To many seasoned observers Denmark’s Mads Brandt Pedersen has revolutionised the way canoe marathon races are paddled, but its questionable if many of the world’s best will be able to match him.

Pedersen goes out hard very early in a 29 kilometre race, throwing down the gauntlet to the rest of the field to decide if they want to match him, or wait in the hope he tires and eventually returns to the field.

Except on the available evidence – Shaoxing in 2019 and Bascov on Saturday – Pedersen does not tire. And woe behold anyone who tries to go with the headstrong Dane, as he gradually wears them down.

In 2019 he did it twice in 24 hours, creating history and defying the rules of biology by winning the U23 and senior world titles back-to-back. On Saturday the 25-year-old was at it again, decimating a 38-man field stacked with world and European champions by the third lap of an eight-lap race.

“It’s something else when everyone else knows who you are, it’s really tough, But I think it’s amazing as well,” he said.

“I’ve been training for two years and thinking about taking the title again, so coming here after a year of Corona and being back on the world stage and to take the world championship again, it’s absolutely amazing.”

It’s the talk of the world championships – the emergence once again of Denmark as a canoe marathon world powerhouse. They won U23 men’s and women’s K1 titles on Friday, and Pedersen’s victory 24 hours later confirmed the obvious – this will be the nation to watch for the next decade.

“In Denmark we have a good group of people doing marathon, the level is very high and we can push each other, so that’s pretty cool,” Pedersen said.

Pedersen backs his abilities with the confidence of an athlete who has nothing left to prove. It’s a tough approach, but it works.

“It was super tough, we had a very high average speed and we worked very hard to keep the distance to the chasers, so it was amazing to take the win,” Pedersen said after he and Spain’s Ivan Alonso blew the field away on Saturday.

“I wanted to stay at the top and have very good rushes, and I knew for me it would be good to have a very hard race, hard speed all the way, so the race suited me very well.

“After the first portage we went really hard, so I knew this was the right way for me and it worked out pretty well.”

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