Reigning world champion Vanda Kiszli led a gold medal charge for Hungary while there were also triumphs for Ukraine, Spain and France in the inaugural short distance races on the opening day of the ICF canoe marathon world championships in Shaoxing, China, on Thursday.

Kiszli will defend her marathon title this weekend, and on Thursday added the new short race world title to her resumé as one of three gold medals for Hungary. Eszter Rendessy won the women’s junior K1 and Benedek Horvath the men’s junior C1.

France’s Cyrille Carre made a successful return to canoe marathon with gold in the men’s K1 short race, Ukraine’s Liudmyla Babak added a short race C1 title to her two long distance marathon titles, and Spain’s Diego Romero added a men’s C1 short race to his C2 world title from 2018.

The addition of the 3.60 kilometre short races to the world championship program proved popular, with Kiszli and Babak both making the transition with ease. Kiszli said she was unsure how the race would unfold.

“It was so quick, we started and then we were on the last lap,” Kiszli said.

“I didn’t know if I would be any good, because I knew the other girls were very fast. So I just focussed on me and did my race.

“It was a good warm-up for me ahead of this weekend. I’m a little bit nervous because I am the world champion, so everyone wants to beat me.”

Kiszli beat Serbia’s Kristina Bedec, with Spain’s Eva Barrios taking the bronze.

France <a href='/webservice/athleteprofile/35299' data-id='35299' target='_blank' class='athlete-link'>Cyrille Carre</a> canoe marathon Shaoxing 2019

France’s Carre showed the benefit of a big season of canoe sprint racing with a solid win in the men’s K1 short race, edging out teammate Jeremy Candy for the gold. Carre won bronze at the 2013 world championships in the men’s K1, but has focussed more on sprint racing since then.

This year’s world championships fitted into his schedule, and proved a good distraction for Carre from his efforts to qualify in the K1 1000 for next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.

“It was possible for me to compete at this year’s world championships, and with the short distance race it worked well for me,” Carre said.

For training for the 1000 it is similar to this format, so it is not a problem. For the 1000 I need a lot of training, but I’m not afraid about that. But we will wait and see if it also works for the marathon distance.”

Argentina’s Franco Balboa took the bronze.

Spain <a href='/webservice/athleteprofile/46825' data-id='46825' target='_blank' class='athlete-link'>Diego Romero</a> canoe marathon Shaoxing 2019

Diego Romero won C2 marathon gold in Portugal last year alongside Oscar Grana, and on Thursday won his first individual world title. He edged out teammate Manuel Campos, with the Czech Republic’s Jakub Brezina taking the bronze.

Liudmyla Babak has dominated women’s canoe racing in recent years, and on Thursday added the short course title to the two marathon world titles she has won for Ukraine. Hungary’s Zsofia Kisban was second, while China’s Ying Wang gave the host nation its second bronze medal for the day.

The 2019 ICF canoe marathon world championships continue in Shaoxing on Friday.



  1. BABAK Liudmyla  (UKR)  19:20.43
  2. KISBAN Zsofia       (HUN) 19:30:85
  3. WANG Ying           (CHN)  19:43.05


  1. KISZLI Vanda  (HUN) 15:40.29
  2. BEDEC Kristina (SRB) 15:41.38
  3. BARRIOS Eva     (ESP) 15:45.44


  1. ROMERO Diego  (ESP)  16:17.54
  2. CAMPOS Manuel (ESP) 16:18.86
  3. BREZINA Jakub     (CZE) 16:18.86


  1. CARRE Cyrille  (FRA)   14:20.20
  2. CANDY Jeremy (FRA)  14:21.51
  3. BALBOA Franco (ARG) 14:27.35

Ukraine <a href='/webservice/athleteprofile/53283' data-id='53283' target='_blank' class='athlete-link'>Liudmyla Babak</a> canoe marathon Shaoxing 2019

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