ICFmedia
16 Septiembre 2019

Litvinchuk finds Tokyo course very much to her liking

Two-time Olympian Maryna Litvinchuk made the most of the opportunity to try out next year’s 2020 Olympic venue with three solid wins at the Ready Set Tokyo canoe sprint test event on the weekend.

The Belarussian picked up titles in the K1 200, the K1 500 and with world champion teammate, Volha Khudzenka, in the K2 500 as athletes got their first taste of the Sea Forest Waterway venue.

Other winners included three-time Olympic champion Sebastian Brendel of Germany and 2019 K1 1000 Hungarian world champion, Balint Kopasz.

It was 31-year-old Litvinchuk who looked most at home in the windy salt water conditions. She defeated Sweden’s Linnea Stensils and Spain’s Teresa Portela to take first place in the K1 200, and followed up with a win over New Zealand world champion, Lisa Carrington, and Australia’s Alyssa Bull in the 500 metre race.

Litvinchuk’s third gold came alongside Khudzenka in the K2 500, a repeat of their world title result in Szeged in August. Poland’s Anna Pulawska and Helena Wisniewska recovered from a slow start to finish second, with Hungary’s Dora Gazso and Erika Medveczky finishing third.

Sebastian Brendel fought back after being headed with 250 metres to go to win the C1 1000. The two-time Olympic C1 1000 champion took the race out hard, and after leading at the 500 metre mark, slipped back to fourth before powering home to defeat Russia’s Kirill Shamshurin, with Poland’s Tomasz Kaczor third.

Russia’s Kseniia Kurach just held on to beat teenage American world champion, Nevin Harrison, with Poland’s Dorota Borowska third in the women’s C1 200.

Hungary’s Virag Balla and Kincso Takacs, world championship silver medalists, made their intentions clear with a powerful opening 500, and then gritted their teeth to just hold out Russia’s Kurach and Olesia Romasenko for the women’s C2 500.

Belarus’s Nadzeya Makarchanka and Volha Klimava were third.

Poland’s Mateusz Kaminksi and Michal Kudla flew home to win the men’s C2 1000, snatching victory from Romania’s Cataiin Chirila and Victor Mihalachi, who had led from the start. Spain’s Sergio Vallejo and Adrian Sieiro finished third.

Hungary’s Sandor Totka just held out Lithuania’s Arturas Seja and countryman Balazs Birkas in the men’s K1 200 in one of the closest finishes of the day.

His teammate Balint Kopasz followed up his K1 1000 world title win last month with victory in the men’s final in Tokyo, relegating 2018 world champion Fernando Pimenta of Portugal to second, with Germany’s Jacob Schopf third.

Pimenta once again took the race out hard, but as was the case in Szeged, Kopasz had the stronger finish.

Schopf, who partnered Max Hoff to win the K2 1000 world title for Germany last month, this time teamed up with Rio 2016 K4 gold medalist, Tom Leibscher, to once again take the honours.

The Germans led from start to finish, and timed their race to perfection to hold out the fast-finishing Italians, Samuele Burgo and Luca Beccaro, with France’s Cyrille Carre and Etienne Hubert repeating their world championship result by finishing third.

Hungary Virag Balla Kincso Takacs C1 500 Tokyo test event canoe sprint

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