For the first time the ICF Canoe Sprint Super Cup in Oklahoma this week will feature mixed relay races as it looks to introduce new formats to this unique event.

The Super Cup is an invitation-only event limited to the top male and female athletes at the end of each ICF season. It offers prizemoney and an opportunity to showcase canoe sprint in a different setting to a worldwide television and online audience.

This weekend’s ICF Super Cup will feature mixed relay races of 1500 metres, including two turns. Each athlete will paddle between 700 and 800 metres, with a 100 metre section in the middle for a baton change.

There will be both a canoe and a kayak race, with 12 teams chosen by a random draw expected to line up at the start.

“Teams will need to come up with their own strategy for how they want to structure the race,” ICF Canoe Sprint Technical Manager, Martin Marinov, said.

“Some may want to start with the male paddler, others will start with the female. It should make for a fascinating race experience for the athletes, the Oklahoma crowd and for television and online viewers around the world.

“Every year at our Super Cup we are striving to introduce new formats. Our top athletes have shown they enjoy new challenges, and they are very keen to try out the mixed relays this weekend. And it will be a fantastic opportunity for fans to see our very best athletes from this year in action again.”

40 athletes from 20 different nations will take part in the invitation-only event at Oklahoma City’s Riversport venue. Olympic and current world champions will be lining up in this season-ending competiion.

The ICF Super Cup returns to the Riversport venue after a successful competition last year. The racing will be held under lights and this year will be the centrepiece of a three-day paddlesport festival featuring an ICF stand up paddling world cup, Red Bull rapids and dragon boat racing.

This will be the fourth ICF Super Cup, after previous events in Russia, China and last year’s event in Oklahoma City. This year’s event was originally scheduled to return to Russia, but was moved after the invasion of Ukraine.

The ICF SUP events will feature sprint, technical and long distance races, and will be the third world cup for the season. It will also provide athletes with a final major race ahead of next month’s ICF SUP World Championships in Gdynia, Poland.

The World Paddlesport Festival begins on Friday and runs through until Sunday.

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