Silkeborg has been awarded hosting rights for the 2022 Canoe Marathon European Championships ©Danish Canoe-Kayak Federation

Silkeborg – dubbed the outdoor capital of Denmark – has been awarded hosting rights for the 2022 Canoe Marathon European Championships.

The event will be held at Silkeborg Langsø.

Today’s announcement has been warmly welcomed by Silkeborg Kayak Club, which has been represented in the Canoe Marathon European Championships for a number of years.

The club's under-18 double world marathon champion, Thorbjørn Rask, is looking forward to facing his rivals on home waters.

"It’ll be awesome to paddle in the European Championships on home ground," he said.

"It’s a bit unreal to be part such a great event right here in the middle of Silkeborg.

"This will be huge and it will be a true pleasure to fight for medals at home.

"I’m really looking forward to it."

Silkeborg has a long and proud canoe marathon tradition.

The Tour de Gudenaa – one of the oldest and longest marathons – has been centred around the town for more than 50 years and Silkeborg has fostered some of the world’s strongest marathon paddlers. 

Historically, Denmark is one of the nations which has created and shaped canoe and kayak marathon sport. 

"I'm extremely pleased that we’ve been able to bring the Marathon European Championships to Silkeborg," said Ole Tikjøb, chairman of the Danish Canoe Federation (DCF).

The Canoe Marathon European Championships are held annually ©CEMCD2019
The Canoe Marathon European Championships are held annually ©CEMCD2019

In 2021, the DCF will celebrate its 100th anniversary by, among other things, hosting that year’s Canoe Sprint World Championships in Bagsværd.

Following the 2022 Canoe Marathon European Championships in Silkeborg, it will also stage the 2023 Canoe Marathon World Championships in the Triangle Region in Jutland.

Silkeborg Municipality Mayor Steen Vindum said: "Silkeborg is one of the leading canoe cities in Europe. 

"We have a strong and vibrant community of clubs and societies with a host of talents and international medal-winners. 

"We have state-of-the-art facilities for international events in the area around the new water sports centre at Silkeborg Langsø. 

"And as the outdoor capital of Denmark, we have a strategy to attract international sporting events and cement that status. 

"I am therefore extremely pleased that the result of our close collaboration with Sport Event Denmark, the Danish Canoe Federation and Silkeborg Kayak Club has resulted in Denmark hosting the European Championships. 

"It’s a great honour for Silkeborg."

Lars Lundov, chief executive of Sport Event Denmark, also expressed his delight.

"The 2022 European Championships is a continuation of the successful event strategy set out by the Danish Canoe Federation and Sport Event Denmark," he said.

"The success is in part due to the fact that Silkeborg Kayak Club and Silkeborg Municipality have been strong and competent partners in the work related to the 2022 European Championships. 

"We’ve also benefited from our continuous collaboration with the management of the European Canoe Association. 

"It’s a unique situation for Denmark to have the opportunity, for three consecutive years, to host some of the most significant championships in canoeing."

Hungary dominated last year's Canoe Marathon European Championships in Metković in Croatia, comfortably topping the medal table with nine gold, five silver and six bronze.

Spain were a distant second with two gold and two bronze, while Poland finished third with one gold, four silver and one bronze. 

This year's edition is due to be held in Decize in France from July 25 to 28.