The second racing day at the International Rafting Federation’s World Rafting Championship 2017 Japan, Yoshino River, Koboke Gorge, was reserved for Slalom for the Youth and Junior teams. 12 Youth teams and 16 Junior teams competed. The course was upstream from the Sprint course of the day before, just a five minute walk. A lovely day free of rain saw many spectators on the bank.
Fourteen gates, of which gates number 2, 4, 7, 10 and 11 needed to be negotiated upstream. This section of river is quick and wide with a short course making it a real challenge for the youngsters. Youth Women were the first to start and up to gate 6 everything tended to go fine. Some then chose to ignore upstream gate 7 so as to be able to reach 10 and 11, but crossing from gate 9 to the upstream gate 10 was a challenge, and from 10 to 11 even bigger. In the first run Russia and Japan had the least penalties. A much improved second run and the first place went to Russia, the second to New Zealand and the third to Indonesia.
The Youth Men were stronger but with many penalties too. The best run in the first round went to Russia, then Indonesia and Japan, worst was Turkey with 275 penalties. But Turkey came back firing on their second run to clinch first place, with just 10 penalties, Great Britain second and Russia third.
Junior Women showed more experience and had more power with the result of less penalties, but still quite a lot. Again, skipping gates brought some teams more penalties but faster times. Many teams were preparing their rafts for negotiating the next gate by entering a gate backwards so as to be pointing in the right direction on exit. The Czech team was fantastic during the first run with just 25 penalty same as Great Britain who had a slower time. The second run saw the Czech’s improve their time and slightly increase their penalties, but in a time of 04:06,25 they secured first place, and second place for Japan followed by Russia.
In the Men’s Junior category the penalties were similar but the best run of the day went to Russia with the fastest time of 02:53,71 and only 5 seconds in penalties. They were nearly 9 seconds faster than their nearest rival! Second place went to Argentina (host of the 2018 World Rafting Champs) and third to New Zealand team.
Tomorrow on the program is the Open and Masters Slalom, starting at 10 am. Youth and Junior will have the chance to enjoy this beautiful area we are in and to see some of the local culture.
The medal standings at this stage are:
- Japan are sitting with 12 in total – 3 Gold, 6 Silver and 3 Bronze.
- New Zealand have 11 in total – 4 Gold, 5 Silver and 2 Bronze
- Russia have gone ahead of Czech with 10 – 4 Gold and 6 Bronze
- Czech have 9 in total – 2 Gold, 4 Silver, 3 Bronze
- Great Britain has 7 – 1 Gold, 1 Silver and 5 Bronze
- Turkey has 3 Gold and Argentina has 3 Silver
- Brazil has 2 Gold
- Indonesia, Germany and Netherlands all have 1 – INA has 1 Gold, NED has 1 Silver and Germany 1 Bronze
There will be Live Streaming again tomorrow.