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30 Jul 2012
London 2012 , IOC News , Canoe Slalom

White-water course delights qualifiers - London 2012 - Canoe Slalom

The world's best paddlers in Canoe Slalom praised the London 2012 white-water course after competing in qualifying.

The 12,000-capacity grandstand at Lee Valley White Water Centre was full to watch the men battle it out in the Canoe Double (C2) and the women compete in the women's Kayak (K1).

Gauthier Klauss, who qualified in first place with his partner Matthieu Peche, said: 'It's a great course. It's quite hard as there is a lot of movement but it's excellent. I think a lot of us like it here.'

The French pair qualified for the semi-final in a time of 96.98, just ahead of Pavol and Peter Hochschorner. The Slovakian brothers, three times Olympic champions, are overwhelming favourites.

Peter Hochschorner said: 'The atmosphere, the surroundings and the sport itself are all motivational. We have a very good feeling from the British public.'

Stepanka Hilgertova, from the Czech Republic, who has two Olympic golds to her name, was also full of praise for the course.

The 44-year-old finished fifth in the women's K1 heats, which were won by Spain's Maialen Chourraut in a time of 98.75.

Hilgertova said: 'These championships have a special atmosphere. Every race is different, which is enough to give me motivation in learning new techniques and new moves.'

She will now line up against Great Britain's Lizzie Neave in Thursday's semi-finals, where she will be hoping to reach the final and add to her Olympic medal haul in her sixth Games.

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