The third day of Canoe Sprint competition at the Kraków-Małopolska 2023 European Games started with heats in three disciplines over 500 metres. After a thirty-minute delay because of the heavy rainstorm that threatened to cancel Friday’s morning session, it was business as usual even though most of the competitors missed the chance to warm up.
The day started with the heats in women’s K1 500 metres which allowed only the winners of the heats to qualify directly to the final. The Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist, Emma JORGENSEN (DEN) won the race and secured her third final at Kryspinow Waterway.
“The third day of the competition is always a bit harder, both mentally and physically. This race was a bit tougher than I would have liked it to be, but I am happy that I qualified directly to the final. I have three more races today, so being able to avoid the semifinal in K1 500 is very good (laughs),” said JORGENSEN.
Later in the day JORGENSEN will be competing in the K2 500 as well as the K1 200 final, in which she will try to win the third consecutive European champion title.
The remaining two spots in the medal race were secured by Katarzyina KOLODZIEJCZYK (POL), and Alida GAZSO (HUN) who will also be paddling in the K2 500 final in the afternoon. The remaining six places in the final will be decided in two semifinal races in the afternoon session. Women’s K1 500 final will take place on the last day of competition at 12:30.
In the men’s K1 500 metres heats the same progression rules applied. Only the winners secured a direct placement in the medal race.
First to qualify for the final was Moritz FLORSTDET (GER) who won Heat 1.
“I am very happy that I qualified directly to the final. This was a good race, not my best because the start was a bit slow but I will have to check the GPS tracking and see what I can improve. The win is always a good base to have for the next races”, said FLORSTDET.
Last year’s silver medallist, Adam VARGA (HUN) won the second race, with the Serbian Marko DRAGOSAVLJEVIC completing the direct placements in the final. DRAGOSAVLJEVIC (SRB) qualified for his third final at Kryspinow Waterway, after winning the bronze in K2 500, and qualifying for the K1 200 final.
The men’s K1 500 metres final will take place on Saturday at 12:39.
The morning session of the third day of competition in Canoe Sprint was completed by heats in men’s C1 500 metres. In the canoe singles the progression rules allowed the first three to secure a place in the final. For the eight-time European champion, Martin FUKSA (CZE) it was business as usual, since he won his race, in front of Wiktor GLAZUNOW (POL) and Angel KODINOV (BUL).
“This morning was a bit harder for me because I couldn’t have my usual warm up, but in the end it all worked like planned. This is the second event at this competition for me, and a direct place in the final is exactly what I wanted so I can have some time to rest and collect some power for the final tomorrow. Hopefully I will be able to race fast like I do every time”, said FUKSA.
The remaining three places in the C1 500 final were won by bronze medallist from 2022 as well as the world championships runner up, Catalin CHIRILA (ROU), the silver medallist from both Munich 2022 and Poznan 2021 Serghei TARNOVSCHI (MDA) and Adrian SIEIRO (ESP).
The men’s C1 500 final will take place on Saturday at 12:57.
The afternoon programme will feature six medal events: women’s K2 500, men’s K4 500, as well as the singles finals over 200 metres. After the medal awarding ceremonies, the remaining boats in the Saturday’s finals will be decided in eight semifinals.
The schedule for the penultimate day of Canoe Sprint competition can be accessed 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.