IPC MEDIA – Germany’s Edina Muller and Austria’s Markus Swoboda opened the 2017 Para canoe season with victories at the International Canoe Federation (ICF) Sprint World Cup 2 in Szeged, Hungary, held 25-27 May.
The two silver medallists from Rio 2016, where the sport made its Paralympic debut, showed solid form building off of September’s Games.
Muller (1:00.759) had a commanding win in the women’s KL1 200m. Japan’s Monika Seryu (1:05.290) followed in second, rounded off by Italy’s Juliet Kaine (1:07.074).
“I was a little sick at the start of the season for about two months, so I’m just happy that I’m back and it’s working really well again,” Muller said.
“Szeged is a very special competition for me, I’ve never been here but I’m half-Hungarian, so my whole family could come.
“I have a nice little home crowd here, my 80-year-old Grandmother could come and watch my first race in canoe, so that was very special for me.”
She missed gold in Rio by just a fraction of a second, pipped by long-time rival Jeanette Chippington of Great Britain.
“Of course the first moment is hard. You go there to win gold, you train to win gold,” Muller said.
“But Jeanette is an incredible athlete, and we have had some great races.
“I was happy with my silver medal, because that’s a great result. I was just very proud to win a medal at my first Paralympics in canoe.
“If everything goes well my plan is to compete in Tokyo.”