Gold rush for Belarus at European Games sprint competition

Belarus excelled in front of their Minsk supporters during the last canoe sprint competition day at the European Games, winning medals in eight out of the 11 finals that were held.

The host nation won gold medals in the women’s K1 500 metres final through Volha Khudzenka, in thte men’s C1 200 meters event with Artsem Kozyr, the women’s C1 200 metres final through Alena Nazdrova and in the women’s 5000 metres event, which was won by Maryna Litvinchuk. 

The first final of the day was women’s 500 meters event where Hungarian Danuta Kozak defended the title she won four years ago in Baku. She was close to the gold medal, but it was Belarussian kayaker Volha Khudzenka who crossed the finish line with the best time. Danuta Kozak picked up the silver medal, while Emma Aastrand Jorgensen from Denmark won bronze. 

Russia celebrated European Games champion title in men’s K4 500 metres event. Artem Kuzakhmetov, Aleksandr Sergeev, Oleg Gusev and Vitaly Ershov crossed the finish line ahead of Germany (Max Rendschmidt, Ronald Rauhe, Tom Liebscher and Max Lemke) who was second and Slovakian crew (Samuel Balaz, Erik Vlcek, Csaba Zalka and Adam Botek). 

Virag Balla and Kincso Takacs from Hungary were unbeatable in women’s C2 500 metres final. Belarussian crew Nadzeya Makarchanka – Volha Klimava was second, to much delight of the fans that filled the stands in the Zaslavl regatta course, while Kseniia Kurach and Olesia Romasenko from Russia picked up bronze medal. 

In the last final of the morning programme Hungary won its second gold medal of the day in women’s K4 500 metres A final. Anna Karasz, Danuta Kozak, Tamara Csipes and Erika Medveczky won the second gold medal for Hungary in this event as Hungarian K4 was also the best in Baku four years ago. Kozak and Karasz were members of that crew alongside Gabriella Szabo and Ninetta Vad.

Belarus celebrated another medal in this event. Marharyta Makhneva, Nadzeya Papok, Volha Khudzenka and Maryna Litvinchuk won silver medal, while Polish crew Karolina Naja, Katarzyna Kolodziejczyk, Anna Pulawska and Helena Wisniewska picked up the bronze medal. 

The 200 metre races saw five A finals in tough windy and stormy conditions. Belarus showed even more power in the afternoon when the president of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko came to see the competition on the regatta course. Artsem Kozyr (BLR) showed the best performance in men’s C1 200 race to win in front of Italian canoeist Nicolae Craciun and Spanish paddler Alfonso Benavides. 

Alena Nazdrova continued the Belarussian winning streak in women’s C1 200 metres final. Lisa Jahn from Germany was second in this event and Dorota Borowska from Poland third. 

Another gold medal for Belarus came in the women’s 5000 meters race, where Maryna Litvinchuk jumped to the highest podium position. Dora Bodonyi from Hungary was second and Mariana Petrusova from Slovakia third. 

Belarus won an additional two bronze medals today. Dzmitry Tratsiakou finished third in the men’s K1 200 final behind the new champion Maxime Beaumont from France and Balazs Birkas from Hungary who was second. 

Volha Khudzenka and Maryna Litvinchuk were the stars of this 2nd European Games winning another medal in K2 200 metres final. They were third, behind the winners Mariya Povkh and Liudmyla Kuklinovska from Belarus and Franziska John – Tina Dietze from Germany. 

Emma Aastrand Jorgensen was the fastest kayaker in women’s 200 metres final. In an exciting race Danuta Kozak from Hungary picked up silver medal and Marta Walczykiewicz from Poland bronze medal. Both were medallists in this event also four years ago. Walczykiewicz won in Baku and Kozak finished third at the time. 

The last event of the canoe sprint at 2nd European Games in Minsk was men’s K1 5000 metres final. Portuguese paddler Fernando Pimenta was in the lead until the last few metres of the race when Hungarian kayaker Balint Kopasz found more strength to overtake him and win a gold medal for Hungary. Max Hoff, the defending champion from 2015, was third. Pimenta won silver medal also four years ago in Baku. 

RESULTS 

WK1 500m 

1. Volha Khudzenka BLR 

2. Danuta Kozak HUN 

3. Emma Aastrand Jorgensen DEN 

MK4 500m 

1. RUS: Artem Kuzakhmetov, Aleksandr Sergeev, Oleg Gusev, Vitaly Ershov 

2. GER: Max Rendschmidt, Ronald Rauhe, Tom Liebscher, Max Lemke 

3. SVK: Samuel Balaz, Erik Vlcek, Csaba Zalka, Adam Botek 

WC2 500m 

1. Virag Balla – Kincso Takacs HUN 

2. Nadzeza Makarchanka – Volha Klimava BLR 

3. Kseniia Kurach – Olesia Romasenko RUS 

WK4 500m 

1. HUN: Anna Karasz, Danuta Kozak, Tamara Csipes, Erika Medveczky 

2. BLR: Marharyta Mahkneva, Nadzeya Papok, Volha Khudzenka, Maryna Litvinchuk 

3. POL: Karolina Naja, Katarzyna Kolodziejcyzk, Anna Pulawska, Helena Wisniewska 

WK1 200m 

1. Emma Aastrand Jorgensen DEN 

2. Danuta Kozak HUN 

3. Marta Walczykiewicz POL 

MK1 200m 

1. Maxime Beaumont FRA 

2. Balazs Birkas HUN 

3. Dzmitry Tratsiakou BLR 

MC1 200m 

1. Artsem Kozyr BLR 

2. Nicolae Craciun ITA 

3. Alfonso Benavides ESP 

WC1 200m 

1. Alena Nazdrova BLR 

2. Lisa Jahn GER 

3. Dorota Borowska POL 

WK2 200m 

1. Mariya Povkh – Liudmyla Kuklinovska UKR 

2. Franziska John – Tina Dietze GER 

3. Volha Khudzenka – Maryna Litvinchuk BLR 

WK1 5000m 

1. Maryna Litvinchuk BLR 

2. Dora Bodonyi HUN 

3. Mariana Petrusova SVK 

MK1 5000m 

1. Balint Kopasz HUN 

2. Fernando Pimenta POR 

3. Max Hoff GER 

 

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