Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Olympians show their quality on the first weekend of the Nelo Winter Challenge

Olympic paddlers seem to have started strongly this 2014 season and the first session of the Nelo Winter Challenge, held this past Saturday at the training center Aguieira (Portugal ), both at the 2,000 and at the 200 appeared London 2012 medalists showing their value with victories.

The Nelo Winter Challenge inaugurated a new format plenty of paddlers, both from Portugal and several other European countries. Races were held over 2,000m in group with a turn at an island, and then the 200m also in group and with paddlers being eliminated in successive rounds until a final 10 boats race.

In the morning it was competed the 2,000 with rounds of paddlers who had to turn around an island halfway to finish back in the starting point. The fastest, and he is for the fifth year in a row, was the Portuguese Fernando Pimenta (7'51"), who won with a difference of no more and no less than 6 seconds on Ilya Medvedev (RUS), second, and his compatriot José Ramalho (POR), who was third in a great demonstration of this marathon specialist versus the sprinters. Emilio Llamedo was fifth and first Spanish after Emanuel Silva, Pimenta partner on the silver medalist K2 1,000 at London 2012.

In women, the Olympic champion in 500, the Hungarian Danuta Kozak, didn't give many options to her rivals and won in 9'00", with such a great gap as 11 seconds on Portuguese Teresa Portela and Ana Varela (ESP), third. Another Spaniard, Alberto Diaz Portas, was the winner in Masters with 9'06".

In C1, the young Czech Martin Fuksa made ​​clear his quality by winning under 9 minutes (8'57") and 13 seconds ahead of Oleg Shurinkin (RUS), completing the podium another Czech, Dan Drahokoupil.

In the afternoon were raced the 200m in a new competition format. In it, joint courses of 25 paddlers in which only the first 10 passed to the next round. Finally, ten paddlers went through to the final. After some conservative heats, Saúl Craviotto (ESP) pulled out his full potential in the final, claiming a clear victory. Four Spanish paddlers were among the top ten. Besides Craviotto competed the final Cristian Toro, Carlos Arévalo and Carlos Perez Rial, "Perucho", who end up getting the bronze medal. Only the Slovak Miroslav Zatko, second, prevented a Spanish full podium, as Arévalo finished in fourth.

In C1, this time was the Portuguese Helder Silva who beat the favorite, being second the European champion Andrey Kraitor (RUS) and third fellow Russian Ilya Shtokalov, staying out of the podium the Olympic medalist Jevgenij Shuklin (LTU).

In women, the Portuguese Teresa Portela took revenge of his second in the 2,000 with a clear victory in the 200 on Nevskaya Anastasiya (RUS) and Spanish Carla Pérez, who picked up the baton at this distance on the podium of teammate Ana Varela (third in 2,000).

At this link you can see all the results (I recommend patience in reading...).

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