Kayak freestyle European Championships 2018.
European Championships in freestyle kayaking are held every second year. This year we had a honor to held it in Slovakia in Cunovo which is our local spot.
To have a competition at your home area can be a advantage but disadvantage at the same time. Everybody has a big expectations of you and you can feel under the pressure. But on the other hand you know that place very well and can enjoy the comfort of home.
Last time the Europeans were held in Slovakia was in 2014. Peter won the title of European champion and I took silver. This time we wanted to defend the titles as well. But sometimes the situations are unpredictable and everything can change so fast! Some of you maybe know about my back injury from the start of the year. I wasn’t sure if I will be able to paddle this season so thinking about competing at Europeans was something which I rather didn’t think about. But after few months of rehabilitation I was able to sit in my kayak and do a short preparation for this big event. Most of the time we train in our playspot alone which is a bit boring but this summer we could enjoy the company of other paddlers at our whitewater course. It can sounds silly but this was one of the things which I liked most about this Europeans. It’s always much better to paddle with friends. But back to the competition. Slovakia hosted over hundred of freestyle paddlers at our whitewater course. I have to say that this Europeans were special because were held together with Slalom juniors and U23 European Championships. So the amount of athletes at the areal of Divoka Voda was so massive! Our competition started on Thursday with the prelims of mens. Woman’s prelims were on program at the next day. Both, me and Peter we advanced easily to next round from top position. Semifinals were obviously more difficult because top 10 athletes fight to get into finals top 5. Me and Peter were really happy we were able to be in finals and try our best to get medals. I did good rides and scored nice points. I really fight till the last round but it wasn’t enough to reach the podium. The girls were paddling so great and I think they pushed their limits as well. Surprisingly I wasn’t sad. I know to get 5th at the Europeans is nice achievement but when you have already few medals from it you want more and more😄We, athletes, are sometimes so focused to reach our goals that we forget to enjoy what we do and what we love. Sometimes we even push the limits and underestimate our health which is at the end most important. Without it we are not able to sport and even to live the full-fledged life. So this time I was thankful to be able to paddle, train and to get in finals was just the cherry on top of it. And what’s about Peter. Well men’s finals were so great. Guys paddled awesome and their score was so high. Peter did great as well but maybe not as he wished for. He scored 3th place. I was really happy that at least someone from our family took a medal back home. Now the competition season is over and we can enjoy our paddling for the rest of the year. We have still some big plans for the end of the year and looking forward for the next adventure.