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First ever European Classic race team medal for Slovenian kayakers

First ever European Classic race team medal for Slovenian kayakers 12.5.2017

12/05/2017 - The second competition day of the 2017 ECA Wildwater Canoeing European Championships in Skopje, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, again brought some exciting racing on the Vardar River with team events in classic. It was once more that Czech Republic dominated the classic team events, picking up gold medals in three out of four events, but Slovenian kayakers won the historic first ever gold team medal in classic events at European Championships. 

Nejc Žnidarčič, Anže Urankar and Simon Oven showed a superb run, a real example how team runs should be, and celebrated a win in men’s kayak team event. Their advantage was only 0.54 seconds ahead of Germany, but Slovenians could celebrate a historic win. Despite being used to podium positions, especially in wildwater sprint events, Slovenian kayakers never reached the top podium position in men’s kayak classic team event. Two years ago at European Championships in Banjaluka they finished third in classic.
“I am really proud of the other two guys. Simon won an individual medal yesterday so he was really on fire before today’s race, and Anže too. We had a really good tactics throughout the entire race. We are not physically prepared like Germans, but we really found a good tactic, pulled it though and I think this was the key for today’s gold medal,” said Nejc Žnidarčič, the most experienced member of the winning team.
Nico Paufler, Finn Hartstein and Andreas Heilinger were second, while Paul Graton, Damien Guyonnet and Paul Jean picked a bronze medal for France.
In all the other team events we listened to the anthem of Czech Republic. Klara Hricova, Barbora Bayerova and Karolina Paloudova received gold medals for their performance. Czech girls had more than 20 seconds advantage in women’s K1 team event ahead of French kayakers Phenicia Dupras, Claire Bren and Lise Vinet. Italians Mathilde Rosa, Giulia Formenton and Beatrice Grasso were third.
There was no surprise in men’s C1 team event. Czech canoeists Ondrej Rolenc, Vladimir Slanina and Antonin Haleš finished in the first, second and third position in the individual classic race event, so they were without a doubt the main favourites for the gold medal in team event. They did not disappoint their fans and celebrated a win with 3.38 seconds lead ahead of Germans Normen Weber, Tim Heilinger and Janosch Suelzer. Quentin Dazeur, Theo Viens and Ancelin Gourjault picked up bronze for France.
The same three nations also stood on the winners podium in men’s C2 team event, only slightly reversed. Czech paddlers Marek Rygel – Petr Vesely, Daniel Suchanek – Ondrej Rolenc and Filip Jelinek – Vaclav Kristek produced the fastest time to celebrate a win. French crews Louis Lapointe – Tony Debray, Damien Mareau – Pierre Troubady and Stephane Santamaria – Quentin Dazeur were second and Germans Rene Bruecker – Tim Heilinger, Normen Weber – Nico Paufler and Janosch Suelzer – Finn Hartstein crossed the finish line with third time of the event.
Today all medals in classic events were given - for both individual and team races - and one set of the medals was given by Mr. Gjorge Ivanov, president of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, who is also an honorary president of the organising committee of this European Championships.


Results: http://siwihome.azurewebsites.net/canoe123/live?SessionKey=kosta.20170511