In the second half of Wednesday’s program, several Hungarian teams won their heats at the World Kayak Canoeing Championships in Halifax, Canada, but not all of them qualified for the final.
At the start of the afternoon show, the kayak pair of Blanka Kiss and Anna Lucz won the first race for the Hungarian delegation. The duo, silver medalists last year, fought a great battle with the Poles and Canadians in the 200m after a backfired first start. Although finishing in the top three would have been enough to qualify for the next round, they managed to hold off their rivals and advance to Saturday’s final with first place.
I was a bit disturbed that they shot back the start, our second start was not so good. Then at 100, we were a bit wobbly, so it was not our best run, I hope we can do better,”
Anna Lucz said.
Dániel Fejes, the Tokyo Olympian, should have won the men’s canoe singles 500m race to qualify for the event, but he was in a powerful race – he was paddled by last year’s 1000m five-time Olympic champion, Isaquias Queiroz dos Santos of Brazil, who then won the race in a dominant victory. Fejes finished fourth, which means a mid-race continuation.
“It was a bit of a tough course, I couldn’t really pull myself together. I concentrated more on the beginning, on a good start, then I got a bit carried away,” he said, adding: “I will be able to manage and use this well in the next races.”
There was a large number of entrants in the two kayak individual Olympic events, the women’s 500m and the men’s 1000m. In the former event, the youth Olympic and world champion and adult World Cup champion, Eszter Rendessy, opened with a race win, while in the latter, the Olympic, world, and European champion, Bálint Kopasz, won with a dominant start-to-finish victory. Both of them will continue on Friday in the middle race.
It was my first ever adult World Championships, I cannot say I was relaxed, but I am happy that I did it,”
said the 20-year-old kayaker Eszter Rendessy.
I had a good strong preliminary, I would have liked it to be a bit easier, but the weather did not help, there were a lot of headwinds and crosswinds. Still, I felt in good shape and that is the most important thing,”
said Bálint Kopasz, who became Olympic champion in Tokyo one year ago.
Originally, the women’s 200m canoe double was also scheduled to have qualifying races, but it turned out that there were only nine boats in the field, so the 500m finalist duo of Bragato Giada and Bianka Nagy will be able to prepare for the shorter distance final.
The qualification rounds on Lake Banook will run until Friday, with the finals on Saturday and Sunday.
Featured image: Bálint Kopasz via the Hungarian Kayak Canoe Federation’s Facebook page