Canoe Sprint made its first appearance in the FISU sports programme at the Zagreb Summer Universiade in 1987, as an optional sport. In 1998, the sport was added to the World University Championships programme. Other Canoe Sports include Kayak Sprint, Canoe Slalom, Wildwater Canoeing, and a few more.
FISU Technical Committee Chair
The History of Canoe Sprint in FISU
At the Zagreb Summer Universiade in 1987, the canoe sprint competitions were organised in Jarun on an arm of the Sava River, where in early times the first inhabitants used to travel by kayaks. The participants faced appalling weather conditions during the championship. The competitions were led by the Soviet and Romanian athletes. Among them, the great champion Aurel Macarescu stood out, taking the 500 and the 1,000 metres in the singles C1 race. In 1998 the top university specialists in this sport gathered for the first World University Championship in this discipline.
The Hungarian team took six medals, five silver and one bronze, with impressive ease, thus ranking first in the number of medals taken, ahead of Poland and Romania. The second edition of the World University Championship was held in Bari, a modern industrial city on the coast of the Adriatic Sea. Sixteen countries with 125 male and 35 female athletes participated. The record number of participating countries and participants was successively broken in 2008 in Belgrade and later on in Poznan, with 23 participating countries and 190 competitors for both competitions. Canoe Sprint was also chosen as an optionnal sport in Kazan 2013 Summer Universiade with a record participation of 29 countries and 257 athletes!