Lausanne, May 16, 2014: Racice in the Czech Republic is the destination for the world’s fastest paddlers who are set to compete in the second ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup from the 16-19 May.
The event is, again, headlined with an illustrious array of talent including World and Olympic Champions, as well as many emerging athletes eager to make their mark at elite level.
In Milan, the first World Cup of the season, it was the Chinese team that emerged following a flurry of medals in the women’s events, including gold in the K1 Women 1000m and K4 Women 500m.
In Račice they are 25-strong and will certainly be contenders across the board, with many of their athletes in top form as they strive for selection for the Asian Games squad that will be based on results achieved over the World Cup series.
Anggie Avegno from Ecuador will be hoping to continue her form in the C1 Women 200m. However, having won gold in the Milan, the 17-year-old will have her work cutout to beat Taylor Potts from Canada; who recently out-sprinted leading light of the discipline and seven-time World Champion, Laurence Vincent Lapointe at the Candian team trials.
After her memorable triumph at the trials Potts said, “This is definitely something positive and obviously it’s motivating. It’s good progress in a short spring camp so who knows what can happen in two seasons.” The 21-year-old clearly already has one eye on the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games.
Yury Postrygay and Alexander Dyachenko (RUS) have been used to being in the number one spot when it comes to the K2 Men 200m. However, it was the combination of youth and experience of Ronald Rauche and Tom Liebscher (GER) that triumphed in Milan.
Reiner Kießle, head coach of the German team commented after their victory, “This is a good result but we must not get ahead of ourselves, teams are missing [in Milan]. Some other nations will come to Raćice with strong sprint boats.
“Ronald and Tom harmonise and complement each other well so the future looks promising.”
One of the teams that will return to action in Račice are the London 2012 Olympic bronze medallists, Liam Heath and Jon Schofield (GBR).
Hoff, Brendel and Carrington
The German duo of Max Hoff (K1 Men 1000m) and Sebastian Brendel (C1 Men 1000m) looked invincible over their preferred disciplines in Milan, and will be difficult to beat on the open Czech Republic course.
Likewise, the super fast New Zealander, Lisa Carrington is set to dominate the K1 Women 200m and 500m races. The 24-year-old won five of the six gold medals on offer last season across the two distances and looks set to top that this year.
Possible challengers are Polish pair of Marta Walczykiewicz and Karolina Naja, who pushed Carrington all the way over the short 200m distance in Milan. The powerful German, Franziska Weber will also be a threat in the K1 Women 500m.
After a calm 2013 the Canadian teammates, Adam Van Koeverden (K1 Men 500m, 1000m, 5000m) and Mark Oldershaw (C1 Men 500m, 1000m, 5000m) have started the season in full swing and are set to compete in three events each in Račice.
Both made ‘A’ Finals in Milan, with Oldershaw the more successful with bronze in the C1 Men 500m and silver over the C1 1000m.
Kenny Wallace (AUS) is certainly another contender in each of his races and lines up in the K1 Men 500m, 1000m and 5000m. His compatriots, and fellow Olympic gold medalists, in the K4 Men 1000m will also be looking to reach the podium with a serious chance of making the top step.
The addition of strong Russian, Hungarian and British teams, who were predominantly absent in Milan, will certainly have an impact on the medal tallies. —- ICF
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