Portugal’s Fernando Pimenta reclaimed his world title, Conrad Scheibner took over the mantle as Germany’s canoe powerhouse, Ukraine picked up two gold medals and Hungarian champion Danuta Kozak teamed with Tamara Csipes to win her 15th world title at the ICF canoe sprint world championships in Copenhagen.

Finals in five Olympic events were held on Saturday, with Pimenta winning the men’s K1 1000, Scheibner the men’s C1 1000, Ukraine’s Liudmyla Luzan and Anastasiia Chetverikova won the women’s C2 500, their teammates took the men’s K4 500 gold, and Kozak and Csipes won the women’s K2 500.

Pimenta returned to the position of world champion for the first time since 2018, holding off reigning world champion and Tokyo gold medalist Balint Kopasz of Hungary over the 1000 metres. Pimenta had to settle for bronze in Japan.

“When I arrived in Portugal I needed to take some days of rest, no training, completely off, and when I started back training, it was the most bad experience of my life,” Pimenta said.

“It was so hard to once again follow the training plan, have the long training sessions. I think in the past two weeks I had better feelings, and now I’m happy with this result.”

Kopasz took silver, with Aleh Yurenia from Belarus finishing with the bronze.

Portugal Fernando Pimenta K1 1000 Copenhagen 2021

Liudmyla Luzan and Anastasiia Chetverikova took silver in the women’s C2 500 in Tokyo, but went one better in convincing style in Copenhagen on Saturday.

“We are so happy, it was a very hard race because the weather was not so good,” Chetverikova said.

“Tokyo was hard for us, but this is a great finish to the season for us.”

Alena Nazdrova and Nadzeya Makarchanka of Belarus took the silver, while Cuba’s Yarisleidis Duboys and Katherin Segura secured the bronze.

Ukraine C2 500 Luzan Chetverikova Copenhagen 2021

Germany’s Conrad Scheibner was disappointed with his sixth placing in the men’s C1 1000 at the Tokyo Olympics, but became world champion on Saturday with a dramatic last-gasp win over the Czech Republic’s Martin Fuksa.

German teammate Sebastian Brendel has been the biggest name in men’s canoe for a decade, but Scheibner is ready to take over the crown.

“This year has been really long,” Scheibner said.

“After Tokyo when I wasn’t satisfied, I wanted to show everyone I was capable of winning, and luckily I did here.

“I was winning most of the races against Sebastian this season, and I also proved it in Tokyo, but I’m really happy to have him as a role model to motivate me to train to become the athlete I am now.”

Fuksa finished with silver, and Hungarian Balazs Adolf the bronze.

Hungary Kozak Csipes K2 500 Copenhagen 2021

Hungarian canoe sprint legend Danuta Kozak grabbed her 15th world title when she teamed up with Tamara Csipes to win the women’s K2 500, again in a last-gasp result over Belarus’s Volha Khudzenka and Maryna Litvinchuk.

The pair had limited preparation for the world championships, having to also focus on K4 and the K1 500 for Csipes.

“It’s good to win this race, but we feel our year has been very long so we are glad we could do this today,” Kozak said.

“This was our fifth session, so we didn’t have much time to prepare, but we were faster at home on the training sessions,” Csipes said.

“This was our most important race, so it was relief to win.”

Belgium’s Hermien Peters and Lize Broekx took the bronze.

Oleh Kukharyk, Dmytro Danylenko, Igor Trunov and Ivan Semykin combined to win Ukraine’s first ever men’s K4 kayak gold medal, outlasting crews from Slovakia and the Czech Republic to win the K4 500.

“We have been waiting for this day, to say to our world we would win and we would go home with the gold,” Kukharyk said.

“One month ago we came to our camp, and our team believed in us. We are the best team in the world, you don’t look at the physics, you look at the soul – our soul is very strong.”

The 2021 ICF canoe sprint world championships will conclude in Copenhagen tomorrow.

Pics by Bence Vekassy

Ukraine K4 500 men Copenhagen 2021

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