ECA Press Release:  The first medals have been awarded to the top European paddlers at the 2016 ECA European Canoe Sprint Championships in Moscow, Russia. Hungary has been the most successful nation of the first finals day, followed by Russia and Germany.

But it was Serbia who won the first medal of the championships. Hungarian born Serbian athlete Kristina Bedec produced the best time to pick up the gold medal in women’s K1 1000m. Tamara Takacs (HUN) was second and Conny Wassmuth (GER) third. 

“I still cannot believe it. Before the races I said to myself I want to go for the gold medal this time. Last year I had silver at world championships. My strategy was to push it. I wanted to be ahead of everyone from the beginning to the end. I knew I will be more tired than the others at the end and that my finish will be slower, so I hoped I will survive the last metres and I did,” Bedec said. 

The new European champion was not the only Serbian medallist of the second competition day in Moscow. Milica Starovic and Dalma Benedek won the women’s K2 1000m event ahead of Tamara TakacsErika Medveczky (HUN) and Ciuta Flora – Iulia Taran (ROU). And Marko TomicevicMilenko Zoric added a bronze medal in K2M 1000m. 

Max Hoff and Marcus Gross (GER) won the gold medal in this event, ahead of Tibor Hufnagel and Bence Dombvari (HUN) and previously mentioned Serbian duo Tomicevic – Zoric. 

Another gold medal for Germany was won by Sebastian Brendel in men’s 1000m canoe event. He was almost a second faster than Seghei Tarnovschi (MDA) and Martin Fuksa (CZE) finished third.

Brendel was very happy with the European Champion title, “It was a very tough race. I am happy with the result. This is the last competition for me before the Olympic Games. The conditions were tough because the wind was blowing from the right front side, which is not my favourite wind direction. I showed the other competitors that I am always able to win. I hope I will make good performances in the next training days and have a good race in Rio.  It was a very important last test before the Olympics. We had some tough training weeks before the championships and tough training weeks will follow. The medal is good for the mental fitness. It's always good to win.”

Fernando Pimenta won a gold medal for Portugal in men’s K1 1000m with a strong performance. He was more than three seconds faster than everyone else.  

“It's a strange feeling. Today I felt really good. I had good power, I slept very well. I am so happy. It is my first gold medal at Europeans in senior K1 category; it is a first gold for Portugal in K1 1000m. I have gold medal in junior and U23. In senior category I have it too, but in K4. It was a crazy race. I started very well, I lead the entire race and I came to the finish motivated for the Rio, which is a principal focus at the moment.”

Rene Holten Poulsen (DEN) was second and Balint Kopasz (HUN) third in K1M 1000m.

Hungary celebrated European Champion titles in men’s and women’s K4 500m. Gabriella Szabo, Tamara Csipes, Danuta Kozak and Kristina Zur produced the best final run to win ahead of Belarus (Marharyta Makhneva, Volha Kudzhenka, Nadzeya Liapeshka, Maryna Litvinchuk) and Germany (Franziska Weber, Steffi Kriegerstein, Sabrina Hering, Tina Dietze) in women’s K4. 

Bence Nadas, Peter Molnar, Sandor Totka and Tamas Somoracz (HUN) were the fastest in men’s K4 500m. Slovakia (Denys Mysak, Juraj Tarr, Erik Vlcek, Tibor Linka) finished second, while Spain (Francisco Cubelos, Albert Marti, Roi Rodriguez, Diego Cosgaya) and Russia (Artem Kuzakhmetov, Oleg Gusev, Alesksandar Sergeev, Vladislav Blintcov) crossed the finish line with the same time to share the third place. 

Nadzeya Makarchanka and Alena Nazdrova (BLR) are the new European Champions in C2W 500m. Irina Andreeva and Olesia Romasenko (RUS) picked up silver and Virag BallaKincso Takacs (HUN) bronze. 

Russia dominated men’s C2 and C4 1000m events. Alexey Korovashkov and Ilya Pervukhin stopped the clock at 3:37.804 to receive a gold medal. Andrei and Aliaksandr Bahdanovich (BLR) were second and Henrik Vasbanyai and Robert Mike (HUN) third. 

In the last final of the day Kirill Shamshurin, Viktor Melantyev, Rasul Ishmukhamedov and Vladislav Chebotar won the men’s C4 1000m ahead of Ukraine (Denys Kovalenko, Vitaliy Verheles, Denys Kamerylov, Eduard Shemetylo) and Romania (Chirila Iosif, Adi-Aurelian Grozuta, Petre Condrat, Simion Cosmin). 

The Championships will conclude on Sunday with the remaining 500m finals, K4M 1000m final, 200m final and 5000m finals.  

All the results are available here:

Canoe Sprint