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The strongest teams set the best times on the opening day

BojanZdelarECA11072019The first competition day of the 2019 ECA Junior and U23 Canoe Sprint European Championships in Račice has brought the 1000 and 500 metres heats. The strongest canoe sprint nations have produced the best times today to directly advance to the finals A.

Canoe sprinters from Belarus excelled in men's K1 1000 metres heats where Stanislau Mikhalishyn produced the best time of the day to secure himself a place in Saturday's final A, in women's junior K1 500 metres heats where Veronika Leaniuk was the fastest, in women's junior C1 500 metres heats where Anhelina Bardanouskaya was the best competitor in the event, and in women's junior C2 500 metres heats with Aliaksandra Kalaur and Lizaveta Prykhodzka.

It was a great day for young Serbian kayaker Bojan Zdelar too. First he produced the best time of the day in men's U23 1000 metres heats, to repeat this in the afternoon in MK1 500 metres heats. This meant direct advancement to the final in both events. His team colleagues Marija Dostanić and Biljana Relić were the fastest in women's K2 U23 500 metres heats.

Czech representatives Štepanka Sobiškova and Barbora Galadova who had loud support from the stands set the best time in women's junior K2 500 metres heats. Their neighbours from Slovakia set the best times in three of today's events. Mariana Petrušova was the fastest in women's K1 U23 1000 metres heats, Samuel Balaž and Adam Botek were the best in men's K2 U23 1000 meters heats, and K4 crew with Balaž, Botek, Matuš Jedinak and Csaba Zalka showed no mercy in men's K4 U23 event.

Italian canoeist Mykola Vykhodtsev set the best time in junior C1 1000 metres heats, Zsoka Csikos from Hungary was the fastest in women's junior 1000 metres event, Vadim Korobov from Lithuania in men's U23 C1 1000 metres heats, Denis Dimitrov from Bulgaria in men's junior 500 metres heats, Malgorzata Pulawska from Poland in women's K1 U23 500 metres event and Anastasiia Chetverikova from Ukraine in women's C1 U23 500 metres heats.

French duo Nicolas Pouillaude - Steven Henry were unbeatable today in men's K2 junior 1000 metres heats, Ivan Malkov and Kirill Romanov from Russia were the fastest in men's C2 junior 1000 metres heats, Leonid Carp and Stefan Strat from Romania in men's U23 C2 1000 metres heats, Ilie Oprea and Oleg Nuta from Moldova in men's U23 C2 500 metres heats, and Liudmyla Luzan - Anastasiia Chetverikova from Ukraine in women's C2 U23 500 metres heats.

German crew with Ferdinand Dittmar, Jan Prager, Thorben Illtz and Jonas Muehmert crossed the finish line with the best time of the day in men's Junior K4 500 metres heats, Russians Zakhar Petrov, Matvei Zhukov, Ivan Malkov and Kirill Romanov were the fastest in men's C4 junior 500 metres heats, Zsofia Potoniec, Csenge Kulcsar, Csilla Rugasi and Zsoka Csikov from Hungary were the best crew of the day in women's junior K4 500 metres heats, while Polish crew Martyna Klatt, Malgorzata Pulawska, Klaudia Cyrulewska and Julia Olszewska set the best time in the last event of the day women's U23 K4 500 metres heats.

On Friday we will see the semifinals in 1000 and 500 metres events in the morning part of the programme and the heats in 200 metres events will follow in the afternoon.

Text and photo: Nina Jelenc, ECA