Hungarian athletes have been in the spotlight during the first competition day of the 2016 ECA European Canoe Marathon Championships in Pontevedra. They have won seven medals in four events and one additional in women’s C1 junior category which has not been an official event since not enough countries have entered this race.
Hungarian paddler, 22-year old Vanda Kiszli, crossed the finish line in women’s K1 U23 with the fastest time to defend her European champion title from 2015. She stopped the clock at 1:49:10.0 which brought her a secure win with 20 seconds lead ahead of her compatriot Noemi Misko. Danish athlete Emilie Rosenkilde was third.
“It was very hard, it was windy and the portages … These were the longest portages ever! But it was good. I had problems with kidney stone two weeks ago, so I couldn’t train for a week and it was very hard for me. I am very happy,” said Vanda Kizsli after her win at the 22600 metres long course in Pontevedra.
It was a double win for Hungary in Junior K1 women event as well. Viktoria Fruzsina Nagy needed one hour, 35 minutes and 16 seconds to complete her race. Zsofia Balogh won a silver medal for Hungary and Spanish representative Nora Rey was third. The junior paddlers competed at 19 kilometres long course.
Another gold medal for Hungary was won by Balint Benedeguz Bazsonyi who was the fastest in men’s K1 junior event (22600 metres). The race was very tense until the last metres. Hungarian was at the end only five seconds faster than his closest rival Luis Ferreira from Portugal and Nico Paufler from Germany was third.
“I didn’t think I could win this race, it is a big surprise. I waited until the last lap, which was the most important. At the end I did it,” said the new European Champion.
The medals have been given also in the junior C1 men event. It was Sergio Maciel (POR) who managed to pick up a gold medal in this event with a strong support from his fans who were cheering from the river bank. Two Hungarian canoeists Sebestyen Simon and Balazs Adlof were second and third.
Although very tired after his winning performance, Sergio Maciel, gathered his thoughts after the European Champion title, “I have never thought this might be even possible. I am very happy. I tried not to use all the energy until the last lap, and then in the last lap I gave everything.”
Unfortunately there have not been enough counties entered in the women’s junior C1 race, so the best three paddlers were given medals, but not the official European Championships medals as this was not recognized event. Panna Pafia (HUN) was the fastest, followed by Julia Dunkel (GER) and Lara Outon (ESP).
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