15 February 2024

Hungary’s Renata Csay – the most successful Canoe Marathon paddler in history – has called time on her glittering career at the age of 46. 

Csay has etched her name in Canoe Marathon folklore with a record of 20 world and 19 European titles. 

After starting out in the sport at the age of 12, Csay has gone on to carve out a sensational career that has been filled with success. 

Csay gained her first major medal at the 1997 Canoe Marathon European Championships, sealing K2 silver. 

Two years later, Csay was standing at the top of the podium at both the World Championships and European Championships following her triumphs in K2. 

Success continued to come for Csay, racking up 12 world titles in K2 in the space of two decades with her partners including Andrea Pitz, Kornelia Szonda, Berenike Faldum, Ramona Farkasdi, Alexandra Bara and Zsofia Czellai-Voros. 

Csay also chalked up seven golds in the K1 thanks to her victories at the World Championships in 2003, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016. 

The last of her 20 world titles came in 2019 when he teamed up with Czelia-Voros to win K2 gold. 

Hungary Csay Czellia-Voros K2 marathon Shaoxing 2019

Another career highlight included participating at The World Games 2013 where Canoe Marathon featured as a demonstration sport and saw Csay win gold in both K1 and K2. 

Csay made her final appearance on the international stage at the 2022 World Championships where she earned K2 silver with Czelia-Voros. 

Canoeing runs in the family as her son Bruno Kolozsvari became junior world champion at the same event, while her daughter Lili is also involved in the sport and her husband Gabor Kolozsvari is a former canoeist. 

Ruud Heijselaar, Chair of the International Canoe Federation Canoe Marathon Committee, paid tribute to Csay. 

“Renata is a legend of Canoe Marathon,” said Mr Heijselaar. 

“Her record speaks for itself.  

“She is a remarkable athlete who has given so much to the sport and achieved an incredible amount on the world stage. 

“So many Canoe Marathon paddlers have been inspired by her achievements as she has set the bar high for others to try to reach. 

“I wish her all the best in her future endeavors.”

Hungarian Canoe Federation

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