The future of international canoe sprint was on show for the world to see on Friday, with talented teenagers Sophia Jensen and Jose Cordova leading the charge at the ICF junior world championships in Pitesti, Romania.

Canada’s Sophia Jensen is hoping to repeat her gold medal treble from last year’s junior world championships, and began her quest with an impressive victory in the C1 200.

It was Cuba’s Jose Cordova who caught the crowd’s attention with a swashbuckling win in the junior C1 1000. Earlier this year the then 17-year-old beat a world-class field, which included two-time Olympic gold medalist Sebastian Brendel, at a world cup.

His win in Pitesti on Friday showed his form has held up.

Hungary’s dominance in women’s canoeing looks secure for the future, with the country’s junior K4 500 combination of Szabina Szellak, Emese Kohalmi, Eszter Rendessy and Zsoka Csikos securing gold ahead of Germany and Canada.

Szellak and Kohalmi were part of the gold medal-winning combination from last year.

Vanda Zupko added to the gold medal rush for Hungary, winning the women’s junior K1 1000 final.

“It was a hard race, but it was amazing,” Zupko said.

“We had a false start, and I was a little bit scared, but I managed to calm down. During the race I felt under control.

“It’s a very big thing for me to represent Hungary, I’m very proud that I can race because we are a famous paddling nation.”

Hungary also enjoyed gold in the men’s junior K1 1000, with Andras Redl holding on to beat Czech Tomas Sobisek and Spain’s Pablo Sanchez.

Russia’s Ivan Malkov and Kirill Romanov were impressive in the men’s junior C2 1000, giving Romanov back-to-back gold medals in the event.

“It was a hard race, but good for us to win,” Romanov said.

“We felt strong and we are very happy to be the champions.”

Germany’s Elias Kurth and Niklas Heuser won the men’s K2 junior 1000.

“The race really went how we planned it before,” Heuser said.

“It means a lot for us. We don’t paddle together much. Soon we have the German championships, and we will have to paddle against each other.”

The junior and U23 world championships will continue on Saturday.

Hungary junior K2 Pitesti 2019

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