Germany's Ricarda Funk set the pace in K1 qualifying in Kraków ©ICF

The gold and bronze medallists at Tokyo 2022 repeated their placings in K1 qualifying on the opening day of the International Canoe Federation (ICF) Canoe Slalom World Cup in Kraków.

Ricarda Funk of Germany, who was victorious at the Olympics last year, posted a blistering time of 96.32 seconds at the Kolna Canoe Slalom Course, but did incur a two-second penalty after clipping a gate.

Despite this minor slip-up, the 30-year-old was still 0.86 seconds clear of the next best competitor, Czech Amalie Hilgertova, who was penalty-free and impressively went under 100 seconds. 

Jessica Fox of Australia, who hold previous victories in the Polish City and won the opening World Cup meeting of the season in Prague, suffered a similar two-point penalty before finishing third in K1 qualifying. 

In the men's K1, Italy’s Giovanni De Gennaro posted the quickest time in an error-free run, just as he did in qualifying last week, to lie 0.23 seconds in front of Martin Srabotnik of Slovenia.

Some athletes were forced to repeat their qualifying run following a bizarre power outage that caused water-level problems, with Britain’s Bradley Forbes-Cryans eventually ending up third fastest.

Giovanni De Gennaro was fastest in a disrupted men's K1 qualifying ©ICF
Giovanni De Gennaro was fastest in a disrupted men's K1 qualifying ©ICF

Czech Tereza Fiserova left herself well-placed to secure consecutive World Cup gold medals, after posting the quickest time in the women’s C1 heat.

The 2021 C1 title holder showed no ill-effects from a facial injury suffered in Prague last weekend, finishing on top of qualifying whilst wearing a bandage on her run.

"It’s been pretty horrible for me, but at least now it doesn’t look so bad," Fiserova said.

"We arrived here Monday and I couldn’t train until Wednesday, but now I am happy."

Olympic silver medallist Matej Benus of Slovakia pipped hometown favourite Grzegorz Hedwig in the men's C1 for the fastest time.

Action at the ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup will continue tomorrow, with the final of the men's and women's K1 and qualifying for the extreme canoe slalom due to be held.