Second day of the Canoe sprint competition at the Kraków-Małopolska 2023 European Games featured heats in the shortest sprint disciplines. A number of former and reigning European and world champions took part and all of them delivered spectacular races.
In the men’s canoe single the first race of the day was won by former European champion, Zaza NADIRADZE (GEO). The defending champion from Munich, Henrikas ZUSTAUTAS (LTU) crossed the finish line second, with Hungarian Jonatan HAJDU coming in third.
“I didn’t give my 100% in the race today, because in the afternoon I have the final in C2 500. So this was just a little bit of training for me. Still I am very happy to be going straight to the final and can concentrate on the final in C2 in the afternoon,” said ZUSTAUTAS.
The Spaniard Pablo GRANA won the second heat, in front of Oleksii KOLIADYCH (POL), and Serghei TARNOVSCHI (MDA).
The men’s C1 200 final is set for Friday at 15:04.
In women’s canoe single the two heats were won by the local hero Dorota BOROWSKA (POL), and the European silver medllist Liudmyla LUZAN (UKR). The world silver medallist Maria CORBERA (ESP) came in second.
“This is the first race in C1 for me and I think it was a good start even though I came in second. This afternoon I have the C2 500 final with Antia JACOME and I think that this race was a really good start of the day for the final. I also know that I can do better in C1 final tomorrow as well,” said CORBERA.
The remaining three spots in the final were won by Lisa JAHN (GER), Vanesa TOT (CRO) and Eugenie DORANGE (FRA).
Women’s C1 200 final will take place on Friday at 15:13.
Both men’s and women’s K1 200 metres heats brought a lot of excitement to Kryspinow Waterway. The first heat which saw the first four cross the finish line in less than half a second was won by the former double European champion from Serbia Marko DRAGOSAVLJEVIC who dominated the race after a slower start.
“I am very happy to be in the K1 200 final since this is my favourite discipline. The start wasn’t too good, but I managed to gain the momentum I wanted and to come in first. It was a fast-paced race and I enjoyed it a lot. This result gives me additional motivation for today’s K2 500 metres final with Ervin HOLPERT,” said DRAGOSAVLJEVIC.
The second over the finish line was Messias BAPTISTA (POR), in front of the former world champion Andrea DI LIBERTO (ITA).
In the second heat last year’s silver medallist Roberts AKMENS (LAT) came in front of the former European and world champion Petter MENNING (SWE). The last direct spot in the final from the heats was won by Slovenian Anze URANKAR, who is the reigning world and European wildwater sprint canoeing champion, and this is his first ever Canoe Sprint European Championships.
K1 200 men’s final will take place on Friday at 15:31.
The morning session of the day was closed by K1 200 women’s heats. The double reigning European champion and the Tokyo 2020 silver medallist Emma JORGENSEN secured the spot in the final to defend the titles won in Munich 2022 and Poznan 2021, as well as the European Games champion title from Minsk 2019.
“I haven’t done any 200 metres this season yet, so it was nice to be back. I definitely had something to work with, and I will have to work a little on the start and the first 75 metres but I came along and it is really nice to have this short sprint and it was a good race,” said JORGENSEN.
Ana LUCZ (HUN) came in second only 0.092 seconds behind, with Francisca LAIA (POR) securing the remaining place in the final from the heat.
The second heat was won by Dominika PUTTO (POL) in front of the Slovenian veteran, and one of the oldest competitors at this year’s event Spela PONOMARENKO JANIC, with Julia LAGERSTAM (SWE) completing the direct placement in the final.
The women’s K1 200 metres final is scheduled for Friday at 15:22.
The highlight of the afternoon session will be the four finals: C2 500 in both gender categories, as well as men’s K2 and women’s K4 500 metres. Apart from the medal events, fans at Kryspinow Waterway will be able to enjoy the semifinals in C1 and K1 200 metres, as well as the heats in the mixed events.
The schedule and all results for the second day of canoe sprint competition can be found here.
European Games Krakow-Malopolska 2023 is the Europe’s biggest multidisciplinary sporting event in 2023. More than 7 thousand athletes are competing in 26 sports and 29 disciplines for 253 gold medals. More than that, European Games 2023 are part of the qualification process for the Olympic Games in Paris 2024 in 19 sports. This great celebration of sports started on 21st of June. The closing ceremony will take place on July 2nd.