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This weekend the 20th Krakow Mayor’s Cup will be held on the canoeing course at Kolna Sports Centre. They will be attended by the best polish athletes, as well as european top athletes led by the olympic champion. In a month and a half on the same course canoeists will compete for medals of the European Games Krakow – Małopolska 2023.

The two-day event (29 and 30 April) will feature four competitions – K-1 men and women and C-1 men and women. K-1 refers to a canoe with the athlete using a paddle with two feathers. C-1 is the so-called canoe and paddle, which is a paddle with one feather.

Krakow is expected to host 239 competitors from 13 countries including Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Sweden and the UK. The Poles are on form this season. During the prestigious Pyrenees Cup series, Aleksandra Stach won the overall C-1 classification, while Klaudia Zwolińska (K-1), Kacper Sztuba, Grzegorz Hedwig (both C-1) and Jakub Brzeziński (kayak cross) were also on the podium.

At the beginning of next month (6-7 May) the kayakers will compete in Bratislava for a place on the national team for the whole season. The weekend’s Mayor’s Cup will therefore be an ideal opportunity to test their form. – This is a general test for us, so we are all the more pleased that the organisers have managed to invite some strong names to Krakow. Taking part in such a stakes is a big gain in terms of sport – says Jakub Chojnowski, coach of the Polish national team in canoe slalom and kayak cross, on the official website of the association.

As far as foreign stars are concerned, the Slovenians are at the forefront. Benjamin Savsek, the Olympic champion from Tokyo, and Peter Kauzer, runner-up at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, will be coming to Krakow. For the Slovenian team, the performance on the Kolna track will be a qualification for the national team.

Natalia Pacierpnik, a slalom racer from KKK Kraków, olympian from London and Rio de Janeiro, should do well at home. – It will be an interesting test. The track hasn’t changed and I hope that the layout of the figures will remain the same until the end of the Games. I’m getting into training from scratch, so I’m treating the Cup as an opportunity to build my form. This season I am entering the fight for a third Olympic Games. There is plenty of time until the World Championships in London (19-24 September), so I am calm about rebuilding my form,” says Pacierpnik.

Competition in slalom canoeing at the European Games Krakow – Malopolska 2023 will take place in three individual and two team competitions (29 June – 2 July). A total of 280 male and female athletes will compete for 10 sets of medals. IE 2023 is also an opportunity to get closer to gaining a pass to the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. The competition will be held at the European Championships.