This week the ICF Canoe Sprint program heads to Duisburg, Germany, where Kanu Duisburg's Hermann Kewitz tells us it certainly will help if your first name is Max!

In order to be among the best German kayakers at the front, it's almost enough, one might think, to simply start the race with the first name Max. So this year, three guys named, who are "the biggest" in the Latin translation alone, have qualified for the national team and have already paddled far away from the international competition in the past.

Whether Max Rendschmidt in a single kayak (double Olympic champion in Rio), Max Hoff in a double kayak (Olympic champion in Rio) or Max Lemke (world record holder and world champion in K4), the name seems to commit to outstanding paddling performances. This year they will again go on record and medal hunt. They started their "campaign" at the World Cup in Poznan (24-26 May 2019) and continue it this week in Duisburg (31.5.-2.6.2019).

Maxes are made for medals

Max Hoff - athlete speaker, Olympic champion and old hand - has been the German kayaker's figurehead for years. As a long-distance kayaker, he is always on the lookout for races over the 5,000m distance in addition to races in the Olympic classes, where he also regularly wins medals. In the past years he was the driving engine for either the K2 with Marcus Groß or the K4 (over 1,000) with Rendschmidt, Groß and Liebscher.

Max Rendschmidt can even claim an Olympic gold medal more than Hoff, as he paddled away in Rio in both the two and four of his rivals. Rendschmidt is regarded as the absolute competition type in the team, who, according to his own statements, lets the training go down a bit, but who can mobilise reserves in the competition, which allow him to paddle to precious metal again and again. As a batter in the team boats he is the one who sets the tone again and again.

Max Lemke is the kayak youngster and, unlike his Max colleagues, is more powerful on the short distances, preferably over 200m. After the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, the Olympic distance for the large boat was shortened from 1,000m to 500m, so that Lemke qualified for the boat as a sprinter and "just" set a new world record in the first races with Ronald Rauhe, Max Rendschmidt and Tom Liebscher and later became world champion.

Maxes deliver maximum performance

"I'm not so sure whether perhaps the intensive training with up to four units per day was the deciding factor that the Maxes are now at the top of the world instead of the first name," says DKV Sports Director Dr. Jens Kahl.

"But I know that they always deliver maximum performance in competition," he adds with a wink. "We will put it to the test, because this year we also have a Moritz ("Adam" ed.) in the team, referring to a well-known story in Germany from Wilhelm Bush (called Max and Moritz).

However, Moritz will compete in the canoe-disciplines on a non-Olympic distance and will be a Max (the biggest) in 2024. "Then the comparison to today's kayak Maxes is a little missing", Kahl continues.

"But if he also plays a medal stroke for the international competition, I will certainly not complain".

The second ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup begins in Duisburg on Friday. Watch all the action on

<a href='/webservice/athleteprofile/35707' data-id='35707' target='_blank' class='athlete-link'>Max Hoff</a> (GER)

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