An exciting weekend of racing at the 2021 ECA European Open Canoe Slalom Cup in Ljubljana – Tacen brought joy to Nadine Weratschnig, Giovanni De Gennaro, Matija Marinić and Eva Terčelj, who took the wins in their respective events.
The third ECA European Open Canoe Slalom Cup of the season was held in Ljubljana – Tacen, traditional venue which hosted numerous World Cup races as well as World and European Championships in the past. Over 200 athletes from more than 15 countries accepted the challenge of a renovated starting dam, a trademark of the course in Slovenia.
The first win of the day went to Austria thanks to Nadine Weratschnig, who was unbeatable in women's canoe final. 22-year-old paddler was more than three seconds faster than second placed Alja Kozorog from Slovenia. Italian canoeist Marta Bertoncelli was third.
"I love this course, it's so special. I like the water here, I like to adapt a lot. It feels like a second home course for me. I am happy it worked out well for me," said Weratschnig, who was third on this course at the 2017 ECA Canoe Slalom European Championships.
Giovanni De Gennaro is another international paddler who seems to know the secrets of the course on the Sava River. Italian was the winner of today's race, and he also won at the World Cup here in 2019.
"It was really tough and hard weekend. I made a good final. Luckily some Slovenians also helped me to get the gold. I am really happy about it, because it is not easy to beat Slovenians on their home course," said De Gennaro.
Two Slovenian paddlers Martin Srabotnik and Niko Testen were second and third respectively in men's kayak final.
Matija Marinić was surprising winner of the men's canoe final. Croatian showed the fastest run in the final, finishing half a second ahead of Slovenian Luka Božič and almost three seconds ahead of Miquel Trave from Spain. One the main favourites for the win Benjamin Savšek did too many mistakes to finish on the podium and was sixth at the end.
Marinić trains often in Ljubljana – Tacen, so he knows the course well. He was third in 2013 at this venue at the World Cup race, "It's a special feeling and a confirmation that I am on the right path. I am looking forward to the European Championships in Ivrea. I hope for some good result."
Eva Terčelj won in women's kayak final. She had a double reason to celebrate as she also confirmed her place in the Slovenian Olympic team for Tokyo. Despite the two seconds penalty she won more than a second and a half ahead of Austrian Corinna Kuhnle, who was World and European Champion on this course. Ajda Novak rounded the Slovenian success with a third place.
"It was a tough weekend. It was not an easy race. I am happy that I managed to pull two clean runs. There was some pressure on me, because it was also selection race for Olympics. I am happy with a win," said Terčelj.
2021 ECA European Open Canoe Slalom Cup, Ljubljana – Tacen
1. Nadine Weratschnig AUT 110.36
2. Alja Kozorog SLO +3.14
3. Marta Bertoncelli ITA +4.03
1. Giovanni de Gennaro ITA 90.02
2. Martin Srabotnik SLO +1.37
3. Niko Testen SLO +1.57
1. Matija Marinić CRO 97.30
2. Luka Božič SLO +0.53
3. Miquel Trave ESP +2.98
1. Eva Terčelj SLO 102.68
2. Corinna Kuhnle AUT +1.61
3. Ajda Novak SLO +3.87
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