Fuksa and Heath make it five European titles

Czech canoeist Martin Fuksa and Great Britain's Liam Heath both celebrated fifth European Champion titles on the final day of competition in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
 
Fuksa finished first in the men’s C1 500 metres, ahead of Oleg Tarnovskyi from Moldova and Tomasz Kaczor from Poland.
 
“I am super happy with this result, because I am now five times European Champion in this distance, so it is absolutely the best for me and I loved to stand on the podium here in Plovdiv,” said Fuksa.
 
Heath celebrated his fifth gold medal at European Championships in men’s K1 200 metres final. He won the event ahead of Bence Horvath (HUN) and Marko Dragosavljević (SRB).
 
“It has been an incredible race, near perfect conditions as well, it’s been a bit up and down with the wind, but it has been pretty nice today, so I am happy with it," Heath, the Rio Olympic champion, said.
 
"This is always a very fast, high pace race, anyone can take it on a day, that one has come down to the last couple of metres I think, so it keeps everyone on the edge of their seat and hopefully keeps everyone interested in 200 metres racing."
 
In women’s K1 500 metres final Tamara Takacs (HUN) crossed the finish line ahead of Volha Khudzenka (BLR) and Elena Anyshina (RUS). The Hungarian national anthem also played in women’s 200 metres event thanks to Dora Lucz, who produced the fastest time to celebrate the win in front of Olympic medallist Emma Jorgensen (DEN) and Špela Ponomarenko Janić (SLO).
 
Slovenian paddler Špela Ponomarenko Janić had many reasons to celebrate today. She did not only pick up bronze medal in K1W 200 metres final, but also finished second in K2W 500 metres event together with Anja Osterman. The Slovenian girls only started paddling in K2 this season, after they have received their own boat this spring. This was their second race, following the test race at World Cup in Szeged where they finished third.
 
“It is hard to say I expected this outcome, but I knew I was in top shape. This is a huge success. Many of the crews had been paddling together for some time and this is our first season,” Ponomarenko said.
 
German duo Franziska Weber – Tina Dietze, 2012 Olympic Champions, finished the K2W 500 metres final in front of Ponomarenko Janić and Osterman, while Anna Pulawska and Beata Mikolajczyk from Poland picked up bronze medal in this event.
 
The Hungarian team and excited fans who came to Bulgaria to support their favourites celebrated three more European Champion titles on Sunday. Dora Bodonyi won the gold medal in women’s K1 5000 metres event, Eva Barrios from Spain was second and Tabea Medert from Germany third in this race.
 
Mark Balaska – Balasz Birkas (HUN) picked up gold in men’s K2 200 metres final, they were followed by Kirill Lyapunov – Alexander Dyachenko (RUS) and Ronald Rauhe – Max Lemke (GER). The K2M 500 metres final was also won by Hungarians. Bence Nadas and Sandor Totka beat Dejan Pajić and Ervin Holpert (SRB) to celebrate the European Champion title. Ivan Semykin and Igor Trunov (UKR) were third.
 
The Spanish K4 crew of Francisco Cubelos, Javier Cabanin, Marcus Walz, Inigo Pena won the 1000 metres event. Martin Brzezinski, Rafal Rosolski, Bartosz Stabno and Norbert Kuczynski from Poland were second and Slovaks Denis Mysak, Juraj Tarr, Erik Vlcek and Tibor Linka third.
 
“I am very happy to catch a medal in this competition. After the Olympics, in which I had a great result, I was a bit calmer. The K1 results did not really show up this year, but after this result in the K4, I am just very very happy for it ,” said Marcus Walz, who won Olympic gold last year in the K1M 1000 metres event.
 
Jakub Zavrel (CZE) succeeded Tom Liebscher (GER) in the position of Europe’s fastest K1M 500 metres paddler. The Czech kayaker finished the race 0.096 seconds ahead of Mikta Borykau (BLR) and Balint Kopasz (HUN) finished third.
 
Russian paddlers too had reasons to celebrate on Sunday. Viktor Melantyev and Ivan Shtyl (RUS) picked up the gold medal in men’s C2 500 metres final, Shtyl later won another gold together with Alexander Kovalenko in the C2 200 metres race, while Olesia Romasenko was the fastest in women’s C1 200 metres event.
 
Leonid Carp and Victor Michalachi (ROU) were second and Dmytro Ianchuk - Taras Mishchuk (UKR) third.
 
Kincso Takacs (HUN) and Alena Nazdrova (BLR) joined Olesia ROmasenko on the podium in women’s C1 200 metres event.
 
Henrikas Zustautas (LTU), who was second last year in Moscow, this time won European Champion title in men’s C1 200 metres final. Alexey Korovashkov (RUS) picked up silver medal and Zaza Nadiradze (GEO) finished third.
 
“The start was not good like always, because I have problems with start, but in the last 100 metres it was good, actually very good because I won,” Zustautas said after the competition.
 
Mariia Kichasova and Anastasiya Horlova listened to the anthem of Ukraine in honour of their success in the K2W 200 metres event. Joana Sasconcelos and Francisca Laia (POR) were second and Dominika Wlodarczyk – Karatzyna Kolodziejczyk (POL) third.
 
The last two events of the European Championships ended with German celebration. Sebastian Brendel won the European Champion title in men’s C1 5000 metres race and Max Hoff did the same in men’s K1 5000 metres final. David Varga (HUN) and Mateusz Kaminski (POL) joined Brendel on the podium in the C1 event, while Fernando Pimenta (POR) picked up silver and Eivind Vold (NOR) bronze medal in K1M 5000 metres race.
 
The 2018 ECA Canoe Sprint European Championships and Paracanoeing European Championships will be held in Belgrade, Serbia, on Ada Ciganlija, the venue which hosted this year’s Junior and U23 Canoe Sprint European Championships.

 

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