Belgium and Czech, the new R4 European Champions are celebrating!!

The final discipline – the Downriver – is over. And the R4 European Champions have emerged!! Congratulations to Czech Men 1 and to Belgium Women 1 – the 2012 R4 Euro Champions! Full results

Photos Jan Homolka

In the Men’s section the Czech 1 team made a clean sweep! They comfortably won the Sprint, knocked out all their opponents in the H2H, set the two fastest times on the Slalom with a 0 on their first run and a 5 on their second and so convincingly won that as well. And in the Downriver they were 21.07 seconds ahead of their nearest opponents making it a maximum score for the Overall prize of being rafting’s 2012 R4 European Champions!

Slovenia Men 2 put in a strong performance in Sprint achieving a third place but had a disappointing H2H being knocked out in the second round. Despite that they fought back with a great performance in Slalom and Downriver to get second place in both which gave them a second place Overall. Third place was wide open as the rest of the teams had very mixed results in all the disciplines and it was hard to spot who would claim the final Overall Bronze. It all depended on the Downriver and the Czech2 teams third place in the Downriver was enough to put them 6 points ahead of Slovakia 1 and so they claimed third place Overall. Two Czech teams on the podium!

Photos Jan Homolka

In the women’s section the Czech 1 team had a first place in the Sprint and Slalom but were unexpectedly knockedout in the first round of the H2H which lost them plenty of potential points for overall position. Perhaps they were not expecting such a fine fight from the Belgium 1 team who went on to knock out Russia 2 and to eventually claim second place in the H2H. The Czechs were not the only ones to be surprised by the Belgium 1 women who placed fifth in Sprint, second in H2H, third in Slalom and to crown it all, a first  in Downriver. This team has certainly announced their arrival on the scene by putting themselves on top step of the podium!

Slovakia 1 secured a second in Sprint and Slalom, a first in H2H,  but received 0 points for the Downriver which was due to a DNS. This sadly dropped them down to eighth overall. But their country mates, Slovakia 2, took second in the Downriver which bumped them up to third Overall!

Photos Jan Homolka

Czech 1 found themselves in fourth place after the Downriver which gave them a solid second place, more than a 100 points ahead of Slovakia 2. Netherlands did not shine like they did at WRC 2011 and went away with seventh and tenth.

So a new country has been added to the list of teams to watch – well done Belgium! And to the Czech 1 men’s team, enjoy the maximum points celebrations, not an easy thing to accomplish and something we do not see very often at this level of competition.

Written by Sue