Canoeing: 18 Nations Qualify After World Slalom Championships

18 nations qualified boats to the Olympics at the 2015 World Canoe Slalom Championships. In terms of Olympic qualification the top 15 nations in the men’s and women’s K1, the top 10 nations in the men’s C1 and the top 8 nations of the men’s C2 have qualified to the Olympics. The World Canoe Slalom Championships were held in Lee Valley, London, Great Britain from September 16th to September 20th 2015.

The French team of Gauthier Klauss and Matthieu Peche had the fastest time of 92.63 in the first run of the heat round in the men’s C2 event. They along with the top 15 boats qualified to the next round. The second run was won by Germany’s Kai Mueller and Kevin Mueller with a time of 93.13 as the top 5 boats here qualified to the semifinals. The semi-final was won by Great Britain’s David Florence and Richard Hounslow as they were over 2.5 seconds ahead of their nearest competitor with a time of 100.95. The final and gold medal was won by Germany’s Franz Anton and Jan Benezien where they finished with a time of 101.17. The other medals went to France as team Pierre Pico and Hugo Biso and team Gauthier Klauss and Matthieu Peche finished with times of 102.25 and 103.34 respectively.

The nations which qualified to the Olympics in men’s C2 were Czech Republic, France, Germany, Great Britain, Poland, Russia, Slovakia and Slovenia. The men’s C2 event was also the qualifier for which three continents will be given a quota in this event at their continental qualifiers. The top three continents were Asia, Europe and Pan America.

In the women’s K1 it was Emily Fer of France whom had the fastest time of 90.95 in the first run of the heat round. In the second run Kimberly Woods of Great Britain with a time of 92.11 along with the top 10 finishers joined the top 20 from the first run to advance to the semifinals. The semi-final was won by Spain’s Maialen Chourraut whom finished the course with a time of 100.87, about 3.5 seconds ahead of Australia’s Jessica Fox. The event was won by Czech Republic’s Katerina Kudejova whom finished with a strong time of 103.62. The silver medal went to Germany’s Ricarda Funk with a time of 105.91 while the bronze went to her compatriot Melanie Pfeifer whom finished with a time of 106.33.

The nations which qualified to the Olympics in women’s K1 were Australia, Austria, Brazil, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain. Since Brazil qualified at the world championships the host quota will be reallocated to the next best nation here, specifically Italy.

Matej Benus of Slovakia was the top finisher in the first run of the heats in the men’s C1 with a time of 86.42. He along with the top 20 moved forward to the semifinals. The second run was won by Ryan Westley of Great Britain whom finished with a time of 88.91. He and the top 10 moved forward to the semifinals. The semi-final was won by Slovenia’s Benjamin Savsek whom finished just 0.02 seconds ahead of Michal Martikan of Slovakia. The event was won by Great Britain’s David Florence whom finished with a time of 94.32, just 0.04 seconds ahead of Savsek. The bronze medal went to Ryan Westley of Great Britain as he finished with a time of 96.33.

The nations which qualified to the Olympics in men’s C1 were Czech Republic, France, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia and the United States. Since the United States qualified at the world championships the quota that they won at the Pan American Games has been reallocated to Canada because the world championship has a higher priority over the continental qualifier.

The first run of the heats in the men’s K1 was won by New Zealand’s Michael Dawson whom finished with a time of 81.28. Normally only 30 athletes would advance to the semifinals, but Argentina’s Thomas Bersinger is not eligible to qualify to the Olympics thus 31st place finisher Martin Halcin of Slovakia also advanced to the semifinals. The second run was won by Poland’s Maciej Okreglak whom finished with a time of 82.79. He and the top 10 advanced to the semifinals. The semi-final was won by Czech Republic’s Ondrej Tunka whom finished just ahead of his compatriot Jiri Prskavec. Prskavec was able to move up one more spot to win the event with a time of 88.99. He was clearly ahead of second place Mateusz Polaczyk of Poland and third place Michal Smolen of the United States as they finished with times of 89.43 and 92.01 respectively.

The nations which qualified to the Olympics in men’s K1 were Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia and the United States. Since the United States qualified at the world championships the quota that they won at the Pan American Games has been reallocated to Brazil. Brazil’s host quota was then reallocated to the next best boat at the Pan American Games, which was Canada. However, since a nation can only qualify two athletes from continental qualification it means Canada must decide which two boats between the men’s K1, men’s C1 and women’s K1 they will send while the other quota will be reallocated to the next best boat at the Pan American Games.

With over three quarters of the boats known the field for canoe slalom has taken shape. While Pan America has already held its continental championships the final spots will be revealed at the other four continental championships to be held between now and just before the Olympics begin.

Boats by Nation

  • Czech Republic – 4
  • France – 4
  • Great Britain – 4
  • Germany – 4
  • Poland – 4
  • Russia – 4
  • Slovenia – 4
  • Slovakia – 4
  • Japan – 3
  • Australia – 2
  • Austria – 2
  • Italy – 2
  • New Zealand – 2
  • United States – 2
  • Azerbaijan – 1
  • Brazil – 1
  • China – 1
  • Spain – 1

Athletes by Nation

  • Czech Republic – 5
  • France – 5
  • Great Britain – 5
  • Germany – 5
  • Poland – 5
  • Russia – 5
  • Slovenia – 5
  • Slovakia – 5
  • Japan – 3
  • Australia – 2
  • Austria – 2
  • Italy – 2
  • New Zealand – 2
  • United States – 2
  • Azerbaijan – 1
  • Brazil – 1
  • China – 1
  • Spain – 1

References

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