Slovaks open home European Championships with two silvers
On the opening day of the European Junior and U23 Canoe Championships, the Cunovo course flashed silver. The Slovaks took advantage of their home environment to win their first precious metals, when the U23 kayak team and the junior patrol team won identical silver medals.
The team of experienced U23 kayakers Ivana Chlebova, Soňa Stanovská and Zuzana Paňková knew after crossing the finish line that it would be a good result. „We knew we had a good run and we kept everything we said before it,“ said Soňa Stanovská. The girls even enjoyed the European title for a few minutes, but a written-off touch of the French team’s gate relegated them to second place. „My knock came on an extremely difficult combination and as the second boat I have the hardest time because I have to make room for the third boat and at the same time I can’t crash the third boat, so that’s probably the most difficult position. The water changed a little bit for me on that leg,“ said Stanovska. In the end, they were 1.43s short of the winning Frenchwomen. They were hoping for a good result on their home course, where they know every cylinder perfectly. „We knew it was difficult on this course and that the other teams wouldn’t have it easy, so we were confident that it would be a very good success,“ Stanovská added.
Zuzana Paňková highlighted the good performance of the whole team: ‚The tactics with which we went to the track were successful. We beat the defending champions, the Germans, and that is a great success.“ Ivana Chlebova, third in the group, added: „We train for rides like this and we’re happy that we managed to capitalise on it like this.“
The junior kayaking trio of Richard Rumansky, Jakub Shevcik and Daniel Hodas Pauer believed in gold until the last moment. They were only pushed back to second position by the Germans, who were 3.59 seconds behind them in the final standings. When you came to the finish line did you believe that it could be a medal? „I knew right away that it was definitely going to be for a medal,“ said Richard Rumansky. „I was sure of it until the moment we stood in front of the board and saw the Czechs and Italians going pretty fast,“ he added. However, both teams failed to pass one of the gates on the course properly and were given 50-second penalties. „After their rides I was sure I would see it for second or third place, Rumansky added. Daniel Hodas Pauer wasn’t expecting a medal. „I made mistakes in my ride on the 11th gate and I also got the only touch of the gate and I had to use a return in the combination of gates at the end.“ Third kayaker Jakub Ševčík evaluated the team’s performance, „We went fast and smooth. We had a slight hesitation over the last jump, but I think it was a great run and we made it..“
Kayakers U23 and junior women failed to win medals
The U23 kayak teams of Matej Blaščík, Filip Stanko and Ilya Buran did not reach the medal positions. „At first it looked good, but the result is not so good,“ Matej Blaščík started his evaluation. „We were surprised by what we showed on the track today. We thought it would be fine, but the touches came, but we didn’t expect it to be so bad,“ Blaščík added. Ilya Buran gave an insight into the tactics with which they took to the track: „We planned that the first one in the patrol, Filip Stanko, would break away from us earlier so that each of us would have more space at the bottom of the track, and it looks like it backfired and we lost valuable seconds.“ Third Filip Stanko completed the pair of speakers, „We are not happy with the result, we expected it to be higher.“ The Slovak juniors Petronela Ižová, Stanislava Ďuratná and Simona Blaščíková finished sixth, 16.87 seconds behind the winning Czechs.
The programme of the European Junior and U23 Canoe Championships continues on Friday with the canoe category. Qualification in the individual disciplines starts at 9:00 and the team finals are on the agenda in the afternoon.
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Results – final team competitions
3x K1 men up to 23 years
- Spain 90,35 s./0 , 2. France 90,41/2, 3. Great Britain 94,02/2, … 9th Slovakia (Filip Stanko, Ilya Buran, Matej Blaščik) 99,65/4.
3x K1 women up to 23 years
- France 102,80s./4, 2. Slovakia (Ivana Chlebová, Sonia Stanovská, Zuzana Paňková) 104,23/2, 3. Slovenia 107,68
3x K1 juniors
- Germany 98,51/4, 2. Slovakia (Richard Rumanský, Daniel Hodas Pauer, Jakub Ševčík), 3. Slovenia 102,32/6.
3x K1 juniors
- Czech Republic 114,50/6, 2. Germany 120,90/8, 3. Spain 125,51/14, … 6. Slovakia (Petronela Ižová, Stanislava Ďuratná, Simona Blačšíková) 131,37/12
Full results can be found at:
Text: Andy Zererova
Photo: Peter Brichta