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European Champion titles for Babak, Campos, Kiszli and Pedersen

European Champion titles for Babak, Campos, Kiszli and Pedersen 27.7.2019

Decize witnessed exciting canoe marathon races of the 2019 ECA Canoe Marathon European Championships in senior women's and men's K1 and C1 events. Third competition day in France brought third consecutive European champion title for Liudmyla Babak in women's C1, second consecutive title for Manuel Campos in men's C1, second title of this championships for Mads Pedersen in men's K1 and gold medal for Vanda Kiszli in women's K1 race.

Danish kayaker Mads Pedersen wrote history in Decize. Yesterday he celebrated European Champion title in U23 age group and today he won in senior event to become the first kayaker to achieve that. His perfomance was superb and he crossed the finish line almost two minutes faster than French kayaker Stephane Boulanger, while Spanish paddler Ivan Alonso picked up bronze medal.
"It's crazy. I don't think I will ever forget this day.  I got more and more confident during the race, because I could see my speed was higher and higer, so I started to believe it was possible. And then I thought now I have a chance and I just went for it. I am very happy," said Mads Pedersen after the race.
The defending champion Jose Ramalho from Portugal who won in the last five consecutive editions of the European Championships and was also European Champion in 2011 did not have his day and retired early from the race.
Vanda Kiszli became the new European Champion in senior women's K1 race after she found more strength in the finish to cross the finish line in front of her teammate Szofia Czellai-Voros. Anna Kožiškova from Czech Republic was third.
After the race Vanda Kiszli said, "Today it was much better to paddle than in the 40 degrees. I was worried because in the morning it was raining so hard, but then it stopped half past one so I think we were lucky. It was windy, but we train in these conditions and I am used to it. I thought we will paddle in front only with Szofia, but then she said maybe we can work together with the others, so we can rest more. It worked, so I am happy."
Spanish canoeist Manuel Campos managed to defend his European Champion he won last year in Metković. In 2017 he finished second and in 2016 he also picked up gold medal in front of his home fans in Pontevedra. "Today it was much better than in the previous days. It was raining and the temperatures dropped significally, which is great for paddling. The rains freshens you a little bit and helps you a lot. I had to think about the tomorrow's C2 race. With Jakub we made a deal to paddle together and it worked perfectly. At the end I was a little bit stronger than him. I am very happy with this gold medal and we'll see if I'll manage to get another one tomorrow," said Manuel Campos.
Jakub Brezina from Czech Republic was second and Daniel Laczo from Hungary third.
In the first morning race Ukrainian canoeist Liudmyla Babak securely won her third European Canoe Marathon Champion title in a row. She won her first gold medal in 2017 in Ponte de Lima, continued her winning streak in 2018 in Metković to reach the highest podium position also in 2019 in Decize. "I would like to thank and congratulate all the participants in this race. The race was great, everything went like I hoped it will," said the winner.
Marien Sansinena from France picked up silver medal in women's senior C1 event and Dora Horanyi from Hungary finished third.
On Sunday the championships will conclude with men's and women's K2 race and men's C2 event.


Livestreaming is available at Canoe Europe Facebook page and Canoe Europe Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/CanoeEurope


Startlists/results: http://decize2019.spotfokus.com/


GPS tracking: https://www.tractrac.com/event-page/event_20190721_ICFCanoeMa/1635?fbclid=IwAR3UXhDPZLouUfTUV3ddPKOuHvei_4Mqg936h1lhqGViWdwYxdgi2dyoGK8