Switzerland continued its dominance of men’s kayak cross, while Germany’s Elena Lilik broke through for her first gold medal as the ICF world cup came to a close at La Seu, Spain, on Sunday.

The Swiss have revolutionised the kayak cross competition with speed and tactics which have left the rest of the world playing catch up. At a previous world cup in Prague Dimitri Marx and Jan Rohrer finished first and second, and on Sunday both Swiss paddlers once again lined up in the final.

On this occasion it was Rohrer who got the gold, with Marx being targeted by the other two finalists, Great Britain’s reigning world champion Joe Clarke, and Frenchman Anatole Delassus, the reigning world championship silver medalist.

“It was a tough race, it was good to be in the final again, especially with Dimitri again, but unfortunately we couldn’t make it on the podium together, but hopefully in the future again,” Rohrer said.

“I tried to slow down and push everyone else to the left, to try and make sure they wouldn’t come to the right with me, and it paid off. Now everyone is on the same level technically, so the next thing to discover is the tactics.

“With Dimitri in the training group, we have the perfect conditions to work out. A big part of our success is our dynamic together.”

Clarke took the silver and Delassus the bronze, with Marx finishing outside the medals.

Two Olympic K1 gold medalists found themselves lining up against each other in the women’s final, with Germany’s Tokyo champion Ricarda Funk and Spain’s 2016 title holder, Maialen Chourraut, doing battle.

But it was fellow German Elena Lilik, and Great Britain’s Kimberley Woods who fought out the finish, with Lilik putting together a tactically perfect race to take the gold after a difficult week on the water.

“I was ready, I wasn’t as exhausted as I thought I would be after all the slalom competitions, so I felt pretty good in the morning and I was ready to fight, and it was a fight to the finals, so it was perfect,” Lilik said.

“I had some problems with my health in the preparations for this world cup, so I was pretty tired this week. But I managed to be on point for this competition, and I’m pretty proud of it.

“People are being a bit smarter and a bit more aggressive than a few years ago, so you have to b e tough. My arms were shaking on the ramp, I’m always nervous in kayak cross.”

Woods took the silver, while Germany’s K1 Olympic champion, Ricarda Funk, picked up a bronze, her first medal in kayak cross, ahead of Chourraut.



  1. LILIK Elena               (GER)
  2. WOODS Kimberley (GBR)
  3. FUNK Ricarda (GER)


  1. ROHRER Jan          (SUI)
  2. CLARKE Joseph  (GBR)
  3. DELASSUS Anatole (FRA)

Pics by Marc Etxaniz

Germany Elena Lilik kayak cross La Seu 2023

Kayak Cross