The first sets of medals have been awarded to the fastest competitors in 1000 metres A finals of the 2019 ECA Junior and U23 Canoe Sprint European Championships in Račice, Czech Republic. Serbian kayaker Bojan Zdelar produced the fastest time ever at European Championships in men's U23 K1 1000 metres event to win the gold medal. In ten finals that were organised today ten different European nations celebrated gold medals.
The first gold medal of the day went to Denmark thanks to Magnus Sibbersen who was the fastest in junior men's K1 1000 metres A final. He succeeded his compatriot Rasmus Knudsen who won in this event at last year's Junior and U23 Canoe Sprint European Championships that was held in Auronzo di Cadore. Philip Miles from Great Britain was second and Tomaš Sobišek from Czech Republic third.
It was a great win for Serbian paddler Bojan Zdelar in men's U23 K1 1000 metres final. 19- year-old Zdelar produced the best time ever in this event at U23 European Championships so far to take the gold medal. Until now it was Miroslav Kirchev from Bulgaria who held the record at U23 European Championships (set in 2013), and Zdelar now improved the time for over two seconds. Jon Vold from Norway was second and Kornel Beke from Hungary third.
Italian team celebrated gold medal in men's Junior C1 1000 metres event with Mykola Vykhodstev who was one second faster than Czech canoeist Jiri Minarik, while Pavlo Borsuk from Ukraine picked up bronze medal.
Zsoka Csikos from Hungary is the new European Champion in women's Junior 1000 metres event. Mathilde Roed from Denmark was second and Barbora Galadova from Czech Republic third.
Lithuanian canoeist Vadim Korobov won a tight race in men's C1 U23 1000 metres event. He was 0.027 seconds faster than Constantin Diba from Romania and local favourite Petr Fuksa, younger brother of multiple World and European Championships medallist Martin Fuksa.
Mariana Petrušova won European Champion title in women's U23 1000 metres final A. Medallist of Minsk European Games was a little over a second faster than Anna Zagorska from Sweden and German paddler Carola Schmidt was third.
Nicolas Pouillaude - Steven Henry from France, Matyas Majoros - Aron Nyerges from Hungary and Oleksandr Zarubin - Oleh Petrov from Ukraine were medallists in men's junior K2 1000 metres final, Uladzislau Paleshko - Matsvei Shalak (BLR), Ivan Malkov - Kirill Romanov (RUS) and Gabriele Casadei - Dawid Szela (ITA) stood on the winner's podium in men's junior C2 1000 metres final.
Belgian K2 crew Bram Sikkens - Artuur Peters celebrated European Champion titles in U23 category shortly after they have joined forces in the same boat for the first time. They were 0.300 seconds faster than Slovak duo Samuel Balaž - Adam Botek in second place, while Stanislau Daineka and Uladzislau Litvinau from Belarus won bronze medal.
In the last final A race of the day - men's C2 U23 1000 metres event - Ivan Likhovidov and Vladislav Chebotar won gold medal for Russia, Leonid Carp and Stefan Strat from Romania were second and Aleksander Kitewski and Norman Zezula from Poland third.
On Sunday the 2019 ECA Junior and U23 Canoe Sprint European Championships will conclude with 26 A finals in 500 and 200 metres events.
Text and photo: Nina Jelenc, ECA