Portugal has retained its men’s K2 title while Hungary has regained its women’s K2 crown during a gripping final day of racing at the ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships in Vejen, Denmark.

Both the men’s and women’s races ended with photo-finishes with less than two seconds covering the medalists in both events.

The closest finish of the day was in the women’s K2, with two Hungarian boats and a team from Spain and South Africa fighting out the finish.

The last time Vanada Kiszli won a K2 marathon gold was back in 2017. On Sunday she teamed up with Emese Kohalmi, the 2021 champion, to wrest back the title for Hungary. It added to the K1 gold Kiszli won on Saturday.

Spain’s Tania Fernandez and Tania Alvarez, the reigning world champions, had to settle for silver after a rollicking finish which saw less than two seconds cover the first four boats, and less than one second split the medalists. Hungary’s Csilla Rugasi and Panna Csepe won bronze, with South Africa’s Nicole Birkett and Jade Wilson the unlucky crew to finish fourth.

In the men’s K2, one year after becoming the first Portuguese crew to ever win a world title, Jose Ramalho and Fernando Pimenta were back on the top podium after edging out France’s Quentin Urban and Jeremy Candy for the gold.

The Frenchmen, world champions from 2019 and 2021, fell just 0.78 of a second short of the win, with Norwegian brothers Jon and Eivind Vold repeating their bronze medal result from last year.

In the men’s C2 there was a repeat of the podium from 2022, with Spain’s Manuel Campos and Diego Romero winning their fourth consecutive title – the fifth for Romero.

Spanish teammates Fernando Busto and Diego Miguens once again took silver, while Poland’s Mateusz Zuchora and Mateusz Borgiel retained their bronze medal, and a fourth consecutive minor medal.

Argentina’s Vicente Vergauven and Joaquin Catalano won the men’s junior K2, ahead of Hungary’s Daniel Zemen and Arpad Kekesi, with Spain’s Arturo Aguilar third.

Hungary finished the world championships as the most successful nation with 16 medals, including seven gold, while Spain with five gold and 14 medals in total finished second. Sixteen countries shared the medals.

Pics by Svend-Erik Boysen

Marathon men K2 Vejen Denmark

Canoe Marathon