Germany’s Ricarda Funk held off London 2012 Olympic silver medallist Jessica Fox to claim the K1W title on the final day of the International Canoe Federation (ICF) Canoe Slalom World Cup in Italian town Ivrea.
Funk continued the impressive form that earned her top spot in the semi-final, edging ahead of Australia’s Fox with seemingly her final stroke as she crossed the line in 1 min 42.98sec, just 0.35 seconds quicker than her rival.
The 2015 world and European silver medallist had been the favourite to take the German K1W slot for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, but was bettered by compatriot Melanie Pfeifer during their selection races.
"I’m so happy to win," said Funk.
"It's a great course here and with the German trials not going so well for me it’s great to win again."
A runners-up finish for Fox earned her a second medal of the weekend following her podium-topping performance in the C1W yesterday.
The 21-year-old will perhaps be thinking what might have been having back paddled to maintain her line through the final section as she neared the end of her run, almost certainly costing her gold.
Austria's Corinna Kuhnle slipped from silver to bronze following Funk’s clean run, rounding out the podium with a time of 1:45.66.
Kuhnle can take satisfaction, however, from the fact that by reaching the final she secured her spot at this year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
France’s Nicolas Scianimanico and Hugo Cailhol won C2M gold with an impressive penalty-free time of 1:47.37 and were followed by the German duo of David Schroeder and Nico Bettge in 1:48.48.
China’s Hang Zhang and Xiao Deng collected bronze, laying down a clean run on their way to a time of 1:50.45.
Slovakian twin brothers Pavol and Peter Hochschorner continued their disappointing start to the season with the multiple Olympic gold medallists clipping gates 12 and 14 before picking up two 50-second penalties towards the end.
ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup action now moves to the Barcelona 1992 Olympic course in La Seu d'Urgell from June 10 to 12.