Hungary, France and China produced major shocks on a day of surprise results at the ICF canoe sprint world cup in Duisburg, Germany.

Canada’s Laurence Vincent-Lapointe and Katie Vincent suffered a shock defeat in the women’s C2 500, and Germany’s Max Hoff and Jacob Schopf in the K2 1000 and Peter Kretschmer and Yul Oeltze in the C2 1000 were also relegated to second place.

It was left to the German men’s and women’s K4 500 boats to return the situation to some form of normality, with both posting strong victories in front of a big and patient home crowd.

The defeat of the Canadians by Hungary’s Virag Balla and Kincso Takacs was perhaps the biggest shock on Sunday. Vincent-Lapointe and Vincent have looked unbeatable for two years, but the performance of Balla and Takacs underlines how fast women’s canoeing is improving.

“We thought the same, we thought the Canadian girls would win this C2,” Balla said.

“When we saw on the big screen we had won, we were so happy. We just pushed and focussed on our technique.”

China Liu Zheng C2 1000 Duisburg 2019

Reigning world champions Kretschmer and Oeltze were expected to win the men’s C2 1000, and in the process qualify themselves for the German world championship team ahead of Olympic gold medalists, Sebastian Brendel and Jan Vendrey.

They achieved the latter, but were unable to take the gold, losing out to an ecstatic Chinese pairing of Hao Liu and Pengfei Zheng.

Likewise Germans Hoff and Schopf were expected to back up their slashing gold medal win in Poznan one week ago with another win in front of their home crowd.

France Carre Hubert K2 1000 Duisburg 2019

With just a handful of metres to go, the win looked theirs, until a withering final burst from France’s Cyrille Carre and Etienne Hubert, racing together in a major event for the first time, snatched the gold away.

“During the race we just tried to focus on our boat, because right next to us was Max Hoff, so we stayed focussed on the finish to give it our all,” Hubert said.

“It’s very important for us to win here, and it is our first international race, so now we will have to see for the rest of the year and maybe next year.”

Germany K4 men Duisburg 2019

The men’s K4 500 final was expected to be a showdown between world champions Germany, and silver medalists Spain, returning to racing after sitting out last week’s opening world cup.

But it was no contest, with the Germans thrilling their home crowd with an emphatic victory. Slovakia took a surprise silver, with Spain fading to fifth.

“We always enjoy the battle with the Spanish guys, our friends, so we were a little bit surprised with how the race was going today,” Rauhe said.

“We tried to post a fast race because the conditions were pretty good, so we always battle with the time anyway. So we’re happy, it is a first step towards the world championships.”

The German women’s K4 crew have waited a long time to return to the top of the podium, but in the absence of the powerful Hungarian and New Zealand boats on Sunday they made the race their own, tipping out France and Poland for the gold medal.

“We’ve had to wait so long for this medal, and now it’s a gold, so it’s amazing for us,” Franziska John said.

“This morning we had some doubts, but in the race we knew it was going to be a good race, and we brought it to the end.”

German women K4 500 Duisburg 2019

Poland’s Anna Pulawska broke through for her first ever international gold, winning the K1 500 gold ahead of Denmark’s Emma Jorgensen and Belgium’s Lize Broekx, who dead-heated for second.

“It was a fast and a hard race, but I won my first international gold medal, so I’m happy,” Pulawska said.

“I didn’t think I could win a medal, so it’s a surprise for me. I’m so happy.”

Poland <a href='/webservice/athleteprofile/44828' data-id='44828' target='_blank' class='athlete-link'>Anna Pulawska</a> K1 200 Duisburg 2019

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