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12 August 2018 | in FISU World University Championships, Canoe Sprint

Hungary and Belarus dominate WUC Canoe Sprint 500m finals

During the 500-metre finals, the Hungarian team achieved the best results again at the World University Canoe Sprint Championship at Szolnok. The hosts closed Sunday morning with 5 gold and 3 silver medals, while the Belarusian team collected 5 second places and 1 bronze in addition to their gold medal.


In men’s K1 500m, similarly to yesterday’s longer distance, the field could not match Steven McTavish. Although Hungarian Zsombor Noé had a better start, the Australian competitor caught up with him at half distance and finally won by more than two seconds ahead of the Hungarian kayaker. One of Germany’s best, Felix Frank came in at third place.


In men’s canoe single event, the Belarusian Krysko put up a good start but then came the Hungarian Viktor Viola and, alongside, the British Jonathan Johnson. Eventually, the Hungarian competitor turned out to be the quickest in the finish, beating the Belarusian by a hair’s breadth and leaving Johnson to earn the bronze medal.

Hungary's Viktor Viola in the 2018 WUC Canoe Sprint 500m finals 

In women’s kayak single event, the German athlete caught a great start and the Czech Katerina Slivanska was also quick over the first two hundred metres. However, Hungary’s Zsófia Szénási kept her cold blood, paddled according to her tactics throughout and endured the final finish best. Thus she, along with Neumiarzhytskaya starting next to her, slowly destroyed the pack. Zsófia clinched the first place by a fraction of an inch before her Belarusian contender, with the German Koether ultimately winning the bronze medal.


Among female canoeists, in C1 500m, Hungarian Zsófia Kisbán won by incredibly outperforming her Belarusian and Ukrainian rivals.


“I thought that I would step on the gas at the beginning because I knew the Ukrainian girl was a long distance racer so it was sure that she would endure to the end. My tactics worked” said Zsófia Kisbán who, in addition to canoeing, studies Computer Science Engineering at the Budapest University of Technology.

 Dávid Hérics and Ákos Gacsal celebrate their victory in the 500m C2 finals

Hungarians performed superbly in doubles, too. In men’s K2, the duo of Dávid Hérics and Ákos Gacsal was triumphant, while among women, also in 500m doubles, the U23 world champion squad of Eszter Malcsiner and Rita Katrinecz won.


“As a matter of fact, the U23 world championship victory was a bit harder. Now, we went about it anticipating that we will get it. By the way, we raced with the same tactics as two weeks ago. If we manage to win here on 200 metres as well, we will conclude this season outstandingly” Eszter Malcsiner said.

 Trukhanovich and Vikhruk of Belarus take the gold in the women's 500m canoe event

The Belarusian double of Trukhanovich and Vikhruk won women’s canoe event, with the Hungarian squad, of Zsófia Kisbán and Laura Sáling finishing second. In men’s canoe event, the Polish duo of Aleksander Kitewski and Grzegorz Brynski was the fastest.


In the Olympic Games distance of men’s kayak fours, the team composed of Tobias-Pascal Schultz, Björn Barthel, Felix Frank and Felix Landes won the world university championship gold medal. Hungarians finished in second place and Belarus claimed the bronze medal.

 It wasn't just the competitors who were enjoying the scene in Szolnok, Hungary along the Holt-Tisza River on Sunday

In C4 500m, Simon Hajek, Sebastian Maizner, Jakub Brezina and David Machácek secured the first place, outpacing the Ukrainians and the Belarusians.


“There were plenty of good teams in the final. Our victory is only thanks to our last 50 metres, the great final effort. I spent all my strength so much that I thought I would faint at the end. On the other hand, I am very happy now. I like the course – I was worried a bit that the water would shake but there were no waves” said David Machácek, an engineering student at the Technical University of Prague.


In women’s fours, the Polish quartet of Dominika Wlodarczyk, Paulina Markiewicz, Klaudia Cyrulewska and Malgorzata Pulawska earned the world university championship gold medal in front of the German boat. There was a great battle between the Belarusians, the Hungarians and the Spanish squad for the third place, with the Belarusians finally being able to take the bronze medal home.



In the afternoon, the World University Canoe Sprint Championship at Szolnok will come to its end with the 200-metre finals.



Watch the 500m finals from WUC Canoe Sprint