Action began today at the ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup in Duisburg in Germany ©ICF

Reigning world champions Peter Kretschmer and Yul Oeltze will battle Rio 2016 Olympic gold medallists Sebastian Brendel and Jan Vandrey for a place on the German team for this year’s International Canoe Federation (ICF) Canoe Sprint World Championships when they contest the men’s C2 1,000 metres event at their home World Cup in Duisburg this weekend.

Both boats comfortably won their heat this afternoon at Duisberg Regatta Course.

Brendel and Vandrey were 0.97 seconds quicker, finishing in 3 min 44.357sec in heat three, but also had to work harder to overcome the rest of the field.

Elsewhere, Russia’s Roman Anoshkin, a surprise bronze medallist at Rio 2016, reminded his opponents of his abilities by qualifying fastest for the finals of the men’s K1 1,000m.

Anoshkin was almost three seconds faster in his semi-final than reigning world champion Fernando Pimenta of Portugal and Olympic silver medallist Josef Dostál of Czech Republic, crossing the line in 3:31.795.

The aforementioned Brendel showed glimpses of his triple Olympic gold medal-winning form by winning his semi-final of the men’s C1 1,000m in 3:56.126.

But it was Brazilian Isaquias Queiroz dos Santos who posted the quickest time, with the Rio 2016 silver medallist finishing in 3:54.857.

Canada’s Laurence Vincent-Lapointe and Katie Vincent were once again the fastest qualifiers in the women’s C2 500m in 2:00.419.

France’s Manon Hostens and Sarah Guyot won their women's K2 500m semi-final ©ICF
France’s Manon Hostens and Sarah Guyot won their women's K2 500m semi-final ©ICF

But they can expect a much tougher race in the final with the return of Hungary’s Virág Balla and Kincső Takács.

Balla and Takács were slightly quicker in their semi-final than the Chinese pair of Ma Yanan and Sun Mengya, silver medallists behind the Canadians at the ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup in Poznań in Poland last weekend.

They finished in 2:01.014, while Ma and Sun did so in 2:01.754.

In the women’s K2 500m, Belgium’s Hermien Peters and Lize Broekx backed up their silver medal-winning performance in Poznań with a strong win in their semi-final in 1:44.517.

But they were not the fastest, with France’s Manon Hostens and Sarah Guyot finishing more than three seconds faster in 1:41.322.

Slovenia’s Špela Ponomarenko Janić and Anja Osterman, bronze medallists in Poznań in the K2 500m and gold medallists in the K2 200m, won their semi-final in a time of 1:42.154.

Action is due to continue tomorrow.

The ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships are scheduled to be held in Hungarian city Szeged from August 21 to 25.