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Strong start for French and Italian whitewater paddlers in Sabero

Strong start for French and Italian whitewater paddlers in Sabero 11.8.2021

The 2021 ECA Wildwater Canoeing European Championships in Sabero, Spain, kicked off with individual classic race and celebration of French, Italian and Czech athletes who won in their respective events. Mathilde Rosa is the new European Champion in women's K1, Ondrej Rolenc in men's C1, Maxence Barouh in men's K1, Cecilia Panato in women's C1 and Stephane Santamaria - Quentin Dazeur in men's C2.

It has been two years since the last Wildwater Canoeing European Championships was held in Bovec, Slovenia, but the power nations and the same athletes still remain at the top or at least close to it.
On the opening day of the 2021 ECA Wildwater Canoeing European Championships in Sabero, picturesque village close to Leon, Italian kayaker Mathilde Rosa took the first gold medal of the day. 24-year-old paddler was almost 14 seconds faster than all her opponents in this event. French representative Lise Vinet took silver medal in classic, while German Sophia Schmidt from Germany claimed bronze.
Mathilde Rosa, who is a well-known and established name in wildwater canoeing, focused more on canoe sprint this year and we were able to see her competing for Italy at major international sprint competitions. "I hoped for a good result, but never said it. I am happy to win this European Championships in classic race. This is the first competition day, so I hope for the best also for tomorrow and the rest of the competition. The course is very physical, with a lot of flat water. For me this year this is an advantage, because I competed in flatwater races and did not do much wildwater. I am happy with this race and river," said the newly crowned European Champion.
Rosa, however, was not the only Italian hero of the day. In women's canoe Cecilia Panato dominated the event and took seriously her role of a main favorite. At the end she was almost half a minute faster than Czech paddler Marie Nemcova in second place. Helene Raguenes from France was third.
In men's kayak classic race it was a double podium position for French athletes. Maxence Barouh found the fastest line on the Esla River to win the gold medal. He won with a three second advantage ahead of German Finn Hartstein, while another French paddler Paul Jean won bronze medal.
Czech canoeist Ondrej Rolenc was the winner of men's canoe classic event. One of the most successful canoeists in histroy of this canoeing discipline crossed the finish line twelve seconds faster than another well-known name of wildwater canoeing - German representative Normen Weber. Tim Heilinger from Germany was third.
All three previously mentioned athletes competed also in men's Canadian doubles event. It was French duo Stephane Santamaria - Quentin Dazeur who were the fastest and became European Champions in this event. Normen and Weber joined forces to win silver medal, while Ondrej Rolenc and Daniel Suchanek took the bronze.
We also saw two crews in women's C2, but it was not an official European Championships event. Kerry May Christie and Emma Eve Christie were faster than Laura Milne and ELlie Seed in an all British event.
On Thursday the European Championships continues with classic team events.



Live results: https://www.conersyslive.com/Results/Schedule?chid=999


Livestreaming: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpy6ymNkyOTWAtWX8-svhag