Athletes from all over the world converged on Bhopal, India, last week for the International Kayaking and Canoeing Open Championships, one of the biggest canoeing events ever staged in the country.

Almost 90 athletes from 14 countries competed at the three-day event at Upper Lake, with India dominating the men’s competition and Portugal bringing home most of the medals in the women’s competition.

There were also athletes from countries as diverse as Hong Kong, Malaysia, Sweden, Tunisia and Nigeria.

Indian Canoeing and Kayaking Association secretary general, Prashant Kushwaha, said the IKCA wanted to show it could host a major international event.

“This city is the second cleanest city of India, and the venue was representing the entire country to global sports players,” Mr Kushwaha said.

“We wanted to promote the city as the ideal destination for an international championship. The equipment and boats here are at par with international levels and standards.”

Tunisian athlete Sassi Khaoula captured the thoughts of many of the competitors in Bhopal.

“It is amazing to be here,” Khaoula said.

“Back home we hadn’t heard much about Bhopal. However after coming here, we are amazed to see how well maintained the city is.”

Malaysia athletes India Bhopal 2019

Canoe Sprint