More marathon glory for Birkett and Bedek

South Africa's Andy Birkett and Serbia's Kristina Bedek won again the short course finals in hotly-contested racing in Shanghai on Thursday, repeating their victories in Shaoxing last week.

Birkett won the men's K1 ahead of Filippo Vincenzi from Italy and Adrian Boros from Hungary, with less than one second separating the three paddlers. France's Quentin Urban, who finished second in Shaoxing, suffered rudder damage on the portage and did not finish the race.

In the women's K1, Lizzie Broughton from Great Britain managed to avoid the rudder damage that caused her to miss out on the medals in Shaoxing to finish eight seconds behind Bedek, with Jenny Egan from Ireland finishing third less than a second behind Broughton. Of the minor medal winners in Shaoxing, Broekx of Belgium finished fourth , only 0.1 of a second behind Egan and Anna Koziskova of the Czech Republic finished fifth.

In the men's C1 class it was Jakub Brezina from Czech Republic who managed to finish first, 30 seconds ahead of Mateusz Zuchora from Poland, the winner in Shaoxing, with Daher from Italy in third place.

The 3.6km races in a very urban environment near the middle of Shanghai provided an exciting theatre which was very different from what many of the athletes are used to.  The format and venue worked well for both athletes and officials.

Now it is only the long course races for the international paddlers which will take place tomorrow to bring the ICF’s first world cups series races in China to a conclusion. It promises to be an interesting day of closely contested races.

Canoe Marathon