Solid start for Australians in Bratislava

Australian paddlers have made a solid start to the 2017 ICF Canoe Slalom Junior and U23 World Championships in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Daniel Watkins and Brodie Crawford both safely made it through to the semi-finals of the U23 C1, while Lachlan Bassett successfully qualified for the semis of the junior C1 on his second run.

Australia’s only casualty on the opening day was Tristan Carter, who twice got into trouble at the infamous Niagara and missed gates.

Watkins said it was good to get a solid run on the board early.

“I was really happy with that, I went through in eighth place,” Watkins said.

“I did everything I had to do, had a clean run, I lost a fair bit of time at the bottom but my top was really good and I never really got too far off line so I’m really happy with my start to the competition.”

Watkins comes to Bratislava with solid form in the senior World Cups, and said he is using a similar approach this week.

“I suppose I really took a lot of stuff from the World Cups, so I approached this race the same,” he said.

“I think the only difference is you’d place a bit better here than you would at a World Cup with a similar run.

“I’m really keen to make the finals this year. I was even moderately close last year, apart from a few mistakes in C1 and I made it in K1 last year, so I really want to get back into the finals this year.

“That run had plenty of time at the bottom of it, I can get a lot of time out of that run.”

Wednesday will see the K1 men and C1 women in both the U23 and junior competitions.