Spain’s Maialen Chourraut produced a superb run in the women’s K1 final to take gold on the closing day of the 2015 International Canoe Federation (ICF) Canoe Slalom World Cup in Kraków.
The result saw the Spaniard continue her superb start of the season, having secured European title at the 2015 European Canoe Slalom Championships at Markkleeberg, Germany, last month.
Chourraut had only narrowly made the final as Poland’s premiere canoe slalom course proved a tricky task for many of the elite athletes during the semi-final stage.
Australia's Olympic silver medallist Jessica Fox and France’s Emilie Fer were among those, surprisingly, who failed to progress after missing gates.
Chourraut took advantage of their absence as she started the final run strongly and extended her early lead with a swift exit from the fourth gate to establish a large advantage over the field and take victory in 1min 30.91sec.
“I know this course well from the European Championships [in 2013],” she said.
“I also won my first international medal here in 2004.
“The semi-finals were very hard and I was very close to missing the final, but once I was in the final I had some fun.
“In the final I had similar problems to my semi-final run but I was quicker and the rest of the course was good, I am so happy to win.”
Austria’s Corinna Kuhnle claimed silver, finishing 1.98 seconds behind Chaorrant in 1:32.89, while Germany’s Ricarda Funk finished third in 1:33.97 having accrued two penalties on the course.
The Czech Republic’s Jonas Kaspar and Marek Sindler completed the weekend’s racing with their first World Cup series victory in the C2 men’s event.
The duo had qualified seventh fastest for the final, but delivered when it mattered as they took gold in 1:33.16, ahead of Germany’s Robert Behling and Thomas Becker, who posted the second fastest time of 1:34.99.
Pierre-Antoine Tillard and Edern Le Ruyet of France completed the podium following a close battle for bronze as their time of 1:38.13 was just 0.03 seconds faster than Germany’s Kai and Kevin Mueller.
The next leg of the Canoe Slalom World Cup place is due to take place in Liptovský Mikuláš in Slovakia from July 3 to 5.
June 2015: Czech slalom canoeist Hradilek back on top at World Cup in Kraków
June 2015: Germany and France halt Czech dominance at Canoe Slalom World Cup
June 2015: Hosts Czech Republic clinch all three golds on opening day of ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup
May 2015: World champion Poulsen delights home crowd with Canoe Sprint World Cup victory in Copenhagen
May 2015: Carrington continues Canoe Sprint World Cup dominance as Germans excel in Copenhagen