Two-times Olympian Ana Sátila is among the headline names in a star-studded field for this week’s International Canoe Federation (ICF) Junior and Under-23 Canoe Slalom World Championships in Kraków.
The Brazilian will be a red-hot favourite in both the women’s under-23 canoe and kayak competitions on Kolna Regatta Course, having featured regularly in finals at senior World Cup level.
The 23-year-old is also a C1 bronze medallist from the 2017 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships in Pau in France.
Czech Republic’s Tereza Fišerová is likely to pose the greatest threat to Sátila in the women’s under-23 C1, while Spain’s Miquel Trave, Italy’s Raffaello Ivaldi, France’s Nicolas Gestin and Slovakia’s Marko Mirgorodský are some of the leading paddlers in a strong men’s under-23 C1 field.
Fifteen-year-old American Evy Leibfarth has been the talk of the international slalom community after making finals of the both the K1 and C1 at her first senior World Cup in Bratislava and then following that up with a World Cup C1 bronze medal-winning performance in Tacen in Slovenia last month.
Mauritius' Terence Benjamin Saramandif and Slovenia’s Lan Tominc, both of whom won a gold medal at last year’s Summer Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, are also set to compete in the Polish capital.
Saramandif will contest the under-23 C1 event, while Tominc will be an early favourite in the junior K1 event.
Another Buenos Aires 2018 champion, Doriane Delassus, who triumphed in the C1 obstacle event and finished second in the K1 obstacle competition, will contest the junior K1.
The Frenchwoman’s match-up against Czech Republic’s Antonie Galušková, Britain’s Bethan Forrow, Slovenia’s Eva Hočevar and the aforementioned Leibfarth is expected to be an event highlight.
Delassus, Forrow, Hočevar and Leibfarth will also clash in the junior C1.
The under-23 competition will include several athletes who have regularly made senior World Cup finals in recent seasons, and several medallists.
In the men’s K1, Austria’s Mario Leitner, France’s Mathurin Madore, Slovenia’s Niko Testen and Britain’s Christopher Bowers are regular top-level performers against the best paddlers in the world.
They will be joined by the likes of Austria’s Felix Oschmautz, a former junior world champion, and Spain’s David Llorente, a former European under-23 champion.
In the women’s under-23 K1, Czech Republic’s Amálie Hilgertová won this year’s European title, while France’s Camille Prigent is the defending world champion.
Action is due to begin tomorrow.
The last day of competition is scheduled to be Sunday (July 21).