Kayaker Osterman finishes second in Račice

Racice – Slovenian kayaker Anja Osterman finished second in the flatwater 500-metre sprint event at the first race of the World Cup season in Račice, Czech Republic, on Saturday. The 29-year-old was only 1.82 seconds behind the winner, Olympic champion Lisa Carrington from New Zealand.

Portugal’s Teresa Portela came in third place.

Osterman, who started training with the Slovakian team earlier this year and joined the Slovenian team in the Czech Republic after training in Slovakia, first qualified for the semi-finals with a second place in the qualifying group, where she set the best time in her group, but otherwise had the second fastest time of all the semi-finalists.

This is her first individual medal at top-level races. Her previous best result in singles competition was fourth place at the 2018 World Cup event in Duisburg, Germany.

In the meantime, she competed in doubles competition with Špela Ponomarenko Janić, with whom she won the European title and silver medal at the World Championship in the 200m event. After last year’s disappointing performance at the Tokyo Olympics, where they capsized just before the finish line, they decided to go their separate ways.

“I knew I could do it again today given that I did really well in the semi-final yesterday. The tactic was to attack as the wind was quite strong,” Osterman said after the race, adding that this was her first silver medal in singles competition. “It’s like gold for me.”

Osterman, who hails from the coastal city of Koper, will also participate in the 200-metre event in Račice tomorrow after clocking the best time in her semi-final group.