Competitors from 25 European countries (Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Great Britain, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine) will fight for European Champion titles between Thursday and Sunday.
On the entry list we can find many top level competitors, Olympic medallists, European and World Champions. This year European Canoe Association introduced a novelty - the defending European Champions have a direct right to participate at Senior Canoe Slalom European Championships, so some countries will have four instead of three competitiors in the event where their athlete defends the title won at last year's European Championships in Prague.
In men's K1 event Peter Kauzer from Slovenia defends the European Champion title and is really looking forward to compete at the course where he won bronze medal at the 2017 World Championships and also recorded wins at this venue at World Cup races. The task of defending the title, however, will not be easy. Czech team arrived to France with their star team, including Jiri Prskavec and Vit Prindiš, and Vavrinec Hradilek who returned to the national team after a few seasons. List of the athletes who will fight for the top spots does not end here: German paddler Hannes Aigner, Italian Giovanni de Gennaro, Dariusz Popiela from Poland, French Boris Neveu and 2016 Olympic Champion Joe Clarke from Great Britain are only a few of those who aim for the gold medal.
Special attention in women's kayak will be directed to medallists of the previous championships, including defending champion Ricarda Funk, Austrian Corinna Kuhnle, Spanish kayaker Maialen Chourraut, Czech paddler Katerina Kudejova, British Fiona Pennie, Italian Stefanie Horn ... Slovak Jana Dukatova is coming back after a year to compete among the best in Europe. She gave birth to a daughter last June.
Host nation expects a lot from the 2016 Olympic champion Denis Gargaud Chanut, who will be on the start line in men's canoe race. Germans Sideris Tasiadis and Franz Anton, British paddler David Florence, Slovenian Benjamin Savšek and Slovaks Michal Martikan and Matej Benuš will be only a few of those who will be Gargaud's strongest opponents. Three-times European Champion Alexander Slafkovsky from Slovakia will have to skip this championships because of health problems, so Marko Mirgorodsky got a chance to be in the Slovak team at the first major canoe slalom competition of this season.
There will be some strong names on the start in women's canoe too. Viktoria Wolffhardt and Nadine Weratschnig from Austria were medallists of the previous two European Championships, Nuria Vilarrubla will fight for the Spanish team, Tereza Fišerova is one of the hopes for the medal in Czech team, Mallory Franklin and Kimberley Woods from Great Britain and French trio Lucie Baudu, Lucie Prioux and Claire Jacquet all aim for the medals in Pau. Jasmin Schornberg, German slalomist, 2009 World Champion in women's kayak, will compete in France also in women's canoe.
Opening Ceremony of the 2019 ECA Canoe Slalom European Championships in Pau is scheduled for Wednesday at 19:00. The first competitions will be held on Thursday with heats in women's kayak and men's canoe events. On Friday the heats in women's canoe and men's kayak will be organised in the morning part of the programme, while team races in all events will follow in the afternoon. On Saturday and Sunday semi-finals and finals in individual events will be held. On Saturday we will follow men's canoe and women's kayak, while on Sunday the championships will conclude with women's canoe and men's kayak semi-finals and finals.
Wednesday, 29th May 2019
19:00 Opening Ceremony
Thursday, 30th May 2019
15:00 - 18:00 Heats WK1, MC1
Friday, 31st May 2019
9:00 - 12:30 Heats WC1, MK1
14:00 - 17:30 Team events MC1, WK1, MK1, WC1
Saturday, 1st June 2019
11:00 - 12:30 Semi-final MC1, WK1
15:00 - 16:30 Final MC1, WK1
Sunday, 2nd June 2019
11:30 - 13:30 Semi-final WC1, MK1
15:30 - 17:00 Final WC1, MK1
Official website: https://paucanoe.com/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/paucanoe/
Source: European Canoe Association.