Arévalo got a well deserved revenge with Cristian Toro against Olympic champions Craviotto and Pérez Rial, who could not avoid the young couple to win the first two legs and then the K2 200 spot in the national team.
On 5,000m, four contestants ended in a fierce sprint with victory for the favorite, Javier Hernanz, who beated Xabier Ruiz de Aretxabaleta, Álvaro F. Fiuza and Diego Cosgaya, in that order, which also preserves the 5,000 spot for Hernanz at international championships.
On the same distance and also with 4 participants, Antonio Campos very clearly won the place for the C1, beating Manuel Garrido, José Manuel Sánchez and José Luis Bouza.
It began then the Spanish Cup itself, which also have defined some places at the European Championships for the different categories. Here, Craviotto seemed to pay the effort of the trials (or perhaps not having the necessary tension after taking off his shoulders the pressure of achieving the spot in the national team) and was Cristian Toro who took gold ahead of Carlos Garrote and Carlos Arevalo, the three young values that give a good perspective for the future in the pure speed race. And in K2 had his revenge Carlos Pérez Rial, who along with his partner Rodrigo Germade won gold in both 200 and 500 meters, completing a great weekend partly mitigating the bad feeling of the trials.
To finish with the trials, Men K2 500 went to Gabriel Campo and Rubén Millán (Kayak Tudense), while the Women K2 1,000 was for Elena Monléon and Alicia Heredia. In C2 500 the spot was earned by José Luis Bouza and David Fernández.
In the K1 500 a new value have arrived asking for free way as, not so long ago, did Francisco Cubelos in 1,000. In this case, Marcus Cooper, junior European champion in 2012, won over some of the best specialists like Iñigo Peña and Diego Cosgaya, silver and bronze respectively. The young Spaniard enters the U23 category through the big door, making his first absolute victory with prospects to play a main role in the U23 championships this year: Europeans at Poznan (Poland) and Worlds at Welland (Canada).
In C1, Alfonso "Sete" Benavides won the 200 final with great superiority, while Diego Romero claimed gold at the C1 500, in a tight finish with Tono Campos, silver medalist. The Galician U23 Romero is also performing a solid season that points him as a secure value for the future.In Women, the favorite Teresa Portela, like Benavides in the C1, clearly took the K1 200, demonstrating that she remains the fastest and our best value to represent us in international competitions against the big sprinters, where she is definitely included. However, the K2 went to Ainara Portela (not relative to Teresa) and Patricia Coco. The Women C1 200 went to Arantxa Gómez (Nautico Sevilla).
At 500 meters, victory for Isabel Contreras over Ainara Portela and María Corbera. This last one had previously won the U23 K1 500 trial by a very narrow margin over Ainara Portela, result that had to be solved in the photo finish.
Talking about the Juniors, great weekend for Enrique Adán (EP Aranjuez) with four golds, winning the K1 and K2 on both distances with David Martín, while in Women the golds were collected by Sara Ouzande and Miriam Vega (both from Grupo Cultura Covadonga), Sara taking the K1 200, Mirian the K1 500 and both together the K2s on the two distances, giving no option to the rivals.
All Cup results are available at this link.