The second International Canoe Federation canoe sprint world cup of the season gets underway in Poland this weekend, with paddling superstars Shixiao Xu and Mengya Sun from China headlining a start list once again packed with Olympic and world champions.

Xu and Sun have been unbeatable in the women’s C2 500 since winning Olympic gold when the event made its debut in Tokyo. They kicked off the 2023 season with a world cup win in Szeged earlier this month, and will once again start favourites in Poznan this weekend.

One of the event highlights this weekend will once again be the men’s K1 1000, which has attracted an Olympic-class field. Tokyo gold medalist Balint Kopasz will be out to turn the tables on Hungarian teammate, Adam Varga, who won gold in Szeged, with Portugal’s evergreen Fernando Pimenta hoping to go one better than his silver in the opening world cup.

The men’s C2 500 should also be an event highlight, with Szeged gold medalists David Korisanszky and Adam Fekete set to lock horns with Poland’s Aleksander Kitewski and Norman Zezula, and the Italian boats of Gabriele Casadei and Carlo Tacchini and 2021 world champions, Nicolae Craciun and Daniele Santini.

There were surprise results in both the men’s and women’s K4 500 in Szeged, with China snatching victory in the women’s final, and Lithuania upsetting their more fancied rivals in the men’s. Both crews are entered again this weekend.

The race between China and a Polish K4 which welcomes Olympian Anna Pulawska back into the boat will be intriguing, while in the men, Lithuania’s biggest challenge could come from a Ukraine crew who missed the Szeged world cup.

Also returning for the first time this season will be Ukraine’s Tokyo Olympian Liudmyla Luzan, who is set for a tough battle with China’s Wenjun Lin and local hope Dorota Borowska in the women’s C1 200.

Czech Martin Fuksa returns to the C1 1000 this weekend after competing in just the C2 in Szeged. Poland’s Wiktor Glazunow will be eying off a gold in front of his home crowd after taking brone a fortnight ago.

Denmark’s Emma Jorgensen will be favoured to break through for a win in the women’s K1 500, while Australia’s Tokyo K2 1000 gold medalists, Jean Van Der Westhuyzen and Tom Green will fancy their chances of breaking through for a win in the new Olympic K2 500 distance.

In the women’s K2 500, Poland’s Olympic silver medalists Karolina Naja and Anna Pulawska will have their first international hit out of the season, with their toughest challenge likely to come from teammates Martyna Klatt and Helena Wisniewska and Germany’s Pauline Paszek and Jule Hake.

Hungary Adam Varga U23 Szeged 2022

Canoe Sprint