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In this third edition of the European Games, many disciplines will be returning to the sports programme, and among these, this year, we have canoeing.

We’ve had the pleasure of watching athletes compete in the event of Canoe Sprint in the previous editions of the Games, but Kraków-Małopolska 2023 will mark a turning point in the history of European Canoeing by bringing into this festival of sports two new events. This edition of the Games will be the first in history to celebrate the disciplines of Canoe Slalom and Kayak Cross.

Canoe Slalom competitions of the European Games will be on the programme between 29 June and 2 July. Over these four days we expect around 250 athletes from 30 different European countries to be on the startline of the canoe slalom and kayak cross competitions.

These athletes – representing the elite and best paddlers in the continent, will fight for 10 sets of medals across the events. Of these, 4 will be awarded in individual canoe slalom events, 4 in canoe slalom team events and 2 sets in kayak cross.

The renowned Kolna Sport Center’s canoe slalom course, whose rapids many of the participating athletes are well acquainted with, will be the home to the canoe slalom and kayak cross competitions during the Games. The Kolna venue has previously hosted senior ECA canoe Slalom European Championships on two occasions – in 2008 and 2013. In addition, many World Cup races and Junior and U23 European and World Championships have been organised here.

The Kraków-Małopolska 2023 European Games will mark a possibly life-changing moment for many Canoe Slalom paddlers. The Game will serve as the European Continental Qualifying competition to win a chance of living every athlete’s dream of competing in the Paris 2024 Summer Olympic Games. While majority of the quotas to participate in Paris 2024 will be distributed at the Senior World Championships in London later this year, four quotas (one per event) will be up for grabs for European paddlers already in Krakow.

– It is a great honour for canoe slalom to be included in the programme of the European Games in Krakow – Malopolska. The organisers of canoe slalom competitions in Kolna are experienced and we believe we will see an excellent competition and tough fights for the European Games medals. We hope this multisport event – European Games – will bring our exciting sport even closer to the people and that the spectators will enjoy both – canoe slalom and kayak cross – competitions – said Andrej Jelenc, ECA technical delegate for canoe slalom.

There will be a lot of reasons for athletes to be in top form and highly motivated in Poland this summer.

– This year’s European Games will be very important for canoe slalom paddlers since they will have a chance to fight for an Olympic quota, which will bring even more excitement to the competition – said Jelenc and added: – It will be a debut for Canoe Slalom at the European Games in Krakow, but we hope to become an integral part of the European Games in the future editions as well”.

Find further info here: https://www.canoe-europe.org/