BEIJING, July 29 (Xinhua) -- The Beijing Olympic canoe/kayak slalom water course is the world's best and also the hardest, said Russian and British paddlers on Tuesday.
"The slalom course is the world's finest, but it is also very challenging," said Russian kayaker Perova Aleksandra. "This, however, can make us enjoy more of the event, and the audience can also watch more exciting competitions."
Aleksandra, 7th finisher at the Canoe/Kayak Slalom Racing World Championships 2006, is the first woman paddler to represent Russia at the Olympics.
The Russian noted that there was no slalom course in her country and she trained in Czech, home to the world's top paddlers, to prepare for the Beijing Games.
Aleksandra said she would strive for a good result at the Games, but added that her rivals from Germany, Czech and China were obstacles to her target.
"Chinese paddlers were at the same level with us four years ago," she said. "We made progress over the past four years, but China made a stunning leap forward and left us far behind."
Chinese paddlers in canoe double (C2) and kayak single (K1) had made very impressive progress, and the home water would help to make them the Olympic medal hopefuls, Aleksandra added.
"The water course is very good, but it is tricky and tough," British canoist David Florence said after a one-hour afternoon training session at the Shunyi Olympic Rowing and Canoeing Park, venue for the Olympic rowing, canoeing, and marathon swimming events.
Florence arrived at Beijing on Saturday and started training on Sunday. "I'll get used to the course in the two-week training in the run-up to the Games," he said.
There are four disciplines in the canoe/kayak slalom event, men's C1, C2, K1, and women's K1.
Special report: 2008 Olympic Games