Hungary completed a clean sweep of all the K4 medals while host nation Italy picked up four gold on the first day of finals at the ICF Junior and U23 Canoe Sprint World Championships in Auronzo on Friday.

Their were also gold medals for Bulgaria, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Germany and Spain on a busy day of finals.

Hungary took the honours in the men’s and women’s junior K4 500, and the men’s and women’s U23 K4 500, on their way to six gold medals overall. Agnes Kiss and Csepke Molnar successfully defended their women’s junior C2 500 title.

“We practiced a lot for this race, so now we are very happy,” Molnar said.

“I didn’t really see the other competitors, just for the first 200, I think we had a lot of confidence. We’re looking forward to the gold medal because we worked very hard for it.”

Borka Zagyvai completed the gold medal haul for Hungary by winning the women’s C1 U23 1000 metres title.

Italy’s Sara Del Gratta came to Auronzo as the defending women’s junior K1 500 champion, and on Friday added the junior 200 metre K1 title to her collection. The Italian crowd also celebrated success through Samuele Veglianti in the men’s C1 junior 1000, Federico Zanutta and Fabiano Palliola in the men’s K2 junior 1000, and Gabriele Casadei in the men’s C1 U23 1000.

Kazakhstan’s Mariya Brovkova has already been identified as a star of the future, and on Friday further enhanced her standings by defending her junior C1 1000 metre title. Brovkova has already won a senior world cup gold, and won on Friday by more than seven seconds.

Germany’s Tobias Hammer and Jan Prager were equally impressive in snatching the men’s U23 K2 1000 title.

“Our race plan was executed 100 per cent how we wanted,” Prager said.

“We had a really hard selections this year for our team, but we managed to get some good races, and that’s the result. Our adrenalin is catching up and the pain was slowly getting away, but it was a great race.”

Bulgaria’s Yoana Georgieva won bronze in the women’s U23 K1 200 last year, but went two places better on Friday to win her first major title – finishing just 0.03 seconds ahead of Latvia’s Krista Berzina in one of the closest races of the day.

Spain’s Pablo Crespo and Martin Jacome won the men’s U23 C2 1000, Moldova’s Daniela Cociu and Maria Olarasu the women’s U23 C2 500, and Ukraine’s Yaroslav Verbliud and Vitalii Prystai took the men’s junior C2 1000 gold.

Italy Gabriele Casadei C1

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