International Canoe Federation Media Release

No: beijing0807

13 August 2008

Slalom Men's C2 heats report and photographs

Beijing - The Slovakian twins Peter and Pavol Hochschorner took the first step towards an unprecedented Olympic gold medal hat-trick when they finished the heats of the men's C2 slalom competition comfortably at the top of the leaderboard.

The Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 Olympic Games champions showed all their accumulated experience and composure as they set the standard for the ten boats that qualified for the Thursdays semi-finals at the Shunyi Olympic Canoeing Park with two flawless fast and unflustered runs.

Despite their imposing performance, the twins were not pleased with their showing. "We are not very happy," said Peter Hochschorner. "we made mistakes at the last upstream gate, gate 16. Today was all about technique but tomorrow will be more important."

The French duo of Cedric Forgit and Martin Braud however upped the ante by posting the days fastest run to finish the heats ranked second to the all-conquering Slokavian siblings. "When everything is feeling good then you are fast," said a delighted Braud after their second run. "We want to have the same feeling tomorrow that we had today.",

Local stars Minghai Hu and Junrong Shu kept the crowd in raptures as they improved their fifth on their first run to third, and kept alive China's hope of a medal in C2 event.

The Australian pair of Mark Bellofiore and Lachlan Milne put themselves under huge pressure when they completed a nervy first run with four touches, and out of a top ten placing that was needed to qualify for the semi-finals.

They bounced back with a better second run, which included just one gate touch penalty, before their place in the next round was sealed by a disastrous fifty second penalty earned by the American crew of Rick Powell and Casey Eichfeld that saw them tumble out of the competition.

"I'm relieved!" said Milne after securing the berth in the semi-finals. "At first it was pretty dicey ands there were some nerves out there. But our second run was solid."

The South African duo of Cameron McIntosh and Cyprian Ngidi was cheered home by the big crowd after a disastrous first run. However their final effort was undone by a miscalculation above the demanding "Vortex" drop which earned them a fifty second penalty that sealed their exit from the competition.
 

SUMMARY OF RESULTS
MENS C2 HEATS -  COMBINED TIMES OF BOTH RUNS

1.Peter Hochschorner/Pavel Hochschorner SVK 186.73
2.Cedric Forgit/Martin Braud FRA188.56
3.Minghai Hu/Junrong Shu CHN 190.64
4.Jarolsav Volf/Ondrej Stepanek CZE 190.94
5.Felix Michel/Sebastian Piersig GER 192.37
6.Mikhail Kusnetskov/Dmitry Larionov RUS 196.08
7.Pawel Sarna/Marcin Pochwala POL 198.75
8.Andrea Benetti/Erik Masoero ITA 202.28
9.Mark Bellefiore/Lachlan Milne AUS 202.82
10.Masatoshi Samma/Hiroyuki Nagao JPN 212.56

DID NOT QUALIFY
11.Rick Powell/Casey Eichfeld USA 253.34
12.Cyrian Ngidi/Cameron McIntosh RSA 277.20

ENDS

Photo Caption Photographer Click to download the hi-res pic
 Slovakian twins Peter and Pavol Hochschorner, the Olympic men's C2 defending champions, master the Shunyi Olympic Canoeing park white water course.

Pic:Balint Vekassy /
ICF

Czech Republic athletes Jaruslav Volf (right) and Ondrej Stepanek in action during the men's C2 heats at the Shunyi Olympic Canoeing park.

Pic:Balint Vekassy/
ICF

Australia's Mark Bellofiore (right) and Lachlan Milne fought their way back into the semi-final line-up of the men's C2 competition.

Pic:Balint Vekassy/
ICF

China's Minghai Hu (left) and Junrong Shu posted third best score in the men's C2 slalom heats at the Shunyi Olympic canoeing park.

Pic:Balint Vekassy/
ICF

South African's Cyprian Ngidi (left) and Cameron McIntosh failed to qualify for the semi-finals, but became the first African crew to qualify for the Olympic men's C2 competition.

Pic:Balint Vekassy/
ICF

For further images please contact Ana-Marija Garcevic  at anamarija.garcevic@canoeicf.com

For any further information, or if you cannot access these images, please contact:
Dave Macleod
ICF Media Officer
dave@gameplanmedia.co.za
Mobile 086 135 22187252