Hungarian canoe marathon legend Renata Csay won an incredible 20th ICF world championship gold medal on an historic final day of competition in Shaoxing, China, on Sunday.

France won its first men’s K2 title, and Spain’s Manuel Campos won his first ever C2 gold medal as the first ICF canoe marathon world championships to be held in China came to a close.

The star of the final day was undoubtedly Renata Csay. 20 years after she won her first world championship gold medal, the 42-year-old picked up her 20th by piloting 24-year-old Zsofia Czellai-Voros to a successful defence of their K2 title from 2018.

For Csay it was her 13th K2 medal, and she’s already planning to return next year to chase down world title number 21.

“I’m so thankful that I can still be here,” Csay said.

“I don’t know how I keep doing it, I just like paddling. I will come back next year.”

Czellai-Voros said it was an honour to be part of such a significant milestone for her childhood hero.

“I’m so happy that she won her 20th with me, because I remember in 2007 the championship was in Gyor, and she was there. I was running back to get her boat, because I was a volunteer then, and I had to get her boat to boat control.

“I was so happy then, I did not think in my dreams that I would be paddling with her.”

Hungary Csay Czellia-Voros K2 marathon Shaoxing 2019

France’s Jeremy Candy and Quentin Urban won their country’s first ever men’s K2 gold medal, the culmination of several years training together with the goal of becoming world champions.

“We are very happy to be European champions, world champions and France’s first K2 gold medalists,” Urban said.

The French had to see off a challenge from Hungary’s Adrian Boros and Kristzian Mathe and Argentine brothers Franco and Dardo Balboa. But Candy said coming into the last portage he felt they could make history.

“We hadn’t had any trouble during the race, so I thought if we came first into the portage it would be a good chance for us to win,” he said.

“We’ve been training for four years now in marathon, we left sprint because we really wanted to reach this position at least once. Now it’s done. Of course we will be back.”

It was an emotional men’s C2 gold for Spain’s Manuel Campos and Diego Romero, when they outlasted Poland’s Mateusz Zuchora and Wikto Glazunow after a grueling 25.90 kilometres.

It was a first C2 gold medal for Campos after five minor medals, while Romero paid tribute to his grandmother, who passed away on the eve of the race. It was also a successful defence of the C2 gold he won alongside Oscar Grana in 2018.

“I’m very happy to win the gold again, and especially because yesterday my grandmother died, so it is very special for me,” Romero said.

“I just tried to stay focused on the competition and put all the pressure behind me. There is nothing I could do, so I just tried to do my best.”

The gold was a major breakthrough for Romero, a four-time C1 world champion who had never won a C2 gold before.

“This is a very special medal for me, because it’s my 20th world championship medal,” Campos said.

“Since 2011 I have been doing C2, and I have some bronze and silver medals, but I have not been able to win a gold. So this is very important for me.”



  1. CAMPOS/ROMERO   (ESP)     01:59:06.33
  2. ZUCHORA/BORGIEL   (POL)   01:59:19.77
  3. LACZO/NAGY              (HUN)  02:00:33.31


  1. CZELLAI-VOROS/CSAY    (HUN)  01:56:30.22
  2. FERNANDEZ/ALVAREZ    (ESP)   01:56:33.99
  3. OSA/TOLEDO                    (ESP)   01:56:56.72


  1. URBAN/CANDY                 (FRA)  01:58:45.25
  2. BOROS/MATHE                  (HUN) 01:58:49.19
  3. BALBOA/BALBOA               (ARG) 01:58:55.97

Pics by Bence Vekassy

Spain Romero Campos K2 Shaoxing 2019

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