17 September 2021

Hungary began its quest for a fourth consecutive women’s K4 canoe sprint world title with an impressive first round win at the ICF world championships in Denmark on Friday.

Hungary has won eight of the past nine world titles, and comes to Denmark with three of the crew members who won gold at the Tokyo Olympics last month.

The Hungarians posted the quickest time in the heats, edging our Belarus, the Tokyo silver medalists and the only country to beat Hungary at a world championships since 2009.

Anna Karasz, who was a member of the winning crew in 2014 and 2018 and who won gold in Tokyo, said the small change should not change the rhythm of the boat, although preparation time for Copenhagen has been limited.

“Since Tokyo we’ve just had two sessions with the girls, we didn’t have much opportunity to train together,” Karasz said.

“But we found the harmony with the girls, we didn’t have a big change. I don’t feel there is a big difference.

“Life has been busy for the past month, a lot of events and we also had to do the training, so it was exhausting some times. Now I’m just happy to race again, and to finish the season here.”

The men’s K2 500 and C2 500 will become Olympic events in Paris in 2024, replacing the 1000 metre races. The change in distance has produced several new combinations, including the German pairing of Tobias Schultz and Martin Hiller, fastest qualifiers in Friday’s heats.

“We had some races last year, but our preparations for here only started one week ago because Martin was at the U23 world championships.” Schultz said.

“It’s a new challenge. We are looking forward to Paris 2024. It’s a good start for us in this new Olympic cycle.”

Spain’s Cayetano Garcia and Pablo Martinez were the fastest qualifiers in the men’s C2 500, the second addition to the Paris 2024 programme.

The Hungarian women’s K4 500 crew, with just one change to the line-up who won Olympic gold in Tokyo, posted the fastest heat time ahead of Olympic silver medalists, Belarus.

In other Olympic events, Poland’s Dorota Borowska posted the fastest time in the women’s C1 200, while New Zealand’s Aimee Fisher signalled her return to top level competition with a slashing time in the women’s K1 500, more than two seconds faster than the next quickest time.

Germany K2 men 500 Schultz Hiller

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