The german school championships in canoe slalom took place in the city triangle nurnberg-furth-oberasbach on the popular track under the fernabbrucke. The two canoe slalom talents of the bamberger faltboot-club (BFC), sonja neubauer and johann hein, took advantage of the whitsun vacations and traveled early to the event. So they could train intensively once again and get used to the conditions on the rednitz.
The two national junior coaches designed a challenging course with 18 gates. Six of them had to be run against the direction of the flow, a combination of four gates initially caused heated discussions among the coaches: is the course too difficult or is it appropriate for a german championship?? A small correction calmed down the tempers, and so the racers could start.
In high-level competitions, athletes are not allowed to paddle the competition course beforehand. They had to determine their ideal line on the basis of the pre-runs by canoeists not taking part in the competition, video analyses and course discussions.
On the first day of the race, the A-school kayakers started early. In the strongest starting field with more than 50 participants johann hein from the BFC went on the track. He did not always hit the ideal line and touched three goalposts, which earned him six penalty seconds. Thanks to a very good running time he could still hope to reach the semifinals.
In the second run hein wanted to attack again, but didn’t catch a gate right away and had to do an auxiliary loop. The driving time was clearly longer. Relief spread when it was clear that hein would finish as 34th. The semifinals were reached.
In the afternoon it was sonja neubauer’s turn in the school girls A kayak competition. She surprised with a very good running time. In spite of two goal bar clockings and an auxiliary loop it was enough for place 4. In the second run she also wanted to hit the ideal line even better, but – just like almost all of her competitors – she did not succeed. The qualification for the semifinals was easily achieved with the twenty athletes strong field with place 4.
With the team on place 5
The competition for the german team championship was still on the agenda that day. Here sonja neubauer started in the bavarian racing team with elena rober (SV bayreuth) and mia arnu (KK rosenheim). They finished fifth.
In the evening the course for the semifinals and finals was rehung the next day. Many of the goal combinations that the BFC canoeists had practiced on site during the many training sessions could be found again in this line. So both bambergers went to the start highly motivated and well prepared. On the second day of the championship, the "do or die" principle was applied there is only one round, which immediately decides about the qualification for the final.
Sonja neubauer convinced in the semifinal with a very good line and a fast time. With only one goal mistake the qualification for the final with the second place was secure.
Coach christof pfannenmuller had prepared johann hein very well for the course. The young canoeist from bamberg managed a convincing run and moved up from 34th to 16th place. Place before. A remarkable success, especially since johann starts for the first time in this age group. Despite the very good performance it was not enough for the final, where the best ten slalom canoeists made it to.
Sonja neubauer was also intensively prepared for the final by her coach and brother, sven neubauer. She managed an even faster and, for the first time, even flawless ride, which earned her the bronze medal at the german school championships in canoe slalom 2018. She had to admit defeat to paulina pirro (KSV bad kreuznach) and lucie krech (TSV gera).
Success story in furth
Without the intensive training that hans-karl weib, as head coach, holds with his coaching staff up to six times a week, such successes would probably not have been possible. The canoe slalom department of the BFC under the leadership of werner merklein and christof pfannenmuller hopes that in the future young canoeists will take the step to the competitive sport of canoe slalom. The german championships in furth have a special history for the BFC: in 2009, teresa merklein won the title here, sven neubauer won the bronze medal.