Hungary and Denmark dominate juniors on opening day of marathon worlds

Hungary made the best possible start to the 2019 ICF canoe marathon world championships in Shaoxing, China, on Thursday, winning the gold and silver medals in both the men’s and women’s junior races, while Denmark also picked up a gold and silver medal.

Youth Olympic Games gold medalist Eszter Rendessy made light of her first world championship outing, racing away from two-time junior world champion, Zsoka Csikos, to secure a one-two finish for Hungary in the women’s junior K1.

It was a similar story in the men’s junior C1, with Hungarians Benedek Horvath and Kristof Kollar racing together for most of the race. A mistake from Kollar, which saw him topple into the water, gifted the race to Horvath, with Kollar recovering for the silver.

And Denmark’s Nikolai Thomsen and Philip Knudsen completed the single-country domination, taking first and second in an hard-fought men’s junior K1 final.

Rendessy, better known as a canoe sprint paddler, made the key break heading into the final portage, after racing alongside Csikos for most of the race.

“That was always my plan,” Rendessy said.

“It was so hard, and different from the sprint competition, because I had to think about when I should go faster and when I should go slower.

“It was hard, but Zsoka helped me.”

Csikos said she was happy with the silver.

“It was good, I wasn’t nervous at all,” she said.

Spain’s Celia Toledo picked up the bronze.

Hungary Eszter Rendessy marathon Shaoxing 2019

Horvath and Kollar quickly slipped away from the rest of the field in the men’s C1 juniors, and spent most of the 18.30 kilometre race swapping the lead. But Kollar’s chances of gold evaporated when he fell into the water on the final lap.

“It was a great race, I’m very happy,” Horvath said.

“It was great we could help each other during the race,” Kollar said.

“I was feeling relaxed going into the final lap, but when I fell into the water, I got very tired trying to get back into the boat.

“I’m a bit sad about it, but I’m second at a world championships, so that’s okay.”

Ji Bowen won China’s first ever canoe marathon world championship medal when he finished third behind the two Hungarians in the men’s junior C1.

The men’s junior K1 was a race in four after the first lap, with Thomsen making the decisive break on the final portage. Only teammate Knudsen was able to go with the leader, but Thomsen proved too strong, powering to the finish line with a six-second advantage.

He said racing alongside his teammate gave the Danes a great head start.

“It’s a dream come true, it’s just perfect,” Thomsen said.

“We decided we were going to give it our all together, we knew we were strong, so it gave us a definite advantage.

“It’s really narrow in places, so a lot of one-one-one racing, so it was a very hard race.”

Hungary’s Vince Petro took the bronze.

RESULTS

WOMEN’S JUNIOR K1

  1. RENDESSY Eszter  (HUN) 1:28:05.67
  2. CSIKOS Zsoka         (HUN) 1:28:26.80
  3. TOLEDO Celia         (ESP)   1:31:14.79

MEN’S JUNIOR C1

  1. HORVATH Benedek  (HUN) 1:31:49.56
  2. KOLLAR Kristof          (HUN) 1:32:29.00
  3. BOWEN Ji                   (CHN) 1:35:03.98

MEN’S JUNIOR K1

  1. THOMSEN Nikolai  (DEN)  01:39:01.45
  2. KNUDSEN Philip      (DEN) 01:39:07.04
  3. PETRO Vince           (HUN) 01:39:16.88

Denmark Thomsen Knudsen marathon Shaoxing 2019

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