The final race for women’s canoe at the 2014 ICF Canoe Sprint Jr & U23 World Championships was the U23 C2 500. Defending U23 2014 u23 c2 500 raceChampions Zsanett Lakatos and Kincso Takács (HUN) faced stiff competition, but on their home course with the best and loudest fans in the world, they were not to be denied. Lakatos and Takács jumped out to an early and commanding lead and never relinquished, despite an incredible surge toward the finish by Belarus. The crowd was deafening with their horns matching this dynamic duo stroke for stroke, nearly pulling them to the finish.

Hungary crossed the finish line in 2:07.025, over a second ahead of Belarusian crew of Volha Klimava and Nadzeya Makarchanka. Belarus, who overcame a poor start, powered their way from 5th to 2nd place from the halfway point, doing a rare negative split for the second 250 meters and finishing in 2:08.229.

The surprise finish of the day, however, came from Romania all the way out in Lane 9. We have watched Romania develop their women canoeists slowly but surely for the last four years and have waited patiently for them to enter the big competitions. This was their day to shine. Valentina Postaru and Paula Postaru had the breakout/breakthrough performance that we expected from this power-house canoeing nation. Alone in the outside lane away from the action, the duo seemed to “will” themselves from 6th place at the 250 mark to steal the bronze from Canada’s crew of Taylor Potts and Megan Sibthorpe. The Canadians were battling Russia two lanes over on their left and surged past them right at the finish to claim 4th. Note from the results that Romania had near equal splits in the first and last 250 meters, crossing the line for the final podium spot in 2:10.893. Canada came through in 2:11.093.

The other breakout performance of the day came from Iran. In their first world championships competition, the C2 crew of U23 2014 jr u23 worlds iranFatemeh Karamjani and Hiva Afzali followed Karamjani’s strong performance in the U23 C1 200 A Final with a 7th place finish in the 500. Not intimidated off the line, they stayed with the pack through the half-way point coming through in 4th, but lacked the strength and endurance to have a strong second half. No worries. This is a fantastic and inspirational base from which Iran can build its women’s canoe program as we focus on Tokyo 2020.

Congratulations to all of the paddlers and thank you to all of the coaches, parents, supporters and national federations who are committed to women’s canoe and Tokyo 2020.

Thank you to the Szeged Organizing Committee and Hungarian Canoe Federation for another phenomenal World Championships and to the International Canoe Federation for ensuring women’s canoe is an enduring and growing part of our Olympic and Worlds programs.

29 countries sent women canoeists to this combined Junior & U23 Worlds.
With 50 total countries developing and training female canoeists, an Olympic medal now within our grasp, and an increase in women’s canoe events offered at the world level for 2015, we expect even more countries in 2015.

The IOC votes on inclusion of women’s canoe (sprint and slalom C1) in December 2014.

You can watch the U23 Women’s C2 500 final at this link. Go to “Fourth day – 20.07 – part 4” and they are the first race.

See all official results here: .

U23 2014 u23 c2 500 Hungary c2

2014 U23 worlds c2 500 final

Canada – Taylor Potts and Meghan Sibthorpe

Zsanett with little girl

U23 World Champion Zsanett Lakatos inspires.

2014 U23 Iran   2014 u23 C2 500 FINAL