The world's best canoe slalom athletes are all set to compete on the whitewater of Tacen, Slovenia for the penultimate 2013 ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup. The three-day event starts on Friday 15th August, with over 200 athletes from 32 countries each looking to negotiate the tricky and extremely technical course in the fastest possible time.
The 17-strong Slovenian team will hope their local knowledge provides an edge as they go in search of further gold’s in this year’s ICF World Cup series.
Their main chance comes in the C2 Men, with the impressive pairing of Luka Bozic and Saso Taljat looking to move up a step on the podium, following silver medals in Cardiff and La Seu d'urgell, Spain.
Eva Tercelj (SLO) is also a top prospect for the hosts; she goes in the K1 Women's event. However, the 21-year-old will have to fight off tough competition from Cindy Poeschel (GER) and Jana Dukatova (SVK), who lie in second and third place, respectively, in the ICF World Cup series standings.
Current K1 Women series leader, Elizabeth Neave (GBR), will not compete in Tacen, and will undoubtedly slip down the elite hierarchy.
Germany's Fabian Doerfler will have to put in another exemplary run to maintain his position at the top of the K1 Men standings.
Fellow countrymen Sebastian Schubert and Hannes Aigner will both be keen to replace their teammate as king pin in the hugely impressive German squad.
Schubert, the 2011 World Champion, is only a single point behind Doerfler in this season’s battle for top honours.
Jessica Fox will again start favourite in the C1 Women's event following victories in the last two World Cups; the 19-year-old Australian has a commanding 38-point lead in the overall standings.
After winning the season opener in Cardiff, Great Britain's Kimberly Woods, 17, is the only person to go faster than Fox in C1 this year, and as such is the Australians biggest threat. Mallory Franklin (GBR) and Katerina Hoskova (CZE) are also strong contenders for the podium.
Sideris Tasiadis (GER) lines up as favourite in the fiercely competitive C1 Men's event. The 23-year-old has been on the podium on his two previous outings, but is yet to make the top step.
Stanislav Jezek (CZE), known as the rubber man due to his deftly skill in negotiating gates, won in Cardiff and is showing good form this year. It seems as if the opportunity to compete at the World Championships in his hometown of Prague next month are responsible for a late-in-the-day resurgence of form from the 36-year-old.
There are also team events scheduled over the three days, expect Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia and the Czech Republic to feature heavily in the medals.
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World's Best Arrive in Tacen, Slovenia
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August 15, 2013