Reigning world champion Vanda Kiszli led a gold medal charge for Hungary while there were also triumphs for Denmark, Ukraine, Spain and France on the opening day of the ICF canoe marathon world championships in Shaoxing, China, on Thursday.
Kiszli will defend her marathon title this weekend, and on Thursday added the new short race world title to her resumé as one of three gold medals for Hungary. Eszter Rendessy won the women’s junior K1. Ukraine’s Liudmyla Babak added a short race C1 title to her two long distance marathon titles. The addition of the 3.60 kilometre short races to the world championship program proved popular, with Kiszli and Babak both making the transition with ease. Kiszli said she was unsure how the race would unfold.
“It was so quick, we started and then we were on the last lap,” Kiszli said.
“I didn’t know if I would be any good, because I knew the other girls were very fast. So I just focussed on me and did my race.
“It was a good warm-up for me ahead of this weekend. I’m a little bit nervous because I am the world champion, so everyone wants to beat me.”