Poland’s Arsen Sliwinski and Michal Lubniewski delighted home fans with a thrilling gold medal in the men’s C2 200 at the ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup in Poznan, Poland, on Sunday.

Slovenia, China, Spain, Brazil and France picked up gold in other non-Olympic events as the opening world cup of the season came to a close at Malta Regatta.

Poland edged out Belarus and Kazakhstan in the lightning fast C2 final.

“It’s very important for me and for Michal because this is our country, so we are very happy” Sliwinski said.

“The weather made it very hard, the waves on the last 50 metres were bad, but we did what we wanted to do.”

Spela Ponomarenko Janic and Anja Osterman’s fairytale comeback to top level racing continued with victory in the women’s K2 200. Janic was returning to competition after having a baby in October, and the pair had not spent time training for the 200.

“We had been focusing on the 500, which is the Olympic distance,” Janic said.

“Our race wasn’t perfect, but we did enough to win even though it was not perfect.”

The depth in Spanish sprint canoeing was underlined by the win for Marcos Abad Sanchez and Carlos Borras Caldentey in the men’s K2 200.

The 24-year-olds admitted they are Spain’s B team currently, but they could not have been more impressive in Sunday’s final. They got there the tough way, being forced to go through the semi-finals on Sunday morning.

“We haven’t been training a lot together because we live in different parts of Spain, so each time we had a race here we were feeling better,” Caldentey said.

“We’ve been in the U23 for umber of years and waiting for an opportunity at a senior international competition. So this is our first time, and we knew we had to do as well as we can.”

In other results, China’s Wenjun Lin and Luqi Zhang won the women’s C2 200, and Brazil’s Isaquias Dos Santos continued his good form in the C1 500.

For the first time mixed events were held at an ICF world cup, with China’s Hao Liu and Mengya Sun winning the mixed C2 500, and France’s Maxime Beaumont and Manon Hostens winning the mixed K2 500.

In the 5000 metre races, Norway’s Vold brothers, Jon and Eivind, linked arms and crossed the finish line together to win the men’s K1, after pre-race favourite Fernando Pimenta of Portugal was forced to retire with a damaged rudder.

A photo finish revealed the younger brother, Jon, had just pipped his big brother

Canada’s Katie Vincent won the women’s C1, Cuba’s Serguey Torres Madrigal took the men’s C1 gold, and Ukraine’s Inna Hryshchun won the women’s K1.

Brazil Isaquias Dos Santos C1 500 Poznan 2019

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