Germany’s Max Hoff and Sebastian Brendel each completed the 2014 ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup series with a 100 percent record in their respective events as the action concluded in Szeged, Hungary on Sunday, May 25.
Hoff dominated the K1 Men 1000m and Brendel was equally impressive over the C1 Men 1000m. Brendel also added the C1 Men 500m and 5000m golds to his name out sprinting longtime adversary, Mark Oldershaw (CAN) in both.
Ronald Rauhe and Tom Liebscher (GER) equaled their compatriots golden standard by making it three from three in the K2 Men 200m, and Germany’s K4 500m Women’s team took their second gold of the 2014 campaign.
Hungary continued to prove their paddling power with a series of victories in front of a partisan crowd over the final ICF World Cup of the 2014 season.
Home Success for Hungary
Top of the bill was Danuta Kozák (HUN), the double Olympic champion added a further two medals to her tally, winning the K1 Women 500m and teaming up with Ninetta Vad, Gabriella Szabó and Anna Kárász to reach the top step of the podium in the K4 Women 500m.
Miklós Dudás (K1 Men 200m) and Zsanett Lakatos (C1 Women 200m) also took individual medals for the host nation, and the duos of Róbert Mike and Henrik Vasbányai (C2 Men 1000m), plus Flóra Nagy and Ramóna Farkasdi (K2 Women 1000m) collected gold in their respective events.
Australia’s Murray Stewart also shone during the weekend of action stepping on to the podium twice. The 27-year-old gained silver in the K1 Men 1000m and later joined forces with his countrymen (David Smith, Jacob Clear, Tate Smith) in the K4 Men 1000m; the London 2012 Olympic gold winning quartet looked comfortable and secured gold ahead of their Hungarian rivals, Serbia picked up the bronze.
“To come out and pull that sort of race off just goes to show how we can race when things come together,” K4 captain Tate Smith said.
Clear was equally pleased, “I think we really nailed our race plan and kept our composure and that gave us a really nice middle section and then we had some guts at the end,” he said.
Stewart admitted he was feeling it prior to the K4 final, “They [arms] were stinging a bit, but we train for that. Once I got in the four I didn’t really think about that,” Stewart said.
Brits, Rachel Cawthorn, Jess Walker, Angela Hannah and Lani Belcher also all picked up two medals; Cawthorn won gold with partner Belcher in the K2 Women 500m and took bronze in the K4 Women 500m with Hannah, Walker and Louisa Sawers. Belcher won her second gold in the K1 Women 5000m.
Walker and Hannah went on to win the K2 Women 200m by 0.282 seconds over Slovakian’s Ivana Kmeťová and Martina Kohlová.
“It’s a really great feeling to win gold,” said delighted Hannah afterwards. “After our winter’s training it’s always felt like we have been able to do it, so it’s great to actually get it out in a race.”
“These last two weekends have been about seeing where we are in our crew boats and also learning about racing.
“We have really been putting ourselves under pressure and when we were tired pulling ourselves back up again to race in another event.
“But we all have a lot of determination, especially knowing that we are not going to get another opportunity to race these people again until the Europeans in July.”
Austria’s Markus Swoboda returned to win his favoured K1 Men 200m Paracanoe-TA event; the day after demonstrating his versatility by winning the V1 Men 200m Paracanoe-TA.
René Holten Poulsen (DEN) succeeded in the K1 Men 500m outgunning a world-class collection of finalists; leading from the off the Dane managed to hold onto his advantage, Bulgaria’s Miroslav Kirchev took the silver.
The race also provided Adam Van Koeverden (CAN) a welcome bronze after a return to serious competitive action following a rest in 2013.
Hungary’s, Miklós Dudás managed to secure the K1 Men 200m dash, with Poland’s Karolina Naja equalling his achievement in the Women’s equivalent.
This brings an end to the 2014 ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup series and the athletes will now prepare for the World Championships in Moscow, Russia 6-10 August.