Stefanie Horn was in fine form in Augsburg ©ICF

Italian Stefanie Horn produced a superb display to top women’s K1 qualifying as Germany’s reigning Olympic and world champion Ricarda Funk scraped into the semi-finals at the International Canoe Federation Canoe Slalom World Championships in Augsburg.

Horn, who grew up paddling on the German course, topped the leaderboard after finishing in a time of 1min 38.33sec.

Slovakia’s Zuzana Pankova was 0.10 behind in second, with Andorra’s Monica Doria Vilarrubla 0.76 further back in third.

Australia’s Jessica Fox, who is the most successful female slalom paddler with eight individual gold medals and three team titles, came fifth, with Slovakia’s Eliška Mintálová finishing fourth.

Funk had a difficult day on the water but managed to progress to the next round in 18th position as Horn stole the show.

"For me it matters more if I sleep well, if I have a clear line, it doesn’t matter if I start from the last or from the first position," Horn said.

"I grew up here, I was watching in 2003 and it was such a nice moment. We came here for every team camp, and at Easter and in summer. I have really good memories here.

"And my niece is coming to watch me this weekend, it will be the first time she has seen me race so it will be very emotional for me."

Vít Přindiš impressed in the men's K1 qualifying round ©Getty Images
Vít Přindiš impressed in the men's K1 qualifying round ©Getty Images

It was a Czech one-two in the qualifying for the men’s K1 competition, with Vít Přindiš edging out reigning Olympic champion Jiří Prskavec.

Přindiš registered a time of 1:26.83 to take top spot, finishing 0.54 ahead of Prskavec.

Italy’s Giovanni De Gennaro was 1:58 behind Přindiš to complete the top three.

"I didn’t aim for first place, but I was hoping to make the semi-finals on the first run so I wouldn’t have to wait here all day for a second run," said Přindiš.

"I have had quite a nice season, but I am missing a little bit of sporting luck in some races. 

"This is just the beginning, we didn’t have a good run yesterday in the teams, but today it shows we are in good form, and now we have one day’s rest.

"The crowd is amazing.

"When I arrived this morning it felt like it was the final already.

"So many people, I’m really looking forward to the weekend when all the tickets are sold out."

Competition is due to continue tomorrow.