Two Slovenian canoeists win medals in France

Pau – Slovenian canoeists Luka Božič and Benjamin Savšek bagged the second and third places in a white water slalom World Cup event in Pau, France, on Sunday. France’s Denis Gargaud Chanut won the race.

The two best Slovenian canoeists also continue to top the overall rankings before the last white water slalom event of the season in Seu d’Urgell. Božič is in the lead with 202 points and Savšek is second with 197 points.

Savšek, the gold medallist from the Summer Olympics in Tokyo who became world champion in Pau in 2017 and European champion in 2019, was very confident and quick in today’s finals, making no mistakes. As he crossed the finish line he took the lead, but Gargaud Chanut, Olympic champion from Rio de Janeiro (2016), outdid his performance, setting an even better time and beating him by 1.46 seconds.

“It wasn’t a completely perfect ride, I made some mistakes especially in the lower part, it could have gone better. Luka too has shown it could be done extremely quickly, but I’m glad I managed to stay on the podium.

“Other competitors also made mistakes, so I was also a bit lucky to have managed to stay third despite my mistakes. I’m happy it had turned out like this and we’re getting ready for the next World Cup event,” Savšek said.

As Božič started, he showed great determination and was even faster than Gargaud Chanut in the upper and middle parts of the course but then made a mistake at gate 24, as he touched a gate with his helmet, which cost him the victory. He was only 0.08 of a second behind the winner.

“I’m really happy with my performance in the finals. I think I haven’t shown such a ride in years … I’m enjoying the moment …” said Božič.

He added he would like to get a good rest before the final World Cup event. “There’s a lot at stake, so I want to go to the World Cup finals wisely, using my head.”

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