Szeged plans to show next month why it's the spiritual home of canoe sprint

As befitting a city which many consider to be the spiritual home of canoe sprint, up to 1000 athletes are expected to compete in Szeged in next month’s opening International Canoe Federation World Cup for 2018.

In Hungary, canoe sprint is almost a religion, and Szeged is where the faithful come to pay their respects. The facilities are world-class, the crowds plentiful, knowledgeable, noisy and excitable.

In 2019 Szeged will host the ICF Canoe Sprint and Paracanoe World Championships. Next month organisers will have a test run from May 17 to 20, with the world’s very best canoe and paracanoe athletes expected to attend.

Szeged has not hosted a World Championships since 2011, and previously held the sport’s premiere event in 2006 and 1998.

Hungary can lay claim to being the world’s strongest canoe sprint nation, especially in women’s events where they have consistently produced the best athletes in the world for several decades.

Organisers believe around 70 countries will participate in next month’s World Cup, which will carry the slogan “Need for Speed”. Much of their focus this year will be on improving the experience for the passionate crowd.

It will include a better way of introducing athletes pre-race to the fans, and bringing medalists closer to the crowd at the end of races.

There are also plans for more cameras, drones, and a big screen at the venue.

And then the local committee will set upon a major infrastructure project, widening and reforming the course, putting roofs on the stands, re-working the roads around the venue and adding more parking places.

It will further underline Szeged’s claim as the international home of canoe sprint.

2018 ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup 1 Szeged Hungary

Canoe Sprint
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