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The competition venue

After the 2000 edition organized in Liptovisky Mikulas, Slovakia was once again the centre of international white water canoeing for a few days as it hosted the World University White Water Canoeing Championships. The small town of Cunovo near Bratislava, the capital, was where the competition joined a tradition now more than 60 years old. The slalom course built on the Danube River in 1996 has welcomed many international competitions since it was inaugurated, and is one of the most difficult courses in Europe. The environment is gorgeous and the course is very attractive for spectators. Since the first edition that took place in Prague, Czech Republic in 1994, white water canoeing has been back almost every season in our World University Championship programs to the delight of connoisseurs.

This meet attracts the very best, and it is not unusual to see the same champions excelling at international competitions like the World Cup or the Olympic Games. The French Estanguet brothers are a magnificent example.

Patrice Estanguet was the very first World University Champion in the C1 category in the inaugural 1994 edition and bronze medal winner at the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1994. His brother Tony also won the title of World University Champion in Metz in 1998 in a single seat canoe (C1), and topped it off with two Olympic champion titles taken in Sydney in 2000 and again in Athens in 2004. He was the flag bearer of the French delegation at the Beijing
Olympic Games in 2008 where he missed winning a third Olympic title (he didn't qualify for the finals). Tony Estanguet is the only person to have successfully defended the Olympic whitewater canoeing title in a single seat canoe. France, but also and above all Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Poland - these are the countries that head the list at our World University Championships. This held true again in Bratislava at this three-day event that unfortunately took place in a cold rain that did nothing to encourage spectator participation.

For technical enthusiasts, the course is about 600 m long for both the slalom and the sprint. The width varies between 10 and 12 m with a change in level of about 10 m. the flow of the river is more or less 20 m³ per second. All of the races were beautifully prepared, and we owe our thanks to the local organizing committee. The events went perfectly smoothly due among other things, to the good cooperation between FISU and the International Canoeing Federation (ICF). It is safe to say in any case, that this event is a great promotion for the sport in our universities. Participants from 17 countries made an appointment for this edition with a total of 102 men and 31 women, which is decidedly better than the previous WUC. For both women and men, Slovakia was particularly good on home ground. For the men, the names of champions like Potocny Marcel in K1, Slafkosky Alexander and Benus Matej, in C1 and the team of Škantar Peter / Škantar Ladislav in Slalom C2 will be remembered. For the ladies, Slovakians Dana Benusova and Jana Dukatova took a double win in the K1 category while Dana Benusova came in second in the sprint. Poland and France fitted into this prize list with a victory by Polaczyk Mateusz for Poland in men's K1 sprint and Malaterre Sixtine in the women's K1 sprint.



6th World University Canoe Slalom Championship

Bratislava & Cunovo, Slovakia - September 19th to 21th, 2008




Countries: 17

Continents: 3

Male Athletes: 102

Female Athletes: 31

Officials: 25

Total Participants: 158