May 15 marked 100 days before the ICF Canoe Sprint and Paracanoe World Championships, and the organisers held a media conference in the host city of the event, Szeged.

At the same time, a countdown clock was started downtown. The event was attended by two world champion locals of Szeged, Anna Kárász and Balázs Birkás, both who have the chance to win medals at the world championships in August.

"The organising committee has joined forces with the local municipality and the ever-growing group of supporters to welcome the world for the fourth time since 1998, 2006 and 2011," Gábor Schmidt, President of the Hungarian Canoe Federation (HCF) said.

"With the support of the Hungarian government, the biggest development of the history of the Olympic Centre of Szeged is taking place, as a result of which the race course will be completely renewed from nearly €17 million and new prospects will open up in terms of utilization.

"TV cameras will be moved to the dividing island, so the broadcast will be more spectacular, and the visitors will be rewarded with renewed stands, more space, parking lots and new roads. We hope that the stands will be filled up this time again, we are going to have a lot of novelties, we want to give the fans a lifetime experience, and for this we will entertain the local audience with different short films and live productions.”

"The participation of more than 80 countries is already confirmed for the world championships, and although there is still a lot of time left until the opening ceremony on 20th of August , a sold out sign board could be already placed in Szeged and the tickets are also running out fast."

Referring to the slogan of the world championships, he emphasised that they are confident that the success story of Hungarian canoeing, which began 80 years ago, would continue on the water.

Anna Kárász and Balázs Birkás play an important role in the campaign of the World Championships, both are competitors of the club of Szeged.

"The domestic course always gives us an extra boost, I can never express the feeling we feel during the last 200 meters when we compete in Szeged," said Kárász, who became World Champion in 500m K2 with Danuta Kozák last year in Portugal, which will be her main discipline this year as well.

Birkás will also compete as a world champion at this year’s event, and he already participated in the 2011 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in Szeged, though in a completely different role.

"My task was to provide the competitors with the start lists," mentioned Birkás, who won gold in 200m K2 last year and the year before with Márk Balaska.

"I see an absolute chance for my second title defense, but we have multiple aims during the preparation, and we don’t know yet which will be our main disciplines. We are preparing for the 200m K1 and 200m K2, and also for the 500m K4. We will see at the qualification races what’s working out well."

The world championships start in less than 100 days and on this occasion, on 15th May, a countdown clock was started in the downtown of Szeged, which shows the remaining time until the start of the event.

Ticket sales for the world championships have begun since March at Every year, there is a growing interest in the canoe sprint world championships. Fortunately, there are more and more people who want to see the greatest athletes of this sport competing against each other, especially in an Olympic qualification world championships, where about 70-80 percent of the Olympic quotas can be obtained.

The event will be attended by many athletes, journalists and officials, so it is recommended to book accomodation in time. If you are looking for accommodation in Szeged during the world championships, please contact the organisers via

Important information for foreign journalists: accreditation requests can already be submitted for the event on the official website.


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