First day of competition was the literal definition of slalom!
The RX qualification inaugurated the race weekend with a fast sprint on the slalom course. Best time (91.77) was scored by the home team of Colombia 3 in the men category. William Fernando Sarmiento, Diego Tapias, Diego Mejia, Jorge Gomez and Sebastian Rojas will face Brasil, with the 5th time (94.15), in the knock out. Second time for Colombia 1 by Diego Arenas Duarte, Sebastian Chacon, Walter Gomez, Andres Moreno and Sebastian Rojas Sarmiento (93.42) and third time for Chile 2 by Daniel Reyes, David Reyes, Gabriel Espinos, Benjamin Benavides and Claudino Sanmartin (93.72).
In the same section the gates were moved designing a demanding path: the most difficult passage seemed not to be among the eddies, trying to chase the upstream gates, but rather the 4, 5 and 6 green gates. The entrance in this chicacan from the downstream 3 was fundamental and selected the teams who could do the left-right-left in the following rapid.
First 100 points in the men category, with the gold in the slalom, go to Colombia 1: Diego Arenas Duarte, Sebastian Chacon, Walter Gomez, Andres Moreno and Sebastian Rojas Sarmiento run 2 clean lines with no penalties (128.74).
90 points for Brasil in the second place: Pedro Aversa, Thiago Saldanha Serra, William Ferraz and Thiago Diniz Barne Ganeo (129.72 in the first run, they got a 50 penalty in the second that costed a lot).
Slalom men bronze for Argentina 1of Matias Maximiliano Cordero, Denis Orlando Gelves, Mauro Solano, Juan Martin Martinez: 80 points with 131.02 in the first run. Many teams changed tactics in the second manche but got penalties: the river is faster that it
First two steps of the women podium taken by Chile: gold for Chile 2 with a clean first run for (156.03) Maritza Gajardo, Antonia Bande, Maria Jesus Inzunza, Paloma Molina and Valentina Aliago.
Silver for Chile 1, again with no penalties in the first attempt: 164.03 for Yisseth Moralez, Marina Saez, Magdalena Muaoz, Marlene Epulef and Tabata Araya Soto.
Women bronze to Colombia 1 with the best time with one penalty in the second run: 212.22 for Dayana Bayona, Paola Sanchez, Milyei Nuãez and Milagros de Valle Morales.
William Delgado, Luswing Millan, Yayson Rojas, Milyei Nuãez and Milagros de Valle Morales earned a Colombian gold also in the Mix category: with a touch on the 2 green gate they got a good time of 145.11.
Silver for Chile 2 with best manche in the first clean run: 164.30 for Arantxa Bahamondez, Javiera Alfaro, Teresa Calvo, Amaru Parini Lavanchy and Camilo Soto.
Bronze to Colombia 2: 203.34 due to one missed gate for Mayerli Gamboa, Lorena Barragãin, Edison Olaya, Jhon Narvaez and David Gamboa.
The course was the definition of slalom itself! Many different strategies available depending on the strength and technique required the perfect coordination between the front and the back athletes, that always had to paddle together, especially backwards, to change direction.
Now it’s downriver time!