Czech Mate: Czechs Take Slalom Crown at World Rafting Champs


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Japan and Slovakia are sitting in the catbird’s seat with 2nd and 3rd-place finishes, respectively in the head-to-head sprint and slalom events, but it was the stoic Czechs taking first in slalom today at the world rafting champs in Costa Rica.
Now the action heads to tomorrow’s downriver race on the rain-swollen Pacuare, promising to test the world’s best rafters in the culmination of this world-class event. Worth 400 points total, the downriver could move any number of teams into the podium spot.
“It was a tough slalom course,” says US men’s team captain Chris Reeder. “We had a few unfortunate touches on our second run. We’re looking forward to tomorrow.”
The U.S. women, meanwhile, fared better, taking fourth in slalom after a diving head lunge on the last gate was nullified by the judges.
“We thought we made it,” says teammate Sarah Hamilton. “But it wasn’t worth protesting.”
All eyes are now on the downriver to determine who will be the overall champion…


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