Sweden’s Melina Andersson and Portugal’s Fernando Pimenta have successfully defended their K1 marathon short race titles in a gripping afternoon of racing that went right down to the wire at the ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships in Vejen, Denmark.

Andersson and Hungarian two-time short race champion Vanda Kiszli were involved in a titanic struggle over the three-lap race, with less than one second splitting the two paddlers at the finish. It took a photo finish to separate the two athletes.

Andersson and Kiszli had the race to themselves, with Spain’s Eva Barrios finishing eight seconds behind in third place, the same result she achieved in 2019.

Pimenta once again locked horns with Denmark’s Mads Pedersen in a stoush which has rapidly reached legendary status in longer forms of racing. In a repeat of last year’s result in front of a home crowd, Pimenta outraced Pedersen, finishing more than one second ahead of the 5000 metre world champion.

Norway’s Eivind Vold took the bronze.

In C1 short races Hungary’s Zsofia Kisban ended a run of three consecutive silver medals with victory on Thursday afternoon.

The Hungarian was able to finish stronger than Ukraine’s Liudmyla Babak, who had been hoping to regain the title she lost to Great Britain’s Bethany Gill last year. Kisban finished just over 27 seconds ahead of Babak.

Another Ukrainian, Olena Tsyhankova, finished third.

In the men’s C1 short course Spain’s Manuel Campos broke through for his first win, outlasting defending champion and fellow Spaniard Diego Romero in the race for the finish line. Romero was also the short course world champion in 2019.

Poland’s Mateusz Zuchora finished third.

Pic by Soren Wilhelmsen

Canoe Marathon