Germany's kayakers made their mark on an impressive opening day at the International Canoe Federation Canoe Sprint World Championships in Poznan, Poland.

The German crews of Max Lemke and Jacob Schopf and Tom Liebscher-Lucz and Max Rendschmidt are poised to face off for the men’s K2 title after winning their respective heats today.

With Hungary not competing in Poland and reigning world champions Joao Ribeiro and Messias Baptista of Portugal also absent, Germany are looking to battle it out for top spot in the event.

Rendschmidt, Lemke, Schopf and Liebscher-Lucz are the defending world champions in the men’s K4 and they put down a solid performance in their heat.

The German quartet finished in 1:25.64 to win by 1.81 from the Polish boat of Jakub Stepun, Przemyslaw Korsak, Piotr Morawski and Slawomir Witczak.

Paulina Paszek Jule Hake Germany women K2 Poznan Canoe Sprint World Cup 2024

Ukraine were the quickest in the heats as Oleh Kukharyk, Dmytro Danylenko, Ihor Trunov and Ivan Semykin crossed the finish line in 1:25.28 – just 0.03 in front of the Slovakian team.

After teaming up in the K4, Lemke and Schopf and Liebscher-Lucz and Rendschmidt competed in separate heats when they lined up in the K2.

Lemke and Schopf clocked a time of 1:35.60 in the first heat before Liebscher-Lucz and Rendschmidt went quicker with 1:33.06 in the next, setting up a German showdown in the final.

There were also strong showings from China’s Tingkai Bu and Dong Zhang and Poland’s Wojciech Pilarz and Wiktor Leszczynski who finished in 1:34.27 and 1:34.55 respectively.

Germany are also in line for medals in the women’s K2 after Paulina Paszek and Jule Hake and Lena Roehlings and Pauline Jagsch sealed their place in the final.

Paszek and Hake got the better of the Polish pair of Karolina Naja and Anna Pulawska to win heat one in 1:50.49.

Roehlings and Jagsch also impressed as they pushed Lisa Carrington and Alicia Hoskin hard before the New Zealanders prevailed by 0.38 with a time of 1:48.76.

The only other Olympic event competed on day one of the ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup in Poznan was the men’s C2 500.

Home favourites Wiktor Glazunow and Arsen Sliwinski swept to top spot in a time of 1:44.08, comfortably sealing a spot in the final.

China’s Hao Liu and Bowen Ji, who claimed silver at last year’s World Championships in the event, will seek to spoil Polish hopes of a victory after winning the other heat in 1:45.18.

In the non-Olympic events, Sweden’s Julia Lagerstam and Melina Andersson posted the quickest times in the women’s K1 1000, posting 4:15.51 and 4:16.02 respectively.

Karolina Naja Anna Pulawska Poland women K2 Poznan Canoe Sprint World Cup 2024

China’s Mengdie Yin, Slovenia’s Spela Ponomarenko Janic and Poland’s Katarzyna Kolodziejczyk topped their respective heats in the women’s K1 200.

There was just 0.11 separating the winner of the first heat of the men’s C1 500 as Kuan-Chieh Lai edged Poland’s Gracjan Michalak and now look poised to go head-to-head for the title.

Poland will have big medal hopes in the men’s C1 200 as Aleksander Kitewski and Oleksii Koliadych emerged victorious from their respective heats.

Portugal’s two-time Olympic medallist Fernando Pimenta had his first hit out today in the men’s K1 500, winning his heat in 1:51.42.

The other two heats were quicker, with Witczak and Argentina’s Agustin Vernice finishing first.

Medals will be won tomorrow with 14 finals on the schedule.

For all the results from today’s races, click here.

Pics by Bence Vekassy

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