Monday, 17 June 2013

René H. Poulsen smashes the field at European Sprint Championships

In collaboration with Sportscene (Photos: Carolyn J. Cooper)

canoe kayak sprint rene poulsen european championships 2013 eca montemor portugal sportscene wrap up results 

After a sunny but rather windy weekend in Montemor-o-Velho (Portugal), Danish paddler René Poulsen has become one of the stars of the European Sprint Championships having won three medals, winning both K1 1,000 and 500 metres and adding a bronze medal in the 5,000 metres, rounding out one of his best weekends ever.

Monday, 10 June 2013

European Marathon Championships: Final day chronicle

In collaboration with Sportscene. Photos by Carolyn J. Cooper

Today was the day for K2 and C2, starting with the K2 Senior Women and the C2 early in the morning, in wet and fresh weather in Vila Verde, Portugal.
From the very start of the Women’s K2 it was seen that the English crew of Fay Lamph and Lizzie Broughton were attacking the race with determination. They were the only ones just focused on the K2, not having competed in K1 before, and that made the difference between them and the rest of the field. Only the U23 Spanish pair of Raquel Carbajo and Nuria Villacé could keep up with their pace, while the favorite Hungarian crews were together in the second group, slowly losing seconds. At the halfway point the difference was already about a minute.

canoe kayak marathon vila verde portugal european championships eca 2013 sportscene k2 c2 The two crews in the front seemed to take it easy; the Danish Jeanette Løvborg and Annemia Pretzmann caught up to the second group while Hungarians Petra Tóth and Edina Csernák dropped behind. This meant the Danish were now fighting for bronze with the other Hungarian pair of Alexandra Bara and Vanda Kiszli.

Everything looked quiet until the fifth portage when Carbajo and Villacé, with their water pump not working, tried to empty the kayak while running and pushed the British against the fences. For a moment there was some tension; the judges were just in front but they agreed the action was unintentional and let the Spanish go with no penalty. However, the issue helped the prosecutors close the gap a little. During the last lap they were only around 30 seconds behind the leaders. At the last portage, Lamph and Broughton re-entered the water with decisiveness and took off while the Spaniards stopped to empty water from their K2. No final sprint was needed to see the British claim the European title and Carbajo and Villacé arrived in the silver medal position about fifty meters behind. In the sprint for the bronze medal, Bara and Kiszli took it for Hungary ahead of the Danish Løvborg and Pretzmann after keeping the 10 meter gap made up in the portage.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

European Marathon Championships: Saturday's races chronicle

In collaboration with Sportscene

In the Senior C1, current World Champion Antonio Campos (ESP), decided to control the race from the very start, followed by his teammate Manuel Garrido and German Matthias Erbhardt, who fell off the group by the first portage. It was then a head to head race, with the two Spanish paddlers controlling the race with only a difference of around 100m. They maintained this for many kilometres while Erbhardt was caught by Jakub Brezina (CZE), making another head to head race. But this was not going to rival the two frontrunners who knew that being from the same country, they just needed some cooperation to get gold and silver. They continued an easy pace until the fifth lap. With just one and a half laps to go, Antonio Campos pushed really hard and managed to drop Garrido from his wash to make the final part of the race his own and claim gold in a race full of power and determination. Manuel Garrido got silver and Matthias Erbhardt (GER) managed to get the bronze, leaving Brezina off the podium.

eca european championships canoe kayak marathon portugal 2013 sportscene vila de prado verde icfIn the Women’s K1 race, Gwendoline Morel (FRA), a sprint specialist, had a tremendous start but favourites Susanna Cicali (ITA) and Hungarians Edina Csernák and Alexandra Bara, quickly came up to the lead with Lenka Hrochova (CZE) and Jeanette Løvborg (DEN) suffering the second wash. They fell off the group at the first portage, but in the third lap, Cicali quit the race and Hrochova managed to gain the lead, with Løvborg having a solo race less than a minute behind. But at the fifth portage, Løvborg made a nice comeback and closed the gap to just 15 seconds, because Hrochova had problems at the put in and lost some precious metres from the Hungarians.

In the last portage, Bara and Hrochova pushed very hard and Csernák had to watch them run away leaving her in bronze. Just after the last kilometre, both leaders had a very long sprint with gold going to Alexandra Bara (HUN) and silver to Lenka Hrochova (CZE).

The last race of the day was the Senior Men’s K1. There was a good field with world champions and medalists like Iván Alonso (ESP), current world champion: José Ramalho (POR), current European champion; Istvan Salga and Mate Petrovics (HUN); Ben Brown (GBR); Emilio Merchán (ESP); Mathias Hamar (NOR) and Joep van Bakel (NED).