Slovenia wins 6 medals at European Canoe Slalom Championship in Tacen

Tacen, 19 May - Slovenian canoeists have scored a triple win at the European Canoe Slalom Championship in Tacen near Ljubljana on Sunday as Žiga Lin Hočevar took first place in the individual event, followed by Luka Božič and Benjamin Savšek. Slovenia also took the win in the team event and second place in the women's team event.

Kayak competition.
Photo: Slovenian Kayak Association
File photo

In the qualifiers of the individual event Savšek, who is also an Olympic champion, finished first, Božič took 4th and Hočevar 7th place.

In the finals, the 16-year-old Hočevar finished his run without penalties and more than 2 seconds ahead of competition. Božič reduced the advantage to 84 hundredths of a second and took second place. Savšek made a mistake early in the race but was able to recover from a lost position and finish third.

"I worked hard in winter in all areas, I was upset, but I told myself that the European championship is worth the hard work," said Hočevar. A gold medal in the European championship was on his list of goals, he said, adding that he was expecting it more in the team event.

He dedicated the medal to his family. His mother helps him with psychological preparation and he trains together with his sister Eva Alina Hočevar, who is also competing in canoe and kayak events. Their father, Simon Hočevar, was the first Slovenian canoeist to win the European champion title in 1996.

Hočevar then went on to win the team event with Savšek and Božič. Czechia took second place and Slovakia finished third.

In the women's canoe team event Eva Alina Hočevar, Lea Novak and Alja Kozorog took silver. Czechia won the event and Great Britain finished third.

In addition to the five medals won on Sunday, Slovenia also won a medal on Saturday, when the women's kayak team took gold in the team event. Eva Terčelj, Ajda Novak and Eva Alina Hočevar finished ahead of the French and Czech teams.

The programme of the championship had to be shortened and revised because of the high water level of the Sava River, on which the competition is held. The river also flooded part of the stands on Friday.

The 2024 ECA I Feel Slovenia Canoe Slalom European Championships at Tacen started on Wednesday with the kayak cross event, which continued on Thursday. The kayak individual and team events were held on Satuday, while the competition ended on Sunday with the individual and team canoe events.

© STA, 2024