The International Canoe Federation canoe sprint competition moves to Poznan in Poland this weekend for the second and final world cup of the 2022 season.

For many of the athletes it will be their final opportunity to test themselves against quality international opponents ahead of this year’s ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in Halifax, Canada, in August this year.

Among those to impress on the opening weekend in Racice were New Zealand’s Lisa Carrington in the women’s K1 500, China’s Shixiao Xu and Mengya Sun in the women’s C2, and Poland’s women’s K4 and K2 and Spain’s men’s K4.

Portugal’s Fernando Pimenta declared he was still short of his best form, despite winning a gruelling K1 1000 in the Czech Republic, and will once again come up against young gun Thomas Green from Australia and Jacob Schopf from Germany in Poznan.

Rio 2016 silver medalist Josef Dostal will have his first outing in the men’s K1 1000 for this season after missing the race last weekend.

Czech Martin Fuksa earned double gold in the men’s canoe in front of a home crowd in Racice, and will appreciate the absence of Brazil’s Tokyo gold medalist, Isaquias dos Santos, this weekend. But there are several other paddlers keen to impress.

Romania’s Catalin Chirila appeared to enjoy racing the C1 in Racice after several seasons racing C2, and finished second behind Fuksa in the 1000.

Another young paddler to make her mark in Racice was 20-year-old Cuban Yarisleidis Duboys, who showed incredible improvement to win the C1 200 final, a race in which she finished last in Copenhagen at the 2021 world championships.

Duboys and C2 partner Katherin Segura have been training in nearby Bydgoszcz, and will also look to go one better in the C2 500 after finishing second behind China’s Olympic champions Xu and Sun last weekend.

The Polish combination of Karolina Naja and Anna Pulawska will start short-priced favourites to win the K2 500 this weekend, after the Olympic silver medalists cruised to gold in Racice. Naja and Pulawska are also part of a strong women’s K4 crew that should once again be the team to beat this weekend.

A stronger showing is expected by the German team this weekend, after nearly all its athletes struggled in Racice. Most of the team contracted Covid during a recent training camp, and are still working their way back to full fitness.

The men’s K4, 1000 metre specialist Jacob Schopf and C1 world champion Conrad Scheibner were among the athletes who struggled last weekend but should be stronger in Poland.

Five-time Olympic champion Lisa Carrington has added her beloved K1 200 to her program this weekend, despite the race no longer being in the Olympics. The New Zealander has not been beaten over 200 at an international level since 2011.

Carrington will also contest the K1 500, where she will again start the shortest of short-priced favourites after her strong performance in Racice, in the K2 500 with 22-year-old Alicia Hoskin, and the K4 500.

The men’s C2 500 will be one of the most anticipated races this weekend, with the Spanish gold and silver medalists from Racice both missing this weekend. It will leave the door open for Italy’s defending world champions, Nicolae Craciun and Daniele Santini, to return to the top of the podium after finishing third last weekend.

Ukraine’s Oleh Kukharyk and Ihor Trunov were emotional winners in the men’s K2 500, a new Olympic event for Paris, but will not be racing this weekend. Olympic K1 1000 champions Thomas Green and Jean Westhuyzen will start favourites after winning silver in Racice.

Olympic K1 1000 bronze medalists Josef Dostal and Radek Slouf will get another chance to show they can compete over the shorter distance after surprisingly finding themselves in last weekend’s C final.

The ICF canoe sprint world cup in Poznan begins on Thursday and continues through to Sunday, finishing with 5000 metre races which will include two portages.

Portugal Fernando Pimenta Racice 2022

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