John Gregory – @gregiej Let the battle commence. More than 200 of the World’s elite canoe slalom athletes from 38 nations have converged on Cardiff, Wales for the start of the ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup race June 21-23rd. The event will be broadcast on both Sky and Eurosport.
Among the athletes competing are 40 of those we saw in action at Lee Valley for the London Olympics, including 10 Olympic medallists. We have 5 of the winners from the Cardiff World Cup race in 2012, including Olympic silver medallists David Florence and Richard Hounslow. The newly crowned women’s K1 European champion, Fiona Pennie will be in action after arriving in Cardiff straight from Krakow Poland, where she won the European Championships. Joining Fiona are 13 of the medallists from the European Championships less than two weeks ago.
My two full race previews are available on the Cardiff race website and Sportscene websites. The race schedule is available here. There are five classes competing (K1M, K1W, C1M, C1W and C2) together with team races on Sunday June 23rd. This first key international race of 2013 is the first in the new Olympic cycle as athletes start to prepare for Rio in 2016. We are pleased to welcome Brazilian athletes to the capital city of Wales. Other athletes from the other side of the world include paddlers from Japan, New Zealand and Australia. Actually, Australian Ros Lawrence was one of the winners on her first visit to Cardiff for the World Cup last year and her 18 year old team mate Jessica Fox, won a silver medal for Australia in London last summer.
David Florence hopes for a big crowd behind them to make the event an even bigger spectacle than last year.
I will be providing live twitter commentary @gregiej which Rob has cleverly embedded in the Sportscene website live results page. Look out for the daily race reports on Sportscene, ICF Cardiff World Cup and GB Canoeing websites.