Danish paddler Emma Aastrand Jorgensen thrilled a large home crowd with a gold medal performance in the women’s 200 metre kayak race at the ICF canoe sprint world championships in Denmark on Saturday.

Medals in non-Olympic events included a first ever world championship gold to Chile, and wins for Sweden, Hungary, Ukraine and two titles to the Russian Canoe Federation.

Jorgensen came into this week’s world championships as Denmark’s best hope of at least one gold medal, after winning bronze medals in both the K1 200 and K1 500 at the Tokyo Olympics. On Saturday she took the first step towards a double by winning the 200, an event which won’t be contested at Paris 2024.

“There has been a different kind of pressure this week, I also started my studies this week so my focus has been on something else other than kayaking,” Jorgensen said.

“But of course I have been training for the worlds. It’s really nice almost end to this very satisfying season. I don’t know if there is a lot pressure, but its really nice to do it front of everyone, and the family. It just makes me very happy.

“Definitely this season has been really long, but I think mentally I have tried to enjoy the little things there are in life, other than kayaking. I will enjoy for the rest of today the 200, and then from tomorrow I will focus on the 500. It’s a bit longer, and there will be more pain, but I will do my best.”

Chile Maria Mailliard Copenhagen 2021

Before Saturday Chile had only ever won a silver and two bronze canoe sprint medals at ICF world championships, but Maria Mailliard now is the owner of her country’s first ever world title after a hard-fought win in the women’s C1 500.

Mailliard beat Ukraine’s Liudmyla Luzan and Belarus’s Alena Nazdrova.

“It’s a real surprise to me because it’s the first time I have raced that distance,” Mailliard said.

“It was so hard after Tokyo, I was just thinking about having holidays every day. This is so big, because South American countries are not as strong as European or US or Canada, but we have talent and we want to give our best.”

In other events. The Russian Canoe Federation’s Kristina Kovnir and Anastasiia Dolgova won the K2 200, and their teammates Kirill Shamshurin and Vladislav Chebotar took the tile in the men’s C2 1000.

Hungary’s Alida Gazso won the women’s K1 1000, Sweden’s Dennis Kernen and Martin Nathell the men’s K2 1000, and the Ukranian crew of Vitaliy Vergeles, Andrii Rybachok, Yurii Vandiuk and Taras Mishchuk the men’s C4 500.

Pics by Bence Vekassy

Ukraine C4 men Copenhagen 2021

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