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Kiszli and Pedersen a class above at marathon World Games debut

Kiszli and Pedersen a class above at marathon World Games debut 13.7.2022

Denmark’s Mads Pedersen and Hungary’s Vanda Kiszli put on a canoe marathon clinic to claim the first two gold medals at The World Games debut of the sport in Birmingham, Alabama, on Monday.

The reigning world champions showed they are a class above with convincing wins in stifling heat at the picturesque Oak Mountain State Park, and are now short-priced favourites to back up with gold in Tuesday’s longer races.
Kiszli has dominated women’s canoe marathon racing for more than five years, winning the past three long distance and two short distance world titles. But it’s doubtful any of those victories were more impressive than her win at the Oak Mountain State Park on Monday.
After matching Hungarian teammate Zsoka Csikos and Spain’s Eva Barrios for the first two laps, Kiszli made her decisive move on the second portage of the race, sprinting to the front of the field. She was surprised when she looked over her shoulder at the final bend at how far in front she was.
“I know that Zsoka is a sprinter, so she is very fast at the end, and I didn’t want to lose the race at the finish line, so I needed a long, long finish,” Kiszli said.
“That’s why I tried to run as fast as I could and then just paddle as hard as I could. I was surprised, I thought they were closer, but I wasn’t calm because I knew they were coming. It was a hard race.«
“I’m always nervous, because I know I did everything, I trained hard, but I know the other girls trained hard as well, so I don’t really know where I am. I felt a little bit of pain during the heat, but this was much better, but I don’t know how I did it.”
Like Kiszli, Pedersen has been the dominant force in canoe marathon in recent years, ever since winning both the U23 and senior world titles in China in 2019.
After a close first lap, Pedersen made a fast break on the second lap and opened up a lead that could not be overcome. By the time of the second portage the gold medal was safely in his keeping.
“It was really good, but for my body it was not perfect, my body is completely destroyed now,” Pedersen said.
“The heat is so strong. Normally I know what speed I can go. The water is so hot so it is easy to get a high speed,but your body gets so tired with the sun and the heat, so it was a tough race. I held it together until the finish, so I’m very happy to win the first World Games gold medal.«
“It’s crazy, I’m so happy.”
Germany’s Nico Paulfler took the silver, despite dropping his kayak on the first portage, with Portugal’s Jose Ramalho taking bronze.
The short distance marathon was raced over 3.4 kilometres, with two beach portages. Each lap was approximately 1.2 kilometres, with the final lap slightly shorter.
Canoe marathon concludes its debut at The World Games on Tuesday with the men’s and women’s long distance races.
1. Kiszli Vanda (HUN) 15:22.46
2. Barrios Eva (ESP)   15:34.49
3. Csikos Zsoka (HUN) 15:34.68
1. Pedersen Mads Brandt (DEN) 13:50.92
2. Paufler Nico (GER) 14:01.41
3. Ramalho Jose (POR) 14:04.06
Photo: Balint Vekassy


Source: https://www.canoeicf.com/news/kiszli-and-pedersen-class-above-marathon-world-games-debut