Published on June 15th, 2022 | by Paddleworld
|The International Canoe Federation canoe slalom world cup returns to Krakow in Poland for the first time since 2018, with more than 220 athletes set to take part in the second international event of the 2022 season.
The last time the ICF held a world cup in Krakow, Australia’s Jessica Fox won both the women’s K1 and C1, Great Britain’s 2016 Olympic gold medalist Joe Clarke won the men’s K1, while his British teammate and three-time Olympian, David Florence, won the C1 – his last world cup gold medal.
Fox and Clarke will both be in action this weekend, however, Florence announced his retirement from the international competition last month.
In 2018 Slovakia’s Alexander Slafkovsky won silver behind Florence and has delayed his retirement after missing last year’s Olympic Games.
39-year-old Slafkovsky says he will keep paddling for as long as his body allows it.
“I didn’t say I would retire, I just said I was thinking of it,” Slafkovsky laughed this week.
“When I realised we had the European Championships on my home course (Liptovsky) I wanted to compete, and the world championships are end of July, so it’s pretty close. If I’m still in shape, and my body is not telling me every time that it is enough, then I will try the next season as well.
“I think my goals are different now. It’s one year after another now, so I will see. It’s not a big goal for me now, the big goal is to have fun on the water and still love what I do.”
A total of 32 countries have entered this weekend’s world cup, with all five continents represented. As with Prague last weekend, a record 134 athletes have entered the extreme slalom competition, as it continues to build up to its Olympic debut in Paris in 2024.
All five gold medalists from last weekend’s opening world cup in Prague will be in action again this weekend, including double gold medalist Tereza Fiserova from the Czech Republic. Fiserova required stitches after being struck in the face during the extreme slalom but went on to win gold.
She has declared she will aim to defend her extreme title this weekend.
The return to Krakow will also be welcomed by Brazil’s Ana Satila, Czech Amalie Hilgertova, France’s Nicolas Gestin, American Evy Leibfarth, and Great Britain’s Etienne Chappell, who all won world titles when the ICF Junior and U23 slalom world championships were held at the course in 2019.
The ICF canoe and extreme world cup begins in Krakow on Friday and will run through to Sunday afternoon.