The European Canoe Sprint Championships got underway in Plovdiv today as the finalists were determined across a number of 1,000 metres and 500m events at the Bulgarian city’s Regatta Course.
The event started with the women’s K1 1,000m heats, which saw Hungary’s Dora Bodonyi produce the fastest time of 3min 52.476sec.
She was more than two seconds faster than Russia's Vera Sobetova, who posted 3:55.044, and more than four seconds faster than Poland’s Beata Mikołajczyk, who registered 3:56.748.
In the men’s C1 1,000m heats, favourite Sebastian Brendel of Germany crossed the finish line with the fastest time of 3:45.296.
Russia’s Kirill Shamshurin produced the second quickest time of the day, 3:48.632, and Belarus’ Maksim Piatrou the third, 3:48.748.
Reigning European champion Fernando Pimenta of Portugal safely advanced through to the A final in the men’s K1 1,000m event.
He was the fastest in the heats in 3:26.160.
Belgium’s Artuur Peters was a little more than a second slower in 3:27.328, while Denmark’s René Holten Poulsen posted the third fastest time of the heats, 3:27.456.
Poulsen still had to contest the semi-finals in which he finished runner-up to Slovenia’s Jost Zakrajsek to earn a place in the A final.
Czech Republic’s Jakub Spicar, Radek Slouf, Daniel Havel and Jan Sterba were the fastest in the men’s K4 500m event with a time of 1:17.800.
They were 0.048 seconds ahead of Russia’s Artem Kuzakhmetov, Oleg Gusev, Vitaly Ershov and Vladislav Blintcov.
Only the first team advanced directly to the final, meaning the Russians had to compete in the semi-finals.
They finished fourth and subsequently had to settle for a place in the B final.
In the women’s K4 500m event, Hungary’s Dora Lucz, Tamara Takacs, Erika Medveczky and Ninetta Vad were the strongest performers with a time of 1:30.208.
Russia’s Viktor Melantyev and Vladislav Chebotar were the fastest crew in men’s C2 1,000m heats with a time of 3:31.600, while Germany’s Max Hoff and Marcus Gross set the best time in the men’s K2 1,000m heats, 3:10.012.
Hungary's Takacs finished with the quickest time in the women’s K1 500m heats, 1:50.664, and Czech Republic’s Martin Fuksa and Jakub Zavrel were fastest in the respective men’s C1 500m and men’s K1 500m events with times of 1:53.724 and 1:40.440.
Action in Plovdiv is due to continue tomorrow.
It will include the first events of the European Para-canoe Championships.