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27 August 2010 | in Canoe Sprint, World University Championships

2010 WUC Canoe Sprint Update: First Competitions

POZNAN - The competitions have started today in Poznan at the Malta Lake with the first heats under a very gray sky but rain had the good taste to stop falling at the first official start.

 No finals today and the first objective for the competitors was to reach immediately the finals without going through the very tiring semi-finals reserved for the ones who could not clinch the first qualifying places. You can find the results of every race on the OC website at www.fisucanoesprint2010.poznan.pl/home/results .


For this first day of qualifications there are not many people in the tribunes. It is a pity because the extraordinary speaker is commenting every competition with so much talent that he would awaken a dead guy.

So as we have the time to give you other information than the one about the competition, we would like to give you some general info on the discipline. Did you know for instance that John MacGregor was the first European to use an Inuit Kayak for tourism and excursion purposes, he also formed the first-ever kayak club “The Royal Canoe Club of London” on the 25 July 1866 in London. The first Canoeing competition, organized by MacGregor, was held in 1869. The first women’s competition was organized in Russia. By the 1890s, canoe sport was popular all over the European continent.

Under the auspices of the Internationale Repräsentantenschaft Kanusport (IRK), which was formed in January 1924 in Copenhagen, the first European Championships were held on the 19 August 1933 in Prague. On the 16 May 1934 the International Olympic Committee approved the appearance of the sport of Canoeing at the Olympic Games and this was realised in 1936 at the XI Olympic Games held in Berlin. The modern International Canoe Federation (ICF) was established in 1946. The women participated for the first time in the Olympics in 1948. You also have to know that the biggest star ever of the sport is a German girl Birgit Fischer who in her long Olympic career between 1980 and 2004 won 8 gold and 4 silver medals. Her achievements mark her as both once the youngest- (aged 18) and oldest-ever (aged 42) Olympic Canoe Champion. Birgit also won 28 World Championship Golds, 6 silver and 4 bronze medals throughout her career. You can find all those information and a lot more on the ICF website.


Elly Müller, the Canoe Sprint Lady

Elly Müller in actionFor the third time ICF has sent to our World University Championship Mrs Elly Müller as Technical Delegate. This Dutch lady who is living in Heerenveen (where football and ice skating are the dominant sports) is attending all the big international events around the world since 1978. She made 5 Olympic Games and so many World and European championships that she cannot count them anymore. Her experience is so recognized that she was asked by the Athens Olympic Games Organizing Committee to help and to stay in Greece eight months before the Games until the end. She is a member of the Board of ECA, Chairwoman of the ECA Sprint Technical Committee and member of the Canoe Sprint Committee of the ICF.

You have to see how Elly is presiding the Technical Committee and the respect all the Team leaders are showing to her. She knows the job and they know that she knows. “When Elly is showing up you know that all the technical aspects of the competitions will be covered perfectly”, our CT Chair Zeljko Rajkovic says.” She is so efficient and experienced that I could nearly follow the competitions from the tribunes. I am joking of course but with such a lady in your team, life is easy.”  


(Source: Marc VANDENPLAS, FISU Summer Universiade Director)



 Elly Müller, ICF Delegate