About 650 competitors from all over Europe arrived to Račice - a village located near the mountain Říp that is a part of Czech historical fairy tales. There were about thousand boats stored in the depot, because some of the paddlers combine various disciplines. There were about 1100 team members, team staff and all the people behind the scenes. The local catering therefore had to prepare 280 kg of meat (about the weight of two pigs) plus 450 kilos of vegetables during the championship!
Eleven bus drivers took care of the transportation for athletes and teams. Each of them traveled around 1,900 kilometers in average among the airport, hotels and Račice channel. That`s like a journey from Prague to Paris and back. That means that the number of traveled kilometers for the entire European Championship is roughly incredible 20,000!
There were 19 cameras spread throughout the length of the course. Czech Television aired almost the entire program of the championship live on it`s Sport channel or on website. The signal also traveled to Germany, Hungary and to Eurosport.
She used to have nausea because of the water, now she became the European champion in paracanoe for the third time in row. Anne Dickens triumphed on a 200 meters track over her competitors with a very comfortable lead. “Now I want more people to understand that there is more life beyond the injury in the sports,” she said after the medals ceremony.
Anne Dickens used to be an endurance mountain biker before her unfortunate injury. “I went down to put my shoes on and the disc in my back came out and put some pressure on the nerve in my leg. And that was that. But you know every cloud has a silver lining,” smiled Dickens who also holds the current world record on the 200 meters track.
Max Hoff won for the seventh time in his career the gold medal at the European Championships. German kayaker triumphed with nearly two-second lead over his rivals and again dominated the European Championships at this distance after a two year break. “Now I want the gold medal from the Olympics,” Hoff said.
After the first 250 meters Hoff was still in the middle of the starting field, but he was clearly the fastest one in the second half of the race and quickly overtook the lead. “Everyone knows that I’m not the fastest one at the start. But I become very strong in the middle of the race. After 500 meters I get quicker and quicker,” the kayaker said with smile.
There are 81 paracanoeists competing at the European Canoe Sprint Seniors Championships 2015 in Račice. Some of them advanced to finala and some of them went straight for medals. Paracanoe disciplines will continue on Saturday afternoon. First two semifinal races take place, then six finals are on the program. All ceremony medals will take place on Saturday.
Not even the unpopular races in the early morning hours stopped Sebastian Brendel (Germany) from easily reaching the final of C1 1000 m. One of the biggest stars of this year’s European Canoe Sprint Seniors Championships dominated his race with a comfortable lead and advanced directly to Saturday’s final.
The Olympic champion from London 2012 was happy with his first important race of this season. “Considering that the race was so early, I’m satisfied,” Brendel who had to be at the start at 8:14 said with smile. “I am not really a morning person, although I had to get used to getting up as I have two children. Fortunately, tomorrow`s finals starts one hour later.”