Sunday, June 20th in Prague was the setting for the 2010 ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup. It was an scintillating afternoon of paddle sports action. There were some surprises atop the podium, though truly a World Cup, as all of Europe seemed to be represented. In an interesting development, Stapanka Hilgertova took 3rd in the women’s final while her son, Lubos Hilgert took 2nd in the men’s final.
In the Mens K1 final Alexander Grimm of Germany and Peter Kauzer of Slovenia are what most people would call safe bets for the medals, but neither were able to make it that far. Daniele Molmenti, on the other hand, made a safe bet out of himself. Italy’s pocket rocket started half-way down the list. No one had put together a great run thus far, and the favorites were still on the schedule for later. “I saw the first five athletes and I thought a good solid run without any risks would be enough,” said Molmenti. “I think the guys after me heard the time because if Kauzer made two touches it’s because he made risks. I think he heard my time and he tried to go over the limit.”
Taking silver medal was the young Lubos Hilgert, son of Stepanka Hilgertova. Paddling in front of the home crowd could have put the pressure on but this cool and collected athlete coped with little problems. “I couldn’t concentrate enough because of the fans half way down the course but luckily I wasn’t too nervous or stressed,” Hilgert said immediately following his run. He added, “The support from the crowd was fantastic, I was so happy they came and supported me, it was a great atmosphere here.”
The next World Cup stop is Le Seu d’Urgell next weekend. Molmenti, for one, is pleased. Last year at the World Championships at Le Seu was not so good for him so this, he says, will be his revenge.
Men’s K1 Final
1st place Daniele Molmenti (ITA) 92.62
2nd place Lubos Hilgert (CZE) 94.02
3rd place Michael Kurt (SUI) 94.68
1st place Jasmin Schornberg (GER) 109.05
2nd place Fiona Pennie (GBR) 109.16
3rd place Stepanka Hilgertova (CZE) 109.79