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Hungarian Delegation Tops the Medal Table at the ECA European Championships

MTI-Hungary Today 2024.06.17.
Balázs Adolf and Jonatán Hajdu

Hungarian racers won four medals, including two gold, in the 5,000m races at the ECA Canoe Sprint, Paracanoe & SUP European Championships in Szeged (southern Hungary) on Sunday, thus finishing the five-day event with ten first, six second, and four third places.

In canoeing, world champion Balázs Adolf competed tactically. He followed Ivan Patapenka of Belarus for a long time, then overtook his rival on the last lap and won confidently. “The Belarusian guy did not really want me to go in front. I took advantage of that, rested on his water, I think it was a learning experience for him and he will not make that mistake again,” noted the Ferencváros canoeist.

Balázs Adolf. Photo via MTI/Kovács Tamás

Eight women’s canoeists competed in the K1 5,000m race, including last year’s World Championships silver medalist and marathon world champion Zsófia Kisbán,

who was in third place almost all the way and won the bronze medal.

“I was able to row my heart out. Until last week I had been accelerating to 200 and 500 meters, hence going from there to 5,000 seemed a bit of a stretch, but my coach and I did our best, so I am not disappointed,” said the athlete.

Among the kayakers, Emese Kőhalmi was one of the top four in the six-man field, and as the race approached the finish she took the lead, and although her Swedish rival pressed her in the last meters, she fought back and triumphed. “It was fantastic to be able to race in front of a home crowd, I could hear the cheers every time I went past them and I drew great strength from them,” stressed the champion.

Emese Kőhalmi. Photo via MTI/Kovács Tamás

The men’s K1 500m gold medalist Ádám Varga won a rare thrilling battle to finish second in the 5,000m behind defending champion Fernando Pimenta of Portugal,

beating world champion Mads Pedersen of Denmark. “It was really exciting, because we did not manage to break away from the field until the very end, there was a constant rotation, there was a fight for the water. (…) I am totally satisfied with the result, my goal was to be in the first bunch and to be in the fight all the time, and I succeeded,” he explained after the race.

In addition, it is worth noting that defending champion Bálint Kopasz won the silver medal in the K1 1,000m race, while the kayak pair of Alida Dóra Gazsó and Tamara Csipes finished as bronze medalists in the 500m, reports Index.

Bálint Kopasz. Photo via MTI/Kovács Tamás

The 26 year old Kopasz had a minimal lead at 500 meters, and then a bigger advantage at 750 meters. He seemed to be unstoppable, but the race took an unexpected turn when Aleh Yurenia of Belarus, who was paddling on lane 9, appeared and surprised Kopasz, crossing the finish line ahead of him. “I felt in excellent shape, although not the best,” said Kopasz, adding that he is now preparing for the Olympics.

Alida Dóra Gazsó and Tamara Csipes triumphed in the K4 Women 500m on Saturday, and Csipes also came first in the K1 Women 500m, thus both were in the water for another win in the K2 500m. The race was dominated by the Danes, Emma Jørgensen and Frederikke Matthiesen, with the the Hungarian duo finishing third behind the Poles.

Alida Dóra Gazsó and Tamara Csipes. Photo via MTI/Kovács Tamás

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Via MTI, Index; Featured image via MTI/Kovács Tamás

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