The 2011 ICF Canoe Marathon World
Championships kicks off this year with a record number of athletes competing
in six different categories. Forty nations are present, two up from the
Vaxholm Championships in 1996. All of marathon's top paddlers have arrived
in Singapore and have been joined by some well known Canoe Sprint paddlers
who will be trying to challenge the marathoners. The competition starts from
21 October (Friday) to 23 October (Sunday); current temperatures are
reported to be hot and humid, which promises to make racing challenging and
"It is hot, thirty-five Celsius and above and very humid. It is a little
bumpy on the water but the conditions are fair," said Susanne Gunnarsson, a
five time marathon World Champion, who now coaches the Swedish team. "The
portage is very exciting. The athletes need to jump out of the water and run
over a 150 meter long floating platform, carrying their boats right in front
of the grand stand. This will be very challenging for the paddlers and
really exciting to watch!"
The competition as it stands:
In the Women's K1 category, the clear favourite is the great Renata Csay
(HUN); she won last year's World Championships and has been dominating the discipline for the past 10 years. Csay will be challenged by her teammate
Judith Collar, Anna Alberti (ITA) and Frederike Leue (GER).
There could be another victory on Sunday for Renate Csay in the Women's K2
category; she will be paddling together with Ramona Farkasdi (HUN). The
Danish duo of Birgit Pontoppidan and Sofie Jorgensen will, similar to last
year, do their best to win a medal.
The juniors and under 23 events are far more unpredictable, as many of the
young paddlers would be participating in tough weather conditions, in what
would be their first international marathon. These races are held on Friday
(K1) and Saturday morning (K2).
photos Janos Schmidt