On a cold and rainy day, the Canoe Sprint competition at the Kraków-Małopolska 2023 European Games came to an end. Six sets of medals have been awarded: four in singles’ competition and two in mixed events. The final day of competition was all about winning streaks.
The hero of the day, once again at this year’s Games was Emma JORGENSEN (DEN) who won two medals. The Danish star opened the competition on the final day by winning the K1 500 to regain the European champion title after winning bronze last year.
“So many feelings in my body right now and I do not know where to start. I am very happy because I was very tired before the final and I even had to change my warm up routine. Before the race itself I had a good feeling and thought ‘OK, this is not too bad’ even though I still felt pain in my arms. The start went well, around 200 I felt that the lactate came too early and I had to adjust my grip. All the other girls were very strong but I managed to keep up and win. This is just a good step towards the Olympic qualification so I think I am going in the right direction,” said JORGENSEN after her K1 500 gold.
The silver was won by Alida GAZSO (HUN) in front of Milica NOVAKOVIC from Serbia, both of whom have already won medals at Kryspinow Waterway. GASZO bronze in K2 500, and NOVAKOVIC silver in K1 200.
Later on in the programme JORGENSEN won her fourth medal of this year’s European Championships, which makes her the most successful competitor of the event. JORGENSEN won silver in the mixed K2 200 metres event with Magnus SIBBERSEN.
“The K2 was super-fast and even though I am tired I enjoyed the race. I did not realize I have won the most medals this year, I am just happy that I did well, and what this silver makes even more valuable is that I have won it together with my boyfriend,” said JORGENSEN.
The European champion’s title was won by the Portuguese duo Teresa PORTELA and Kevin SANTOS, with the German crew (Lena ROEHLINGS, Jacob SCHOPF) coming in third.
In the men’s K1 500 metres we saw two of the same names from the last year’s championships on the podium. This time around the Hungarian Adam VARGA won the gold medal, while the Portuguese Fernando PIMENTA finished second, which was a step up from Munich 2022 for both of them. The bronze medal spot on the podium was won by the Serbian Marko DRAGOSAVLJEVIC. Already having won bronze in K2 500 makes him one of only five male paddlers to win multiple medals this year’s Games. The other male paddlers who won two medals are the Ukrainians KUKHARYK and TRUNOV (K2 500 and K4 500), Spaniard Pablo GRANA (C1 200, C2X 200) and Aleksander KITEWSKI (POL) in C2 500 and C2X 200.
For Martin FUKSA (CZE), the C1 500 final was business as usual. The Czech legend dominated the second part of the race winning his ninth consecutive gold medal at the European championships in his usual fashion: with almost a second in front of the rest of the contenders.
“This race was exactly how I wanted it to go: to take it easy for the first 250 metres and after that to go for a strong finish and be the first one to cross the finish line. I am overwhelmed now, because I just realised that I have won the 500 metres race for the ninth time at the European championships, and this is the first time this discipline was present at the European Games so it makes it even more incredible,” said FUKSA.
The Romanian Catalin CHIRILA won silver, while the last year’s runner-up, Serghei TARNOVSCHI from Moldova celebrated his 26th birthday by winning the continental bronze.
In the women’s C1 500 metres final the reigning world champion Liudmyla LUZAN took the gold medal, in front of the defending champion, Maria CORBERA from Spain. Both LUZAN and CORBERA won three medals at Kryspinow Waterway. The third to cross over the finish line was Agnes KISS from Hungary.
This year’s Canoe Sprint competition at the Kraków-Małopolska 2023 European Games that effectively being the European Championships was closed with the C2 200 mixed event. The Spanish duo Antia JACOME and Pablo GRANA won the gold medal. The local fans had the best possible closing race, since the host nation’s crew Aleksander KITEWSKI and Sylwia SZCZERBINSKA finished the competition with the silver. The third step on the podium was won by Nico PICKERT and Annika LOSKE from Germany.
The most successful nation at this year’s event was Ukraine with five medals: three gold and two silver medals. Poland also won five medals: three gold and a silver and a bronze. Spain won the most medals, but is in the third place with two golds, three silvers and two bronze medals.
All results from Canoe Sprint competition at the Kraków-Małopolska 2023 European Games 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.