For the second stage of the ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup, the action moves to the village of Racice in the Czech Republic, May 27-29. Here, Olympic medal contenders with podium finishes last week in Duisburg will continue building momentum through the world cup cycle, while the rest of the field look to make adjustments and catch up.

Canoeist, Sebastian Brendel, of Germany finished with the gold in the men’s C-1 1000 meter at the first stage of the 2016 world cup. Brendel is no stranger to the top of the podium. He is the 2015 world champion in the event, not to mention the 2012 Olympic gold medalist. With plenty of hardware won between the two, he is a heavy favorite in Rio. While the first world cup proved to be business as usual for the Olympic champion, one of his top challengers, Brazilian Isaquias Queiroz Dos Santos, will have to work out a few kinks before racing the Summer Games on his home turf. Dos Santos took an unfortunate swim during the 1000 meter final, something you might expect to see more so in a steep creek race than a sprint final. According to ICF news site this is the second time Dos Santos has entered the water during a final with Brendel. The other being at the 2014 Moscow World Championship, when he was on the verge of winning. It seems Dos Santos, who won bronze at the 2015 world championship in the men’s C-1 200 meter, is not afraid to put it all on the line for the victory, and will be exciting to watch in front of his home crowd later this summer.

On the American side, men’s kayaker Tim Hornsby will be looking to rebound in Racice. Hornsby, a 2012 Olympian, took a tough loss during the final of the men’s K-1 200 meter at the Pan-American Championship last week, failing to qualify for his second Olympic Games. While a trip to Rio is still not out of the question, it is certainly out of Hornsby’s hands. He will now have to see if he receives a re-allocated quota place from the ICF. What Hornsby does have control over is how he performs at the race ahead of him in Racice, and keeping focused for the Olympics should the ICF give the nod.

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