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Krakow, Poland - September 20th to 22nd, 2002


The Polish University Sports Association, AZS, is a very active association in FISU and it gave us a demonstration this year by taking charge of the organization of three World University Championships. In addition to badminton, that took place in Krakow, and table tennis in Wroclaw, the 4th World University Wild Water Canoeing Championship was also held in Krakow.

Championship History

The first World University Championship in this discipline took place in Prague in 1994. Local kayakers proved the most adept on a course and under conditions that of course they knew very well. In all, they took home five gold medals, four silver and one bronze. The Chairman of the Slalom Committee of the International Canoeing Federation who attended the meet considered this championship to be one of the world's best competitive events. For the first edition, that's encouraging! In 1998, the town of Metz put on the second edition in a beautiful site located almost in the town centre. The high level of participation made for a strenuous confrontation. No less than half of the world's best kayakers were present, including Peter and Pavel Hochschorner and the Czech Jaroslav Pollert. They met with strong opposition from the French team as the meet reached peak intensity to the delight of the public lined up all along the course. Finally in 2000, the kayakers met in Slovakia, specifically at Lyptovski Mikulas for a life-size trial run before the Olympic games.

A Brand New Basin

The Polish didn't do things by halves to ensure the success of this World University Championship for 2002. The basin had just been inaugurated, and, according to contestants, it offered excellent courses. In addition, they had the good luck to race under perfect weather conditions. With a considerably larger number of participants than in the previous edition, this championship offered a real bout and enabled countries that traditionally are less expert in this discipline to measure up to the world's best. 15 countries registered a total of 108 kayakers (81 men & 27 women).

Powerful Teams

France, the Czech Republic and Poland presented very strong teams and split the gold medals between them. Unlike their usual performance, Slovakia was a bit behind the front lines, but still was present on three podiums. Many contestants vying in Krakow are among the world's top specialists in this discipline. Some of them in fact were already prizewinners at the most recent civil World Championships held in Bourg Saint Maurice in France late last August. This was the case for all of the gold medal winners except for the Czechs Stradnova Michala and Tomasz Slovak.




  • Countries: 15
  • Male Athletes: 81
  • Female Athletes: 27
  • Officials: 19
  • Total Participants: 117