Skopje, the capital city of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, will be the European Wildwater canoeing epicentre this week. From Wednesday until Sunday the 2018 ECA Junior and U23 Wildwater Canoeing European Championships will take place in the Matka Canyon.
thletes from 16 European countries are expected to show their skills on the Treska River in the four competition days that are ahead of us. There are many well known names on the startlist, especially in the U23 categories. Multiple World and European Championships medallist, also 2017 Senior Sprint World Champion, Anže Urankar from Slovenia will be the one to watch in men’s kayak U23 category. His task of winning the European Champion title, however, will not be easy. There are Paul Jean and Maxence Barouh from France, Germans Marcel Paufler, Nico Paufler, Yannic Lemmen, Finn Hartstein, Belgian Bram Sikkens ... coming to Skopje to achieve good results as well. We have already seen Paufler cousins this year at the podium of the European Championships. Less than a month ago Nico Paufler won the Canoe Marathon European Champion title in the U23 category and Marcel Paufler finished second in the same event of the Championships in Metković, Croatia.
In women’s kayak and canoe event Martina Satkova from Czech Republic also counts for the top results. Understandably. She had an amazing start to the season 2018 when she celebrated a double Senior World Champion title in individual classic race in K1 and C1 on the opening day of the championships. A day later she added two more gold medals to her collection - she celebrated a win in women’s C1 and K1 team events with her teammates. In individual sprint final she finished second in K1 and third in C1, and had another gold medal in women’s kayak team event.
Czech team is the strongest according to the names on the startlist. The 2017 Junior of the year World Paddle Award winner Barbora Dimovova, Gabriela Satkova, Anežka Paloudova, Klara Hricova are all capable of achieving top results. We must also not forget French kayaker Phenica Dupras, Italian Mathilde Rosa, German winner of the Sprint World Cup race in Celje earlier this year Jill Sophie Ecker, Italians Cecilia and Alice Panato ... Eva Alina Hočevar, the 2018 Junior Canoe Slalom World Champion in kayak, will compete in Skopje in canoe, both in C1 and C2. Exciting races can be expected in men’s canoe event too. Giorgio dell’Agostino, Mattia Quintarelli, Vaclav Kristek and Niclas Sauteur are only a few names to watch this week.
The championships will begin on Wednesday with an opening ceremony in the city centre of Skopje. The first European Champions will be known on Thursday when the individual classic races are scheduled. On Friday paddlers will compete in classic team events. Weekend is reserved for sprint events. On Saturday we will follow individual heats in junior and U23 categories. The individual sprint finals will be organised on Sunday as well as sprint team races.
Participating countries: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland and Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
20:00 | Opening Ceremony
9:00 | Junior Classic Individual Race (K1W, C1M, K1M, C1W, break, C2M, C2W)
12:00 | U23 Classic Individual Race (K1W, C1M, K1M, C1W, break, C2M, C2W)
9:00 | Junior Classic Team Race (K1W, C1M, K1M, C1W, break, C2M, C2W)
11:30 | U23 Classic Team Race (K1W, C1M, K1M, C1W, break, C2M, C2W)
9:00 | Junior Sprint Heats 1st Run (K1W, C1M, K1M, C1W, break, C2M, C2W)
U23 Sprint Heats 1st Run (K1W, C1M, K1M, C1W, break, C2M, C2W)
12:30 | Junior Sprint Heats 2nd Run (K1W, C1M, K1M, C1W, break, C2M, C2W)
U23 Sprint Heats 2nd Run (K1W, C1M, K1M, C1W, break, C2M, C2W)
9:00 | Junior & U23 Individual Sprint Final (K1W, C1M, K1M, C1W, C2M, C2W)
13:30 | Junior & U23 Sprint Team Races (K1W, C1M, K1M, C1W, C2M, C2W)
Official event website: http://eca2018ww.canoe.mk/?lang=en
Source: European Canoe Association.