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Croatians and Slovenians take majority of the medals in Banja Luka

Croatians and Slovenians take majority of the medals in Banja Luka 25.4.2017

25/04/2017 - The Vrbas River in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, hosted the second ECA Wildwater Canoeing European Cup race of the season 2017. On a course the 2015 ECA Wildwater Canoeing European Championships as well as last year’s World Championships in this canoeing discipline where held paddlers from Croatia and Slovenia showed the best form in wildwater canoe sprint final. Croatian paddlers occupied all the podium positions in men’s C1 final, while Slovenians did the same in men’s kayak final.

Luka Obadić (CRO) finished the men’s C1 sprint race in the Tijesno canyon after 57.49 seconds of paddling on a course which had much bigger water flow than it was the case last year during the world championships. He was 1.50 seconds faster than his team colleague Ivan Gojić, while Tomislav Lepan finished third 1.72 seconds behind Obadić.

Luka Obadić took another gold medal of the day in men’s C2 final together with Ivan Tolić. Young Croatian duo was almost three seconds faster than Slovenian crew Maks Frančeškin – Simon Hočevar, while Pavle Zdravković and Ognjen Dimitrijević won bronze medal for Serbia.

In men’s kayak final we saw a serious dominance of Slovenian paddlers who also had their last selection race for the national team which will participate in Skopje at the 2017 ECA Wildwater Canoeing European Championships. Slovenians took the first six places in the final and additional two Slovenian kayakers also competed in the top 15 final. It was Nejc Žnidarčič who picked up the gold medal in the end, 77 hundredths of a second ahead of Anže Urankar and 0.97 seconds ahead of Simon Oven.

“I am satisfied with the win. The weather was really bad, it was very cold, so I had to motivate quite well for the race. The final run was good, but you also had to have a bit of luck. The water level was very high and the conditions were changing a lot,” said Žnidarčič.

Slovenians also celebrated a win in women’s kayak final. Eva Alina Hočevar, 15-year-old daughter of Simon Hočevar who finished second in C2 final, produced 3.55 seconds faster time than Lisa Maenpaa (FIN) to win her first gold medal at international senior level competition. Sara Seprenyi (HUN) picked up a bronze medal.

In women’s C2 Milica Kostov and Kristina Petrović (SRB) finished the race ahead of Marija Mićić and Olga Babić (BIH), while in women’s C1 only Alba Zoe Gržin (CRO) took part in this event.

The ECA Wildwater Canoeing European Cup will continue in August with races in Roudnice and Česke Budejovice (Czech Republic).



ECA Wildwater Canoe Sprint European Cup – Banja Luka (BIH), 23/04/2017


1.  Luka Obadić CRO 57.49

2. Igor Gojič CRO + 1.50

3. Tomislav Lepan CRO + 1.72


1. Nejc Žnidarčič SLO 51.59

2. Anže Urankar SLO + 0.77

3. Simon Oven SLO + 0.97


1. Eva Alina Hočevar SLO 62.46

2. Lisa Maenpaa FIN + 3.55

3.  Sara Seprenyi HUN + 14.02


1. Luka Obadić – Ivan Tolić CRO 56.67

2.  Maks Frančeškin – Simon Hočevar SLO + 2.97

3.  Pavle Zdravković – Ognjen Dimitrijević SRB + 3.96


1. Milica Kostov – Kristina Petrović SRB 67.75

2. Marija Mićić – Olga Babić BIH +28.28


1. Alba Zoe Gržin CRO 72.66


Complete results of the ECA Wildwater Canoe Sprint European Cup in Banja Luka are available here.