The world’s best sprint paddlers will take to the water in Hungary next week with the last remaining Paris Olympic and Paralympic quotas up for grabs.

Szeged, considered by many to be the spiritual home of sprint paddling, will host the European Championships, the ICF Paracanoe World Championships and the ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup over a frenetic week of top-level action.

Olympic quotas will be decided at the European Championships, with desperate athletes hoping to secure the last remaining Paris tickets in the men’s K1 and C1 1000 and K2 and C2 500, while the women will be trying to snare quotas in the K1 and K2 500, and the C1 200 and C2 500.

Only one boat from each event will qualify, and no athlete or country which already has a quota in the event will be eligible.

The Paracanoe World Championships will see up to four Paris tickets earned in each of the five male and five female Paralympics medal events. Only athletes who have not yet won a quota will be eligible.

All the world’s best paracanoe athletes will be in action, as they take advantage of the final opportunity for a major hit-out before the Paris Paralympics. For the first time since paracanoe was added to the Paralympics program in Rio there will be gender parity at the Games.

Among the big names in action will be Paralympic gold medalists Curtis McGrath of Australia, Charlotte Henshaw, Emma Wiggs and Laura Sugar of Great Britain, Hungary’s Peter Kiss, and Brazil’s Fernando Rufino de Paulo.

There will be no Olympic quotas up for grabs at the ICF World Cup, but Szeged will provide the perfect opportunity for Paris-bound athletes to enjoy high-level competition. Some athletes will take the opportunity to press their case for team boat selection.

Among the biggest names hitting the water in Szeged will be three of the most successful paddlers in the Olympic history of the sport – New Zealand’s Lisa Carrington, Hungary’s Danuta Kozak, and Germany’s Sebastian Brendel.

Add a collection of Tokyo Olympic gold medalists, including USA’s Nevin Harrison and Hungary’s Balint Kopasz, and the scene is set for exciting pre-Olympic racing.

Full coverage of Wednesday’s European Olympic qualifiers can be viewed on the ICF’s Premium YouTube channel. There will be coverage all week from the Olympic qualifiers, the 2024 ICF Paracanoe World Championships and Paralympic qualifiers, and the ICF Sprint World Cup.

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You can find all the event details, including preliminary schedules and start lists, on our official event webpages.

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