Welcome to the 2005 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships
29th September 2005 - 3rd October 2005
From 29th September to 3rd October, 250 athletes from almost 60 competing nations battled the unpredictable rhythm of the whitewater at the Penrith Whitewater Stadium, vying for the most coveted title World Champion. As we say goodbye and good luck to those who took part in the event, we extend our gratitude to all of those people who made the 2005 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships successful on so many levels.
Australia now has its very own World Champion - Robin Bell, our C1 Mens athlete who stepped proudly onto the gold medal position on the podium in front of an ecstatic home crowd. The entire communitys support for our talented Australian contingency made this a truly special occasion.
With the television broadcast of the World Championships reaching over 60 nations worldwide, an enormous audience was able to experience the magic of the sport of Canoe Slalom at a world championships level. SBS Television broadcasted three days of competition live to an Australian audience, and internationally, Eurosport, Sky New Zealand, CBC Canada, WCSN USA and the BBC UK also covered the event.
The involvement and support from many areas of the community was inspiring. Over 20 local schools participated in the One School-One Nation program, enthusiastically supporting international teams arriving for the World Championships. Particularly exciting were the 300 children who welcomed the world to Penrith through their original performances at the Opening Ceremony.
The 2005 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships would not have been possible without the tireless commitment and energy by all involved, including the 200 enthusiastic and supportive volunteers.
Our sincere thanks extends to each and every person who gave a lot of spirit to this world-class event.
A special mention goes to the 2005 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships major partner: the NSW State Government, along with Penrith City Council and Penrith Whitewater Stadium, and JK Williams, Log Cabin, Panthers, Mulgoa Quarries, CABE, Stockland, Advanced Airbrush, Penrith Lakes Development Corporation, Readymix and ODonoghues.
ICF World Ranking
Click on the links below                      Slalom Nations Cup 2005 Results
K1 Men              World Ranking 2005                    World Cup Series 2005
K1 Women         World Ranking 2005                    World Cup Series 2005
C2 Men               World Ranking 2005                    World Cup Series 2005
C1 Men              World Ranking 2005                    World Cup Series 2005
Competition Review - ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships 2005
Drama and action characterised World Championships - Penrith Whitewater Stadium
If the World Championships started inauspiciously or rather, didn't start then it ended in blazing sunshine with new champions and the first ever gold medal for the host nation in canoe slalom. After the first official day of competition was blown away by near gale force winds, the rest of the competition was held in almost perfect conditions.
The first real day of competition was a hectic one, with all four classes compacted into the day's schedule to determine places in the semi-finals. The C1 men were the first on the water and they were also the first competitors to have to face the difficult middle section of the course, with many struggling through the staggered gates.
The most highly rated C1 men all performed well in the first run with German Jan Benzien topping the leaderboard after having a clean run. Britain's Stuart McIntosh, although faster, hit a gate and finished second. Australia's Robin Bell and Kynan Maley both easily qualified for the semi-finals finishing ninth and 24th respectively. There were few upsets at this stage of the competition, with 40 paddlers qualifying for all of the single boat events.
But more drama was to come on the weekend. After semi-finals in the C1 men and K1 women, competitors had to back up and compete in finals, run on Saturday afternoon. In the C1 Australia was given its first ever World Championship gold medal by the powerful West Australian Robin Bell. Bell took the win after overnight leader Stuart McIntosh from Great Britain crashed out in the semi-finals, France's Tony Estanguet placed second after holding the lead for the majority of the final and Michal Martikan, the Olympic champion, finished third.
In the other final Elena Kaliska, the current Olympic Champion, claimed K1 gold with a time of 219 sec, followed closely by Germany's Mandy Planert and Peggy Dickens from France finished with the bronze. Event favourite and ICF World number one Stephanka Higertova was fast all day but had a dissapionting 6 penalty touches in her final run which left dissapointed in fourth position. Katrina Lawrence from Australia was unlucky to just miss the final, she finished in 11th.
Sunday was another big day for the men on the whitewater with semi-finals and finals in the C2 and K1 men. In the C2 Germany showed the world that it has some of the deepest stocks of C2 paddlers taking both the gold and bronze medals in the finals. Christian Bahmann and Michael Senft won by an impressive margin of 4.62 seconds and 2003 World Champions Marcus Becker and Stefan Henze started eighth in the final before a perfect final run left the third on the podium. The silver was handed to Milan Kuban and Marian Olejnikfrom Slovakia. Sunday also saw the shock exit in the semi-finals of reigning C2 Olympic Champions Pavol and Peter Hochshorner from Slovakia, they were joined on the sidelines by the Australian representatives Lachlan Milne and Mark Bellofiore.
In the day's other final Germany's Fabian Doerfler was inspired by his countrymen to take away the gold medal in the K1. Fabien Lefevre of France took the silver and not far behind him was Peter Cibak of Slovakia. There were also some shock results in K1 with Slovakia's world number one Peter Kauzer failing in the semi-finals and David Ford a perennial favourite missing a gate in the final and finishing tenth. Australia's Anthony Brown, Robert Parker and John Wilkie were eliminated in the semi-finals.
On Monday in the Teams Event, France claimed two golds and the strangest bronze they may ever win when a C2 crew lost a paddle and missed 13 gates, accumulating 656 penalties but still finishing third because there were only three teams in the event. Germany finished the overall medal winners with 3 gold, 2 silver and a bronze, ahead of France on 2-2-2.
For Australia it was their most successful ever, and the victory by Bell will be long toasted by the federation.
By Joel Fitzpatrick and Steve Dettre
Australian Canoeing Media Services
Competition Headline Highlights
News article highlights published during the event:
Competition News Articles
For all the event updates, news pieces and reports posted during the 2005 ICF Slalom Worlds Championships  - click through to view a summary of all news articles by competition day:
Full Event News Archive - World Championship News
Athletes in Action at the 2005 ICF Slalom Worlds Championships  - click on the links below: