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After two days of competitions, on Saturday the first canoe slalom individual semifinals and finals are scheduled in Kolna Sports Centre. The competition will have even bigger value, since the European Games are European Olympic Qualifier for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The Canoe Slalom competition at the European Games Krakow-Malopolska 2023 counts for the European Championships and is also a European Olympic Qualifier for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The qualification system for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games is a bit complicated. The World Championships later in September will be the global and main qualifying event where majority of the quotas will be allocated. For those European nations that fail to win a quota at World Championships in London, the results from the European Games here in Krakow-Malopolska will count as the European Qualifying event. Only one quota per nation in each of the events is available and only the results of those nations that fail to win a quota at World Championships in September will be taken into consideration from the final result list here at the European Games.

Athletes in men’s kayak will be the first to paddle down the course in Saturday’s semifinals, starting at 9:35. Paddlers from 16 European nations will start in the men’s kayak semifinal which promises an exciting fight for the top ten spots that lead to the final which is scheduled for 12:40.

One of the main favourites to win a gold medal will be the reigning Olympic and European Champion Jiri PRSKAVEC (CZE) who wasn’t too happy after his heats run which put him into the third position. His teammate Vit PRINDIS (CZE) had even more problems in heats, but the 2022 World Champion will seek better feelings on the water in the semifinal. Not to miss are French Titouan CASTRYCK and Boris NEVEU, Italian Giovanni DE GENNARO, Hannes AIGNER (GER), Joseph CLARKE (GBR), local Polish kayakers and many more.

Women’s kayak semifinal will start at 11:05, and the final will follow at 13:10. In this event, Poland has strong chances of winning a medal, especially with Klaudia ZWOLINSKA, who was the winner of Thursday’s heats and knows the course on the Vistula River very well.

Ricarda FUNK (GER) the reigning Olympic and World Champion will be trying to win the only gold medal still missing in her impressive collection – a gold medal from the European Games. Equally strong is her teammate Elena LILIK (GER), with French Camille PRIGENT, Italian Stefanie HORN also among the main favourites for the medals here in Krakow.

In the afternoon, kayak cross time trials are on the programme, where the top 16 athletes in men’s and top 16 athletes in women’s event will progress to Sunday’s elimination phases (quarterfinal, semifinal, final).

The complete competition schedule and results can be found here.

European Games Krakow-Malopolska 2023 is the Europe’s biggest multidisciplinary sporting event in 2023. More than 7 thousand athletes are competing in 26 sports and 29 disciplines for 253 gold medals. More than that, European Games 2023 are part of the qualification process for the Olympic Games in Paris 2024 in 19 sports. This great celebration of sports starts with opening ceremony in Krakow on 21st of June. The closing ceremony will take place on July 2nd.