The U23 Women’s Canoe races were even faster than the Juniors at the 2014 ICF Canoe Sprint Jr & U23 World Championships in Szeged, Hungary. In the C1 200, U23 Women went under 50 seconds eighteen times and between 47-48 seconds eight times between the heats and finals. This was by far the fastest field ever assembled, with the Europeans dominating the podium.
In the final, Russia’s Irina Andreeva was on fire as was Hungary’s Zsanett Lakatos, but Andreeva nipped Lakatos at the finish line by a mere .2 seconds, finishing in :47.160. Lakatos crossed the line in :47.364. To our knowledge, Andreeva’s performance is the second fastest time recorded for a female canoeist . (Reigning and undefeated Senior World Champion Laurence Vincent Lapointe recently went 46 seconds at her C1 200 Canadian Trials).
Czech Republic’s Jana Jezova, who has been making steady progress each year, finally grabbed a podium spot, snatching the bronze away from Canada’s Taylor Potts in :48.492. Potts finished a nose behind her in :49.092.
It was fantastic to see Brazil at a world level competition for the first time in several years. Andrea Santos De Oliveira did not disappoint with her 6th place finish in the final in :49.416. And a huge congratulations to Iran’s Fatemeh Karamjani on her incredible 7th place finish in 49.564. This is Iran’s first A final in any world championships competition for women’s canoe. We knew Iran had strong female kayakers and had no doubts that their women canoeists would be equally as strong. Well done!
***For the U23 competition, there were a total of 16 countries. Since 7 of these did not compete in the Junior competition, this brings the Grand Total for countries participating in women’s canoe at this ICF Junior & U23 Canoe Sprint World Championships to 29 – the most ever!
We knew that with 50 countries training and developing female canoeists, and with the high potential for Olympic inclusion in 2020, more national federations would get into this medals game.
The IOC votes on inclusion of women’s canoe (sprint and slalom C1) in December 2014.
***Tokyo Awaits these amazing women canoeists!***
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