Surprise at Canoe Sprint and Paracanoe European Championships. EUROPEAN CANOE ASSOCIATION

The 2024 ECA Canoe Sprint, Paracanoe and SUP European Championships in Szeged, Hungary, saw the host nation dominate the canoe sprint, while Ukraine excelled in the paracanoe events.

One of the most anticipated finals on the final day was the men's K1 1000 metres, a race long dominated by Hungary's Balint Kopasz and Portugal's Fernando Pimenta. However, it was Belarus' Aleh Yurenia (AIN) who shocked the crowd by taking the European title from lane 9, finishing just 0.370 seconds ahead of local favourite Balint Kopasz (HUN), who took silver. Portuguese Fernando Pimenta finished third, 2.977 seconds behind Yurenia.

In the women's K2 500m final, Denmark's Emma Aastrand Jorgensen and Fredrerikke Matthiesen won gold with a time of 1:45.804, 0.107 seconds ahead of Poland's Justyna Iskrzycka and Katarzyna Kolodziejczyk. Hungary's Alida Gazso and Tamara Csipes took bronze, 0.770 seconds behind.

In the men's C2 500m final, Russia's Alexey Korovashkov and Ivan Shtyl (AIN) took gold ahead of Poland's Wiktor Glazunow and Arsen Sliwinski, with Italy's Gabriele Casadei and Carlo Tacchini third.

Polish canoeist Dorota Borowska won the women's C1 200 metres final with a time of 46.322, almost a second ahead of Spain's Antia Jacome. Yuliya Trushkina (AIN) took bronze.

In the men's K4 500 metres, the Belarusian team of Mikita Borykau, Uladzislau Kravets, Uladzislau Litvinau and Dzitry Natynchyk (AIN) won gold ahead of Poland (Stepun, Korsak, Morawski, Witczak) and Italy (Rizza, Freschi, Lanciotti, Penato).

Hungary celebrated two gold medals in the 5000 metres in the afternoon. Adolf Balazs won the men's C1 5000 metres, with Ivan Patapenka (AIN) second and Serghei Tarnovschi (MDA) third.

Emese Kohalmi (HUN) took gold in the women's K1 5000 metres with a time of 22:33.539. Sweden's Melina Andersson was second (+1.102) and Maria Virik (NOR) third (+1.993).

Fernando Pimenta (POR) won his second medal of the day in the 5000 metres to become European Champion, finishing half a second ahead of Adam Varga (HUN), with Mads Pedersen (DEN) taking bronze (+0.685).

The final event of the Championships was the women's C1 5000 metres. Volha Klimava (AIN) won gold, Valeriia Tereta (UKR) was second and Zsofia Kisban (HUN) third.

Hungary finished the canoe sprint part of the Championships with 19 medals (10 gold, 6 silver, 3 bronze). Poland came second with 14 medals (3 gold, 10 silver, 1 bronze) and Portugal third with four medals (2 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze).

Spain won six medals but only one gold, behind Portugal and Italy with four medals each. Denmark and Moldova also won four medals each. Sweden and Norway finished with three medals each. The Czech Republic and Georgia won two medals each, while Romania, Ukraine, Germany, Slovenia, Austria, France, Lithuania and Serbia took home one medal each.


Five paracanoe events were scheduled for the final day. Ukrainian paddler Mykola Syniuk recorded the best time in the men's KL2 200-metre final, beating Italy's Christian Volpi and Serbia's Strahinja Bukvić.

Hungarian parakayaker Katalin Varga was crowned European Champion in the women's KL2 200m final, with Germany's Anja Adler second and Israel's Talia Eilat third.

Portugal's Norberto Mourao was the fastest in the tight men's VL 200 metre final, finishing 0.150 seconds ahead of Ukraine's Andrii Kryvchun, with Hungary's Robert Suba third.

Two unofficial European Championships were also held. Maryna Mazhula (UKR), Edina Mueller (GER) and Eleonora De Paolis (GER) were the top three in the women's KL1 200 metres, while Belarus' Ilya Taupianets (AIN), David Gonzalez (ESP) and Moritz Berthold (GER) made the podium in the men's VL1 200 metres final.

Ukraine was the most successful nation at the European Paracanoe Championships, winning four medals (three gold and one silver). Spain and France also won four medals each. Spanish paddlers took home two golds and two silvers, while French athletes secured one gold, two silvers and one bronze. Hungary and Italy both won three medals. Great Britain, Germany, Poland and Israel each won two medals. Serbia and Portugal celebrated one medal each on Sunday.

It's important to note that athletes from Russia and Belarus did not compete under their national flags, but as Individual Neutral Athletes (AIN).

Next year, the 2025 ECA Canoe Sprint and Paracanoe European Championships will be held in Račice, Czech Republic.