STA, 31 May 2019 - Slovenian canoeists Benjamin Savšek, Anže Berčič and Luka Božič won the team event at the European Canoe Slalom Championships in France's Pau on Friday, beating the second-placed French team by a mere 0.16 seconds. The kayak team followed the success up by grabbing silver.
The battle with the host nation was tough and nail-biting from the start until the very end, with the Slovenians eventually prevailing. The third place went to Russia.
This is the second gold medal at the European championships for Slovenia in team events, the first coming in 2014 in Vienna with the same line-up of Savšek, Berčič and Božič.
The trio, which has been competing together for eight years, had been considered favourites due to their quality and experience, which they indeed proved on the course after narrowly missing gold at last year's world championship.
"We managed to merge all three 'egos' into one. We managed an excellent run, we made no mistakes, and I'm really happy that we got the gold. The fight was really tough, it was so tense at the finish line," said Savšek.
The trio will have to wait a little bit to properly celebrate the win, as they are scheduled to take part in an individual competition on Saturday.
"A new competition, a new day is ahead of us tomorrow. Everything will start from scratch. I hope that this win will not be the only one and that we will be celebrating two wins tomorrow," added the 32-year-old veteran.
This was not the only medal for Slovenia today, as kayakers Peter Kauzer, Martin Srabotnik and Niko Testen were second in the team event, conceding only to the Czech team, while finishing ahead of Germany.
"The Czechs deserved to win, they were too good. It is important that we started the competition with a medal, and I sincerely hope that we will win some more," said the veteran Kauzer.
This is the fourth gold medal for Slovenia in team events at the European championships, with Kauzer being a member of all four teams. He will have the opportunity to win another one in the individual competition on Sunday.