Brandenburg, Germany will be the stage for a new mixed relay race when it hosts the International Canoe Federation Canoe Marathon World Cup.

The race will feature as a demonstration race when the competition begins in Brandenburg an der Havel on June 1.

The order will be K1 women junior, K1 women seniors, K1 men juniors and K1 men seniors with teams doing four laps of a length of 1,200 metres.

Each paddler will do a lap and a portage before handing over to their teammate.

The relay is being tested in Brandenburg with a view to it potentially being introduced at a future ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships.

Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Hungary and India have selected teams to compete in the relay.

A total of 250 athletes from 21 nations are poised to compete at the ICF Canoe Marathon World Cup from June 1 and 2.

Among those includes multiple world champion Vanda Kiszli of Hungary who will be eyeing success in the women’s K1 short distance and long distance.

Kiszli will face competition from fellow Hungarian paddler Panna Csepe.

The Ukrainian team is led by seven-time world gold medallist Liumyla Babak.

Ukraine Liudmyla Babak C1 marathon Ponte de Lima 2022

Babak will be favourite to capture the women’s C1 crowns in short distance and long distance.

Olena Tsyhankova, who finished one place behind Babak in both events at the 2023 ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships, will hope to beat her Ukrainian teammate.

Jose Ramalho of Portugal and Poland’s Mateusz Zuchora are the leading names fighting for the respective men’s K1 and men’s C1 titles.

Qualification will be on the line for the ICF Super Cup where Canoe Marathon will feature alongside Canoe Sprint, Canoe Slalom and Canoe Polo from October 11 to 13 in Hangzhou, China.

The top two athletes in the women’s K1, men’s K1, women’s C1 and men’s C1 long-distance races will be invited to compete in the Super Cup.

They will join those that secure top eight places in the classes at last year’s ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships in Vejen, Denmark.

Ruud Heijselaar, Chair of the ICF Canoe Marathon Committee, said: “It is fantastic to have over 300 entries and representation from more than 20 countries for this World Cup in Brandenburg.

“The course looks great and I’m sure the athletes here will enjoy competing in Brandenburg.

“The introduction of the relay race as a test event here is exciting as we look to see how the team negotiate the changeover at the portage.

“I think mixing the juniors and senior will add to the atmosphere so I am really looking forward to seeing this race.”

Full coverage of the ICF Canoe Marathon World Cup in Brandenburg can be viewed on the ICF’s Premium YouTube channel

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