Hungary’s Vanda Kiszli and Portugal’s Jose Ramalho have fired early warning shots ahead of this year’s ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships, posting wins at a World Cup event in Portugal on Saturday.

Kiszli, a K1 5000 gold medallist at the ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup in Hungary one week ago, held her form in the short course event at Viana Do Castelo, heading a Hungarian trifecta over the 3.6 kilometre event.

Kiszli finished strongly to overtake early leader, Zsofia Czellai-Voros, with multiple world champion Renate Csay taking the bronze.

Ramalho will carry the hopes of his nation when he competes in the World Championships in Portugal later this year, but he had to work hard to take the short course marathon title on Saturday.

Ramalho had to hold out Ireland’s Barry Watkins in a thrilling finish, with Hungary’s Adrian Boros finishing third.

In the canoe events, Ukraine’s Liudmyla Babak finished ahead of Spain’s Maria Ramal and Canada’s Madeline Mitchell in the women’s event, while Spain’s Manuel Campos was first, Portugal’s Rui Lacerda second, and Hungary’s Adam Docze third.

Campos and Docze had enjoyed a strong battle throughout the race, before Campos and Lacerda found extra strength in the last metres of the competition.

Competitors enjoyed much better racing conditions on Saturday, in contrast to the torrential rain during Friday’s heats.

The long course races will be held on Sunday. 

Canoe Marathon