A massive turnout of 450 athletes from 63 countries is anticipated for the 2019 ICF World Canoe Slalom Championships at La Seu d’Urgell in Spain, with Olympic qualifying spots on the line as well.
The top 18 countries in men’s and women’s K1, and the top 11 countries in men’s and women’s C1 will qualify one quota place for the 2020 Games. But beyond that will be the performances of two of the all-time greats in the sport, Michal Martikan (SVK) and Jessica Fox of Australia.
Martikan, now 40, is the all-time leader with 22 World Championships medals and 14 golds in C-1, starting in 1995 (at age 16!). His last individual medal was a 2017 C-1 bronze.
Fox, 25, started at the 2010 Worlds and has won nine golds and 12 total Worlds medals. The nine golds is the most ever in women’s Slalom, but she is within striking distance of the all-time record for Slalom medals – 14 – held by Czech Stepanka Hilgertova (1989-2015), The next closest active paddler is German Jasmin Schornberg, who has 10 medals from 2006-18.
The expected contenders:
● Matej Benus (SVK) ~ 2011 Worlds bronze medalist; three 2019 World Cup medals
● Alexander Slafkovsky (CZE) ~ 2013-17 Worlds silvers
● Roberto Colzingari (ITA) ~ World Cup winner in Tacen
● Franz Anton (GER) ~ 2018 World Champion
● Sideris Tasiadis (GER) ~ 2018 Worlds bronze
● Luka Bozic (SLO) ~ three 2019 World Cup medals
● Benjamin Savsek (SLO) ~ 2017 World Champion; 2014-15 World silvers
● Ryan Westley (GBR) ~ 2018 Worlds silver medalist; 2015 Worlds bronze
● Jiri Prskavec (CZE) ~ 2015 World Champion; 2013-18 Worlds silvers
● Vit Prindis (CZE) ~ 2017 Worlds silver medalist; 2019 World Cup winner in Markkleeberg
● Giovanni de Gennaro (ITA) ~ 2019 World Cup winner in Tacen
● Peter Kauzer (SLO) ~ 2009-11 World Champion; 2017 Worlds bronze
● Joe Clarke (GBR) ~ 2016 Olympic Champion; 2019 World Cup winner in Lee Valley
● Boris Neveu (FRA) ~ 2014 World Champion
● Andrej Malek (SVK) ~ 2019 World Cup winner in Bratislava
● Hannes Aigner (GER) ~ 2018 World Champion
● Jessica Fox (AUS) ~ 2013-14-15-18 World Champion
● Kimberley Woods (GBR) ~ 2019 World Cup silver in Lee Valley & Prague
● Tezera Fiserova (CZE) ~ 2017 Worlds silver; 2018 Worlds bronze
● Nuria Villarrubla (ESP) ~ 2015 Worlds bronze
● Viktoria Wolffhardt (AUT) ~ 2019 World Cup silver in Tacen
● Evy Leibfarth (USA) ~ 2019 World Cup bronze in Tacen
● Mallory Franklin (GBR) ~ 2017 World Champion; 2013-14-18 Worlds silver
● Claire Jacquet (FRA) ~ 2019 World Cup winner in Bratislava
● Ana Satila (BRA) ~ 2017 Worlds bronze medalist
● Jessica Fox (AUS) ~ 2016 Olympic bronze; 2014-17-18 World Champion
● Ana Satila (BRA) ~ 2019 World Cup Final silver medalist
● Ricarda Funk (GER) ~ 2015 World Champion; 2017-18 Worlds bronzes
● Stefanie Horn (ITA) ~ 2019 World Cup winner in Tacen
● Eva Tercelj (SLO) ~ 2019 World Cup silver medalist in Tacen; World Cup Final bronze
● Mallory Franklin (GBR) ~ 2018 Worlds silver medalist
● Corinna Kuhnle (AUT) ~ 2010-11 World Champion
● Luuka Jones (NZL) ~ 2016 Olympic silver medalist
This is the third time for La Seu as the site for the World Championships, and always in the ninth year of a decade: 1999, 2009 and now 2019. Look for results here.