Germany and Hungary led the way on the first day of medals at the ICF U23 and Junior Canoe Sprint World Championships in Bulgaria, while Katie Vincent won the first battle in the women’s U23 C1.

14 gold medals were awarded on a busy day in Plovdiv, with Germany and Hungary taking three each, Canada and Belarus two apiece, and single gold medals to Australia, Portugal, Russia and Sweden.

The Hungarians dominated the women’s team boats, taking gold in both the U23 and junior K4 500 races. Karina Biben, a member of the junior K4 team, said the pressure is always on in Hungary.

“Qualification in Hungary is always hard,” Biben said.

“But in the end this K4 was the best. We are friends, and in the end hard work pays off.”

Agnes Szabo, a member of the U23 K4 team, said the quality of women’s paddling in Hungary means athletes have to work even harder.

“We have to train a lot because there are so many good girls that didn’t get here,” she said.

“We are lucky because we train together a lot, even though we race against each other in different K4’s.

“But it works. We were so nervous before today that we were talking a lot, but it was funny and we enjoyed it, the anxiety.”

Hungary’s third gold medal came in the men’s K1 1000 juniors, with Benedek Tibor Kos getting the win.

“The race was so hard because the wind is so big and these guys are so fast,” he said.


Germany won medals in the men’s U23 C1 AND C2 1000, as well as women’s U23 K1 1000. Conrad-Robin Scheibner finished ahead of Italy’s highly regarded Carlo Tacchini in the C1 1000, and issued a warning to his two-time Olympic gold medallist countryman, Sebastian Brendel.

“This was my first chance to do it in C1, and I had some problems to adapt to being lonely in the boat in the heat,” he said.

“But I told myself now is the time to shine, and so I want Sebastian to know that he should be scared now!”

18-year-old Jule Marie Hake upstaged her older opponents to win the U23 K1 1000 title for Germany, and said her age could have been an advantage in the race.

“I was really nervous,” she said.

“It’s hard to describe because it is so different to race in the U23 then the juniors, so I am really happy.

“I didn’t have any expectations before the race, but I knew that I wasn’t that slow.”

Germany’s third gold came courtesy of Tim Hecker and Moritz Adam in the men’s U23 C2 1000.

Canada’s Katie Vincent broke through for her first C1 500 U23 world title, in the process seeing off rival Alena Nazdrova from Belarus in a tight finish.

“I’ve come second and fourth before, so to finally be in the middle of the podium, I’m really happy with that,” she said.

“I felt really good. It’s nice to be with the juniors and the U23, we’ve got a really good mix.

“I’ve still got another 200 metre race tomorrow, so I have to focus on that.”

The future for women’s canoe in Canada also looks solid, with Sophia Jensen winning the first medal on the program, the junior C1 500.

“Last year I tied for second, so I’m pretty happy to break through,” Jensen said.

“It was a really hard race with the headwind. It wasn’t even that strong, but it felt pretty strong once you hit the 200 metre mark.”


Dzianis Patapenka from Belarus won the junior C1 1000 gold, while teammates Kiryl Smalianik and Uladzislau Litvinau won the K2 junior men’s 1000.

The U23 K1 men’s 1000 was won by Sweden’s Martin Nathell, who was one of the few athletes to embrace the headwinds on the course.

“It’s been a tough year and a lot of hard work,” Nathell said.

“I thought I could win gold, and that was my goal. But there is a lot of competition out there and you never know who is going to be strongest at the right time.

“In Sweden lots of the competitions are in headwinds, so I like it.” 

Australia’s Joel McKitterick and Thomas Green were among the more convincing winners on Friday, blitzing their U23 K2 1000 opposition.

“If you had asked me yesterday, I would have said I’m not sure, maybe top three,” McKitterick said.

“Being on top now is just awesome. It’s like a long dream that everyone wants to achieve, but only a few people actually do.”

One of the biggest surprises on Friday came in the junior K1 women’s 1000 metre final, with Portugal’s pint-sized Maria Rei, coming from lane one to secure victory.

“I’m very surprised, I was in lane one and did not think I could win the race, “ Rei said.

“I was very tired at the end. I knew I was in front and I was just trying to stay there.”

Russia’s gold medal came in the C2 men’s junior 1000, with Sergei Nemov and Kirill Romanov holding off the fast-finishing Cubans to take the win.

The 2018 ICF U23 and Junior Canoe Sprint World Championships continue in Plovdiv on Saturday.


C1 W 500 JNR

  1. JENSEN Sophia                 (CAN)  2.19.006
  2. MOLNAR Csenge             (HUN)  2.22.761
  3. ALEKSANDROVA Olga     (RUS)   2.23.162

K4 W 500 JNR

  1. HUNGARY                                      1.36.497
  2. GERMANY                                      1.38.497
  3. RUSSIA                                            1.38.664

K1 M 1000 JNR

  1. KOS Benedek                    (HUN)  3.56.901
  2. HILLER Martin                   (GER)   3.58.593
  3. NOVAK Anton                   (BLR)    4.00.383

  C1 M 1000 JNR

  1. PATAPENKA Dzianis         (BLR)    4.25.077
  2. ALTYNBEK Kozhakmet     (KAZ)    4.25.412
  3. BENECKE Roar                   (GER)   4.25.558

  K1 M 1000 U23

  1. NATHELL Martin               (SWE)   3.41.858
  2. MCTAVISH Simon             (AUS)    3.42.393
  3. VOLD Jon Amund             (NOR)    3.43.016

C1 M 1000 U23

  1. SCHEIBNER Conrad-Robin (GER) 4.07.543
  2. TACCHINI Carlo                    (ITA)  4.09.624
  3. ALTUKHOV Pavlo                 (UKR) 4.10.090

 K1 W 1000 U23

  1. HAKE Jule Marie                  (GER) 4.17.793
  2. TAKACS Tamara                  (HUN) 4.19.232
  3. VIRIK Maria                          (NOR) 4.20.179

K1 W 1000 JNR

  1. REI Maria                             (POR)  4.15.603
  2. BAKO Olga                           (HUN) 4.16.903
  3. NEUMIARZHYTSKAYA Alina (BLR) 4.17.146

K2 M 1000 JNR

  1. SMALIANIK/LITVINAU          (BLR) 3.30.856
  2. KUKACKA/VOREL                  (CZE) 3.31.206

C2 M 1000 JNR

  1. NEMOV/ROMANOV           (GER) 3.53.872
  3. MINARIK/ZALUBIL               (CZE) 3.55.118

K2 M 1000 U23

  1. MCKITTERICK/GREEN         (AUS) 3.17.472
  2. BALAZ/LINKA                        (SVK) 3.19.871
  3. KURSCHAT/BACHMANN    (GER) 3.20.999

C2 M 1000 U23

  1. HECKER/ADAM                    (GER) 3.42.893
  2. CHIRILA/STRAT                    (ROU) 3.43.863
  3. KISS/DORI                             (HUN) 3.45.250

C1 W 500 U23

  1. VINCENT Katie                     (CAN) 2.09.559
  2. NAZDROVA Alena               (BLR) 2.10.161
  3. KURACH Kseniia                  (RUS) 2.11.764

K4 W 500 U23

  1. HUNGARY                                       1.34.944
  2. POLAND                                          1.36.268
  3. RUSSIA                                            1.36.895

Australia <a href='/webservice/athleteprofile/64119' data-id='64119' target='_blank' class='athlete-link'>Joel McKitterick</a> <a href='/webservice/athleteprofile/79545' data-id='79545' target='_blank' class='athlete-link'>Thomas Green</a> K2 U23 1000 Plovdiv 2018


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