The final major canoe sprint competition before this year’s Paris Olympics has attracted many of the biggest names in the sport as they look for one last hit-out in Poznan, Poland, this weekend.

New Zealand teammates Aimee Fisher and Lisa Carrington brought the grandstand down with their epic K1 500 final last weekend in Szeged and their rematch this weekend will undoubtedly be one of the event highlights.

Carrington had not lost a K1 500 race at a world championship or Olympic level since 2019, and led for all but the final 20 metres against Fisher in Szeged, who has been confirmed as part of the New Zealand Olympic team for Paris after sitting out the Tokyo Games.

Carrington and Alicia Hoskin will be looking to follow up their K2 500 gold in Szeged with another win in Poznan, but will face strong opposition from two Polish crews, headed by Karolina Naja and Anna Pulawska, the German combination of Jule Hake and Paulina Paszek and from fellow New Zealanders Fisher and Lucy Matehaere.

The Hungarians are missing this weekend, but their absence will be offset by the return of Ukraine’s top Olympic prospects after they sat out the Szeged world cup. The men’s K4 500 and women’s canoe paddler Liudmyla Luzan will be watched closely.

The women’s K4 will be another major attraction, with surprise packets Germany out to show their victory in Hungary was no fluke. Hometown favourites Poland will have two crews challenging the Germans, while New Zealand will also be aiming to get back on the podium.

The incredible Chinese C2 500 women’s combination of Mengya Sun and Shixiao Xu will look to keep their amazing run of success going. The pair have not been beaten at any level since 2019, and are already short-price favourites for gold in Paris.

The return of Ukraine’s Liudmyla Luzan and Anastasisa Rybachok could be the main challengers.

The women’s C1 200 features top prospects Luzan, Poland’s Dorota Borowska, China’s Wenjun Lin and Germany’s Lisa Jahn.

Local hope Wiktor Glazunow will be hoping for a podium in the men’s C1 1000, with Ukraine’s Pavlo Altukhov one of the athletes likely to challenge. In the men’s C2 500 the Chinese pairing of Hao Liu and Bowen Ji will be hard to beat.

Portugal’s Fernando Pimenta, Germany’s Jakob Thordsen, Argentinian Agustin Vernice and China’s Dong Zhang  will be among the favourites for the men’s K1 1000, while Germany has split up its K4 500 crew into two K2 500 boats, with Jacob Schopf and Max Lemke filling one, and Max Rendschmidt and Tom Liebscher-Lucz the other.

Germany will start favourites in the K4 500, but the Ukrainian crew will be one to watch on its return to top level racing.

The second ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup for 2024 begins in Poznan on Friday.

New Zealand Carrington Hoskin Szeged 2024

Canoe Sprint