Poznan – Slovenia’s female pair Špela Ponomarenko Janić and Anja Osterman won Sunday’s 200-metre race at the Canoe Sprint European Championships in Poznan, Poland. While their excellent K2 performances at top competitions are continuing, this is their first gold from European or world championships.
Silver was won by Poland’s Dominika Putto and Katarzyna Kolodziejczyk (+0.385) and bronze by Hungary’s Anna Lucz and Blanka Kiss (+0.418).
The Slovenian pair finished Saturday’s 500-metre race fifth, falling 1.2 seconds short of bronze medal.
“The feeling is amazing. Especially after yesterday’s ‘500’ we managed to concentrate and focus, and paddle a good ‘200’…. Eventually we achieved a sovereign win,” said Ponomarenko Janić.
Osterman said that after an initial lull, them managed to gain power and speed after the first few metres to race through the route. “It was really special to hear the Slovenian anthem, especially since we were on the podium together. We are really happy. Now we will prepare best for the Olympics,” she added.
The pair’s greatest feats before today include two silver medals, at the 2019 World Championships in Hungary’s Szeged in a 200-metre race and at the 2017 European Championships in Bulgaria’s Plovdiv in a 500-metre race.
One of Ponomarenko Janić’s major K1 successes was meanwhile fourth place at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics in the 200-metre sprint race.