The International Canoe Federation has declared its first Virtual World Cup a success after athletes from around the world took part in the online event.

Thousands of viewers watched on social media channels and on the ICF’s webpage as competitors in open, masters, junior and paracanoe men’s and women’s categories raced over the 2000 metre distance.

The inaugural world cup featured athletes using KayakPro ergos, connected via Bluetooth to test their speed against athletes in lounge rooms, basements, garages and gymnasiums around the globe.

Athletes from India, China, Bulgaria and Egypt were among the competitors to excel in the virtual competition.

“Our first ever online world cup provided an opportunity for athletes of all levels to take part in a global competition which we can now say was a tremendous success,” ICF President, Thomas Konietzko, said.

“We were thrilled to see so many entries from all corners of the planet, and it gave us so much satisfaction to see paddlers from countries like India, China and Bulgaria competing against Olympic and world champions.

“Of course, this was very much a learning experience for us as a Federation, but I feel confident we have laid the foundations for a strong future in virtual racing. We have already identified areas where we can strengthen our event next time, and planning is already underway.

“We had athletes from so many different disciplines, including sprint, marathon, wildwater, ocean racing and slalom. This serves as a strong reminder of how we truly are a global sport.”

The full replay of the ICF Virtual World Cup can be seen here.