Thursday is the start

Canoeists also fight for Olympic qualification at the European Championships

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14.05.2024 10:52

While Austria's flat-water canoeists missed out on the Summer Olympics in Paris for various reasons, the white-water athletes will not only be competing for medals at the European Championships in Tacen from Thursday, but also for internal qualification.

Mario Leitner and Corinna Kuhnle won the kayak quota places for Austria last September. Viktoria Wolffhardt and Felix Oschmautz will also be competing at the European Championships.

Tacen is also the official start of the season after an intensive winter build-up. The quartet has already been training on the European Championship course for a few days. "We've already had some good training sessions, even if there are problems with the water at the moment - there's too much water in the canal. But we are well prepared and have trained at different water levels, so we'll take it as it will be," said OKV national coach Helmut Oblinger, who hopes that the topic of Olympic qualification will be put to one side and that the athletes will simply "attack at full tilt and not tactic in their runs".

Well prepared for the European Championships
They are in a good position and hope to make a few finals. "Then a lot is always possible," says Oblinger. "Felix, Mario and Conny can compete for medals. Viki has been training less now, but with her experience this will probably not have such an impact on her performance in the competition. If she has a good day, there's a lot in it."

Felix Oschmautz (Bild: GEPA)
Felix Oschmautz

Olympic silver medallist Oschmautz has the best chance of an Olympic ticket. "I'm happy with my form. But it's difficult when you have an important race at the start of the season to time your turn right. I think I managed it well though," said the Carinthian, who has known the course since I was a child. "I want to deliver my performance in every run and perform at my best. Just don't think too much, just race - that's the motto. If I can do that, the rest will take care of itself."

Women have another chance
While the men's race in the OKV will definitely be decided in Paris, there is still a second chance for the women at the World Cup in Augsburg. Kuhnle is "looking forward to the European Championships with relaxed anticipation; like Oschmautz, she is ahead in the men's internal rankings. Her motto is "controlled attack". "Then we'll see what comes out and how many points I still need to qualify for the Olympics."

Corinna Kuhnle (Bild: GEPA pictures)
Corinna Kuhnle

Her teammate Viktoria Wolffhardt has had to cut back somewhat in recent weeks due to illness and has been unable to complete the full scope of her planned training. "My start was on the back burner for a long time, but I think it should work out now. It would be nice to be able to do something there, but I'm also realistic," said the athlete from Tulln.

From June 7th to 9th, there will be more quota places for the new Olympic kayak cross competition in Prague. Whoever makes it for Austria in the slalom is also a fixed starter there, and in Prague there could even be a second place for Paris in the men's and women's events.

This article has been automatically translated,
read the original article here.

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