Hungary Dominate Opening Day at Canoe Marathon World Champs

Canoe Marathon / Canoe Marathon Team / Featured / Sep 12, 2015

Australian Team results from the ICF World Canoe Marathon Championships held in Gyor, Hungary on 11 September 2015.

Junior Women K1 18.3km
9th Isabel Neilson 1:31:10.999
20th Stephanie Langley 1:40:17.526

Under 23 Women K1 22.2km
13th Penelope Young 1:52:36.975

Under 23 Men K1 26.1km
23rd Tim Stenlake 2:00:12.877
28th Casey Haynes 2:06:09.535

The Hungarians are dominating on their home turf claiming 4 world championships of the 7 events decided and a total of 13 podium places.

In a marked contrast to the venue’s previous hosting of this event in 2007, when floods caused numerous challenges, today the river was low.  But Hungary maximised its home advantage by winning four gold, five silver and four bronze medals.

“It’s an incredible experience for me competing here with my home crowd,” said C1M U23 winner, Levente Gellert Balla. “I won the junior worlds title in Oklahoma but this is my best race ever.  It was a very hard race and I had to push hard in the first part of the marathon. I don’t know how I finished because I’m really tired now.”

Balla’s win came on the heels of a narrow defeat of his countryman Kristian Mathe in the K1M U23 final.  Coming into the last portage, neck-and-neck with Spain’s Alejandro Sanchez Cobos and with a big gap over the rest of the field, the Hungarian made mistakes on the exit and entry.

Cobos focussed hard to win the race by almost half a minute over Matte, with Hungary’s Laszlo Solti taking bronze.

“After winning the European Championship title this year I wanted to win here too so I’m very happy,” said Cobos.  “At the end I didn’t know what was happening behind me; I just concentrated and paddled hard to the finish line.”

In the women’s event Hungary’s Vanda Kiszli retained her title from a year ago in the K1W U23 event.  The 21-year-old, who also won this year’s European Championships, broke away on the portage section after two laps, and held off the chasing pack for the next three. Italy’s Susanna Cicali finished 39-seconds behind whilst Jenna Ward of South Africa took the bronze.

“I won this race in the World Championships last year so I’m very happy to win again today,” said Kiszli, who will also compete in tomorrow’s K1W senior event.

“The first two laps were very hard but after the first run I managed to pull away.  It was a very hard race and I’m tired now but tomorrow I’m looking forward to racing again in the in the senior women K1. It’s great to race here in Hungary; it’s a very well organised event.”

Earlier in the day Hungary’s Dora Solyom became the K1W junior winner.  Having shared the lead with her compatriot Reka Dominika Peto (HUN) for most of the race Solyom beat her to the line by just over a second.

“At the World Championships last year I won the K2 but now I train K1 so I’m very happy to win,” said Solyom.

As a club member at the Gyor venue it was a special moment for Zsanett Lakatos who won the C1W senior event with a clear margin of almost five minutes over her team mate Kincso Takacs.

“It was not easy because the water is not good and the weather is quite cold and I’m so tired because the first competition was May and I want to have a holiday,” said Lakatos, who tomorrow flies to Germany for the Hamburg Sprint Cup.

Full results available at canoeicf.com


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