A glorious first day of medal action for Belarus ©ICF

Belarus and Germany claimed two titles on the first day of medal action at the international Canoe Federation Canoe Sprint World Championships in Szeged.

Alena Nazdrova upgraded from her silver medal at last year’s event in the women’s C1 500 metres.

The Belarusian athlete claimed victory in Hungary in a time of 2min 0.73sec.

Defending champion Kseniia Kurach of Russia finished second in 2:01.64, while Ukraine’s Anastasiia Chetverikova placed third in 2:03.83.

Belarus' second gold medal of the day came in the women’s K2 200m event, with Maryna Litvinchuk and Volha Khudzenka triumphing.

The duo came home in a time of 36.21 to take the title ahead of Slovenia's Spela Ponomarenko Janic and Anja Osterman, who clocked 36.72.

Home favourites Blanka Kiss and Anna Lucz were a further 0.07 seconds back in third place.

Tom Liebscher prevented a third gold for Belarus, as the German took out the men's K1 500m final.

He won the event in a time of 1:35.04, finishing just 0.14 seconds clear of Belarus' Mikita Borykau.

Russia’s Maxim Spesivtsev completed the podium in 1:35.49.

Germany were also victorious in the men's K4 1000m competition, with Tobias-Pascal Schultz, Lukas Reuschenbach, Jakob Thordsen and Felix Frank winning in 2:48.79.

Russia and Slovakia earned the minor medals with their crews ending in 2:49.78 and 2:50.44 respectively.

China's Qiang Li and Song Xing won the men's C2 500m final ©ICF
China's Qiang Li and Song Xing won the men's C2 500m final ©ICF

The home crowd had cause for celebration when Erika Medveczky and Reka Hagymasi won the women’s K2 1000m final in 3:34.23.

The Hungarian duo were followed by Germany's Tabea Medert and Sarah Bruessler in 3:35.59, while Mexico's Karina Alanis and Maricela Montemayor took bronze in 3:40.91.

China's Qiang Li and Song Xing denied Hungary further gold by winning the men's C2 500m final in 1:37.33.

Local athletes Jonatan Hajdu and Adam Fekete won the silver medal in a time of 1:38.41, while Spain's Alfonso Benavides and Antoni Segura secured bronze in 1:38.97.

The men's C2 200m final saw Spain's Alberto Pedrero and Pablo Grana win gold in 36.06.

Poland's Michal Lubniewski and Arsen Sliwinski combined to win silver in 36.18, with Uzbekistan's Artur Guliev and Elyorjon Mamadaliev clinching bronze in 36.42.

Two more days of finals will take place, with Olympic quota places up for grabs.