2nd Canoe Sprint world Cup, Racice, Czech Republic gets underway
The heats and semi finals for 1000m and 500m were completed today in Racice Czech Republic for the 2nd Canoe Sprint World Cup 2011.
World Cup II underway in sunny Racice
Under sunny conditions and calm waters the Canoe Sprint World Cup in Racice, Czech Republic started today. This lovely course in the north of the Czech Republic is appreciated by all the athletes as a world class venue. A total of 45 countries and over 550 athletes will compete this weekend.
Racice sees the Canadians, Italians, Danish, USA and Russian teams join the World Cup circuit adding extra competition to the event. Its going to be a full weekend of fierce Canoe Sprint competition.
In the K1 Women 500m, Carrie Johnson (USA) and Sofia Paldanius (SWE) qualified to the final with strong performances. The evergreen, Josefa Idem (ITA) just missed out on qualification. Australian Alana Nicholls made a good showing and will be in the mix in the final. Henriette Engel Hansen (DEN) qualified fastest of all and after a disappointing year will be looking to start this year with a bang with a medal in the world cup.
1000m shows strong line up
Ken Wallace (AUS) returned home this week with a chest infection and Max Hoff (GER) decided not to participate after his time away from the water recently. However, the quality of the K1 Men 1000m remains very high in Racice. The man to beat is Aleh Yurenia (BLR) who put in a time of 3.28.18 to get to the final. But with the likes of Adam Van Koverden (CAN), Anders Gustafsson (SWE), Rene Poulsen (DEN), the final is going to be a close call. Watch out for Eirik Larsen (NOR) who had a good race two weeks ago in Poznan.
Another great final is in store for Canoeing fans in the C1 Men 1000m. Italian Sergiu Craciun qualified fastest however, Mark Oldershw (CAN) showed impressive form and the World Champion and winner in Poznan two weeks ago Vadim Menkov (UZB) are all in the running for medals tomorrow.
Bizarrely, Mathieu Goubel (FRA) during the race had a freak accident snapping his paddle just before the finish line and capsizing as he could not control his boat anymore. He was unceremoniously fished out of the water by the rescue boat.
Competition to heat up on Saturday
In the K2 Men 1000m, David Smith and Murray Stewart (AUS) start as favourite in the final as they showed some impressive racing credentials in qualifying. Russian duo’s dominated in the form of Yurchenko and Pogreban as well as Medvedev and Ryakhov. Local due Pavel Davidek and Lukas Trefil were very happy with their qualification to the final. Davidek told the ICF ‘we are very happy as to finish second in the semi final was extremely unexpected for us’.
C2 Men 1000m will be an interesting final with local Czech team of Jaroslav Radon and Filip Dvorak qualifying and challenging Victor Melantyev and Nioklay Lipkin (RUS) for medals. The Canadians will have a strong presence in the final qualifying two boats as well as Brazil who continue their development at world level.
K4 Women 500m finished with a great finale with the Belarus team (Pamialova, Papok, Khudzenka, Paltaran) continuing from their Poznan win, two weeks ago, easily qualifying and probably in the mix for a medal here in Racice. Also Mexico (Alanis, Montemayor, Salinas, Mar) showed great promise to get to the final. Also qualifying are the British, Portugese and Australian quartets which should set up a great final on Saturday.
C2 Men's 500m dominated by the East
The afternoon sees the 500m events being contested. These events are always popular with athletes and spectators alike.
In the infamous K1 Men 500m, the surprise of the day was Aleh Yurenia (BLR) not making the Final, finishing a lowly sixth in his semi final. Anders Gustafsson (SWE) continued his good form qualifying for the final. Barry Watkins (IRE) and Rene Poulson (DEN) will also contest a good final on Sunday.
In the C1 Men 500m Evygeniy Safronov (KAZ) qualified the fastest ahead of Paolo Buccione (ITA). Helder Silva (POR) also put in a great performance to reach the final.
Aliaksandr Liapioshka and Taras Volko (BLR) look firm favourites in the K2 Men’s 500m. The duo are amount a number of Belarus paddlers that are making their mark this year on the Canoe Sprint circuit. They may have stiff competition from Russia and Hungary.
C2 Men 500m will be dominated by the Eastern European countries, Russia qualified the two fastest boats (Melantyev and Lipkin being the fastest). Vadim Menkov and Merey Medetov (UZB) will be in close contention as well. France due Goubel and Beugnet should also not be discounted to reach the podium.
Watch LIVE coverage of races on Eurosport!
The K4 Men 1000m is one of the most impressive events of the weekend. Local team CZE will be contesting the final on live TV and this motivated them to produce a good performance to give them a medal chance. Russia and Portugal are in the mix for medals with the race set to be a great climax to the finals tomorrow morning.
The scene is set for some great battles in the canoeing finals for Saturday.
You can keep up to date with the live results at
Watch the finals live on Eurosport and other TV channels from 10.30 (Central European Time) on Saturday and Sunday.